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What does もっとも mean in the following sentences?

日本人はしょうゆの味が好きです。もっともそうでない人もいますが。

この宝くじを買うと一万ドル当たりますよ。もっとも運がよければの話ですが。

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2 Answers 2

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The 「もっとも(~~が。)」 means 「とは言え」「そうは言うものの」「ただし」, "however" "although" "for all that," "provided that ~~" or "only ~~", and is often followed by 「~~が。」, as in the formula 「Sentence. + もっとも + Sentence + が.」

It's 2⃣接続詞 (conjunction) in デジタル大辞泉:

[接]前の事柄を肯定しつつ、例外あるいは一部相反する内容を補足するときに用いる。とはいうものの。なるほどそうだが。ただし。「旅行にはみんな参加する。もっとも行かない人も二、三いるが」

So your sentences would translate to something like:

  • 日本人はしょうゆの味が好きです。もっともそうでない人もいます
    Japanese people are fond of the taste of soy sauce, although there also are people who aren't.
  • この宝くじを買うと一万ドル当たりますよ。もっとも運がよければの話です
    Buy this lottery ticket and you'll win 10,000 dollars -- only if [provided that] you're lucky.

Some more examples*:

  • 彼は力が強い、もっとも体も大きいがね。
    He is strong, but then he is big, too.
  • 女にはこの仕事はできない、もっとも例外はあるが。
    Women cannot do this job, although there are some exceptions.
  • 彼はよく人と約束する。もっとも履行した例はないが。
    He makes promises, only [though] he never keeps them.
  • 彼女は英語を話すのがへただ。もっとも、日本語で話すのもそううまくないが。
    She speaks English very poorly. She doesn't speak Japanese so well either, though.

* Examples taken from New Japanese-English Dictionary (Kenkyusha) and Progressive Japanese-English Dictionary (Shogakukan)

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This もっとも is not 最も but 尤も (although both are cognates). You can replace it by 当然 in both of your example sentences.

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  • @user326441 If you want more about it here is its entry: dictionary.goo.ne.jp/jn/219472/meaning/m0u/… (the meaning used here is labeled "black-boxed 2") Nov 6, 2016 at 22:08
  • もっとも in the sense of 当然 is a na-adjective and not a conjunction, and it's used like 「~~(する)のももっともだ」, no?
    – chocolate
    Nov 6, 2016 at 22:10
  • I don't know I never seen it used like that (lack of exposure). When I said, you can replace it with 当然 I had the word "indeed" in my mind. 当然 (little pause) そうでない人もいますが。(Indeed, there is also people who don't) Nov 6, 2016 at 22:15

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