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Two kids are playing 'house' ままごと. The speaker is happy. The person she is speaking to has just suggested that it's pointless.

「まったくおとうさんは現実的なんだから。さあ、テレビでも見てちょうだい。ほら、キンちゃんがでてるわよ」
Good grief, it's because you're pragmatic. Come now, please watch TV. Look キンちゃん is on.

I'm either failing to understand でも or ちょうだい in this sentence. I thought verb-てちょうだい meant 'please do verb'. In which case I can't make sense of でも with a meaning of 'even' or で+も as two separate particles.

My initial thought is that I am misunderstanding ちょうだい. If I take it to mean 'won't you do' rather than 'please do'. Then I can have "Won't you even watch TV?"

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    Does it say 「見て」 and not 「見てて」? – l'électeur Jan 3 '17 at 0:11
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「まったくおとうさんは現実的{げんじつてき}なんだから。さあ、テレビでも見{み}てちょうだい。ほら、キンちゃんがでてるわよ。」

Easier item first -- 「~~てちょうだい」. The only thing this can express is a friendly request. No exceptions. "please do ~~"

Next, the not so easy -- 「でも」. Here, it does not mean "even". It is used to give an example instead of making a clear statement. "~~ or something" rather than "this or that". Please know that this usage of 「でも」 is very common.

「コーヒーでも、どうですか?」 ("How about grabbing a coffee or something?")

「ひまなら助詞{じょし}の勉強{べんきょう}でもしたら?」 (If you have spare time, why dontcha study Japanese particles or something?)

「テレビでも見てちょうだい。」 means:

"Why dontcha watch TV or something!" or "Please watch TV or something!"

  • 2
    Great answer; I believe this is the same usage of でも in テニスでもしませんか? – Michael K Mar 21 '17 at 17:38

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