I know the translation of the sentence, but I don't understand some structures. Is もし from a verb? And what does いくら mean here?


1 Answer 1


You are parsing it wrong.


In parts,

車を運転する時は means "when you drive a car" and explains in what circumstances the latter part of the sentence applies.


いくら = how much to / to what degree

注意 has two meanings. Either to warn someone or to be mindful of something.

して = て-form of する

も - this makes it a pattern いくらVても - "no matter how much". In this case, roughly "how careful you are"

しすぎる = し is the stem of する and すぎる is to do something too much. ~ことはない = there is no such thing as ~.

So for the whole:

When driving a car, there is no such thing as being too careful.


When you're driving a car, you can never be too careful.

  • 3
    I think you can understand it by saying a second 注意 has been left out: いくら注意しても注意しすぎることはない (perhaps left-node raising). I have the feeling, though, that this is an attempt to approximate the English expression "can't be too careful" rather than a natural way to express a similar idea in Japanese.
    – user1478
    Jan 10, 2017 at 2:11

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