What does "わけでもない" mean in this sentence:  


Is it わけ (referencing to the circumstance of not having pen and paper) + でもない? Or is it just わけではない with も instead of は.


わけ is attached to the phrase いつも紙とペンを持っている, in other words that/the case that i will always have a pen and paper

でもない is modifying わけ, in that it is not really that わけ

putting the two together, it's not the case that i will always have a pen and paper

in terms of the difference between も and は in this sentence for でもない・ではない, from Meaning of 「という訳でもないのだが」 :

"~という訳ではない" is a common set phrase which corresponds to "That is not to say ~" or "That doesn't mean ~", referring to what was already stated. Using でもない instead of ではない adds "not in particular" or "not really" feelings to the sentence.

I think this somewhat applies here. The basic grammar is ではない but でもない sounds more natural because でも instead of では has a nuance of "even" because of the "also" aspect of も.

So to give a more colloquial translation, "It's not like I'll always have a pen and paper" as opposed to "I will not always have a pen and paper"

  • Ⅰ was think the same about でも meaning "even" but I wasn't sure that でもない could have that nuance too – Jon Jan 20 '17 at 2:37
  • 1
    Hm, it's a little hard to explain but it isn't necessarily the meaning of "even" that's at play, but more the fact that, say if I asked someone これですか? and they replied それでもない, that would mean that I either previously asked them a similar question about what it is, or something related to it, literally "it's not that [either]," but in this case the も might be referring back to the fact that she forgets things in general, も as in like, "there's another problem as well" – frei Jan 20 '17 at 3:41

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