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Context: a guy has invited his girlfriend over to study, and the girlfriend finds a dirty magazine. The following exchange takes place:

男 : 香奈さん? 今日はテスト勉強しにいらしたのでしょう?
女 : 何が勉強だし! どうせ千秋はこういうことばかり考えてたんでしょ!
男 : そんなことないけど…

Why did he say も here instead of saying そんなことないけど or something similar? I can't quite figure out in what sense the particle is being used. It doesn't seem to me a case of it being used in the sense of "even," or trying to show how big of a thing something is. It also doesn't immediately make sense to me for it to be in the sense of "also"; in that case it would mean "that's not the case" (in addition to other things not being the case), but the only way I can make that make sense is if I assume what he means is "I didn't invite you over for that, but I may not have invited you over to study either."

2 Answers 2

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The も is used in the sense of...

も 🈩〘副助〙* 
⓬ さりげなく取り立てて、文意をやわらげる。...
㋐《多く、文末表現に使って》一歩引く気持ちで、その判断をやわらげる。...
「その件なら知らなくない」「そんな感じがしないでない」
(from 明鏡国語辞典)

The も softens the statement. 「そんなことない」 sounds softer and less decisive/assertive than 「そんなことない」.

* 明鏡国語辞典 categorizes 係助詞(binding particles) as 副助詞(adverbial particles).

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  • なので・・・千秋くんは、多少「こういうこと」を考えたんでしょうね・・
    – chocolate
    Commented Jul 29, 2017 at 12:19
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I will logically strenghen ǝʇɐןoɔoɥƆ's answer.

  • Aだ。 It is 100% A.
  • Aもだ。Bもだ。 It is 50% A.
  • Aもだ。Bもだ。Cもだ。 It is 33% A.
  • Aもだ。 It is less than 100% A.

So, the も softens the statement. "Aもだ" sounds softer and less decisive/assertive than "Aだ".

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