I can not understand very well the meaning of もう in "もう腹ペコだ". Looking online, the majority of the traslations say that "もう腹ペコだ" simply means "I'm starving/I'm very hungry".

So, my first interpretation of that もう is that it is used as interjection to strengthen the expression. Is it correct or not?

But, anyway, もう means also "already", so I wonder if "もう腹ペコだ" can means also "I'm already starving".

1 Answer 1


The meaning of 「もう」 in 「もう腹ペコだ。」 actually depends on the context.

Possible meanings:

"I'm already hungry."

"I'm really hungry."

"I'm hungry now."


Without context, this is all I could say. In speaking, believe it or not, 「もう」 is pronounced differently depending on what meaning it is being used for.

  • Mmh, mine was a general question, but I was thinking at cases that I've heard in two anime, in the first episode of DBZ/DB Kai and the episode 4 of Gurren Lagann. In both cases, the もう isn't a "もう~," . Both can be heard more or less at the beginning. About the first case, here the dialogues: Chichi (searching for his son, Goku occurs): 悟空さ, 悟飯は? Goku: オラ もう 腹ぺこだ。(Yeah, its' a pun XD) Chichi: 何 言ってるだ! 悟飯ちゃん 見なかっただか? About the second case, two character are training very hard. One of them, the protagonist, at some point say "もう... 腹ペコだ!
    – Daroro814
    Jan 10, 2018 at 11:28
  • In the first case, I really don't know which can be the best translation and if that "もう" can be undestood both as "very" and "already". About the second case, I think that can be intended simply as "I'm really hungry", but I'm not sure at all.
    – Daroro814
    Jan 10, 2018 at 11:33

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