I've read Need help with translating 今更聞くのもアレなんだけど and Meaning of a sentence with Aが言うのもなんだけど and other considerations, and understand that in a construction like 聞くのもアレなんだけど, アレ and なん are functioning as filler words in place of words that the speaker is too abashed to use. However, what I don't understand is the usage of も in these phrases. How would 今更聞くのアレなんだけど differ from 今更聞くのアレなんだけど? The latter I would translate directly as "Asking now is a little weird, but..." while I would translate the former as "Asking now is also a little weird, but...." However, the answer given in Need help with translating 今更聞くのもアレなんだけど seems to translate 今更聞くのアレなんだけど as "Asking now is a little weird, but..." (no "also"). Why is that the case? What does も do in these constructions?

  • 1
    The も is this... japanese.stackexchange.com/a/55281/9831 (12) さりげなくとりたてて、文意をやわらげる。一歩引く気持ちで、その判断をやわらげる。
    – chocolate
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 11:10
  • 1
    Maybe "も makes a sentence reserved" is one way of putting this. For example そうではない is direct "That's not true" but そうでもない is much milder, "Well that's not quite true".
    – naruto
    Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 3:40

3 Answers 3


The も is neither "also" nor "even".

The も is used in the sense of definition #12 in 明鏡国語辞典:

も 🈩〘副助詞〙
⓬ さりげなくとりたてて、文意をやわらげる。

These threads might be of help: What is the difference between 「とは限らない」and 「とも限らない」 / Usage of も in a Specific Context


I believe that it functions as 'even' does in English, in the sense of something surprising or extreme.

For example:

自分が言うのあれなんだけど - 'Even if I do say so myself.'

私が説明をしようとして... - Even if I tried explaining...

十時間寝ました - I slept a whole 10 hours.

I believe that the English essence of 今更聞くのもアレなんだけど would be:

Even asking at this late date is a little...you know.

Maybe not the best explanation, but until a better one comes along I hope it is useful.

  • "even" for も is a good explanation. (+1 upvote)
    – user20624
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 10:19
  • I still don't see how "even" fits. In terms of meaning or nuance, what's the difference between「今さら聞くのなんだけど、まだ、聞かなければいけないと思う。」and「今さら聞くのなんだけど、まだ、聞かなければいけないと思う。」, and why is the latter preferred? Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 10:32
  • using 聞くのもアレ shows hesitance/reluctance/impropriety, whereas 聞かなければならない just means must/have to. Adding 思う just makes it 'I think I must ask'. With のもアレ, the feeling that you're trying to convey is one of humility and reticence. Using 聞くのはアレ would just be 'Asking at this late date is a little...', while substituting も for は strengthens the expression of reluctance. Regarding your question about 'why the latter is preferred', which do you mean by latter?
    – BJCUAI
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 10:58
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    Agree with Chocolate's answer.
    – BJCUAI
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 18:50

(A) 今更聞くのアレなんだけど
(B) 今更聞くのアレなんだけど
(C-1) 今更聞くのは憚{はばか}られるのだが/憚られるのだけど
(C-2) 今更聞くのは恥{は}ずかしいのだが/恥ずかしいのだけど





  • フォローありがとうございました:)(実際にうちの答えより全然分かりやすかったと思う)
    – BJCUAI
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 11:06

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