In both these sentences, what does でも mean? (I think I know the meaning of the sentences, just not the particles)


I know that is a particle that can denote location or mean something like "by means of". I know that is a particle that means too, either, etc. I also know that でも can mean but, but this doesn't seem to be the case.

Do both particles acquire different meanings or do they become some sort of particle themselves? Or do they simply retain their meanings, but combined have a different one?

Thank you!

P.S.: I do not know any kanji, hence I wrote in kana and hope you can too.

  • I am not sure where you have difficulty. でも in these sentences are just a combination of で and も, and if you know that で means “by means of,” you should be at least able to figure out the meaning of the first sentence. Commented May 28, 2012 at 20:14
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    @TsuyoshiIto: Wait, does it ask if it is "ALSO ok to use a card" or just if it is "ok to use a card"? Because I thought it was the latter.
    – JNat
    Commented May 28, 2012 at 20:17
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    @JNat word of advice, do not try to make literal translations. Like Tsuyoshi Ito says, this should be a no brainer. You already got it, you're just trying force english word on top of it, stop that.
    – gibbon
    Commented May 28, 2012 at 20:21
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    @gibbon: I was really trying to understand if も had a meaning I didn't know about. But I see the translation should always be more loose, right?
    – JNat
    Commented May 28, 2012 at 20:24

3 Answers 3


It can be loosely translated to "even".

で is "with", and も is "also", so you put them together and makes "also with", or "even with"...but we generally wouldn't say that in English, so it becomes "even": "You can even pay by card".


Here でも means "even" or "also".

Even a card is OK?

Even in Nagoya (they) sell (them)?/ It's sold even in Nagoya?

Depending on context it can also mean:

It's also sold in Nagoya?

see this example for reference:

群馬のある民宿でも売っています。 There is a lodge in Gunma that also sells them.

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    However, note that there is another use of でも that cannot be translated as "also", but rather "or something". ピザでも食べない? "Want to go grab a pizza or something?"
    – Amadan
    Commented May 31, 2012 at 16:06

もいいですか is a common expression in Japanese asking for permission. For example, "can I do". While the particle で has multiple meanings depending on the context, here it means "by means of" or "with.

Together the first sentence means "Is a card okay?". Since Japanese leaves out a lot of words, the full sentence would probably be "Is it okay [to pay / use] a card"

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    I would also like to add that it isn't help to say answers should be obvious. Obviously, if the solution was obvious no one would have posted the question. This is a question and answer forum. Please don't be rude or demean people's questions.
    – MXMLLN
    Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 1:24

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