Recently I found an intereseting sentence pattern "てもいない".

聞いてもいない in 聞いてもない話を聞かされる

やってもいない in やってもいないことを出来ないと言わない

話してもいない in いきなりマイナス!?話してもいない相手への印象を悪くする行動

思ってもいない in 思ってもないことを平気で言える女

The question I want to ask is, is it possible to omit the も, or it would sound wierd?

  • 2
    ericさん 原文は「聞いてもない」「思ってもない」だったのになんで「聞いてもいない」「思ってもいない」に変えちゃうの
    – chocolate
    May 9, 2018 at 13:57
  • @Chocolate, I edited it because the question was about “てもいない” pattern, so the parts that said "てもない" were obviously typographical errors on the part of the questioner. May 9, 2018 at 14:24
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    「聞いてもない」「思ってもない」are not typographical errors. These are just common shortened/contracted forms.
    – chocolate
    May 9, 2018 at 14:34
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    ^ 間違い・タイポでもないのに原文勝手に変えちゃうってどうなんですかね・・・
    – chocolate
    May 9, 2018 at 15:47
  • 1
    The unnecessary editing obviously needs to be canceled. Someone who knows how to do it, please do it.
    – user4032
    Dec 23, 2018 at 4:05

2 Answers 2


I think this も is close to "even".

You can rephrase your examples as 聞いてさえもいない話, やってさえもいないこと and 話してさえもいない相手.

You can omit the も and the sentence loses the meaning of "even".


Omitting the も would change the verb to mean something slightly different.

聞いてもいない = not even listening 聞いていない = not listening

やってもいない = not even doing it やっていない = not doing it

and so on.

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    This answer appears to suggest that ~ている is progressive ('is V-ing') while ~ている is perfective ('have V-ed'), but I don't think the choice between the meanings of ~ている depends on whether or not も is there. One good reference for the meanings of ~ている, freely available online, is Mamori Sugita's 2009 dissertation: mamori.com/Sugita2009.pdf
    – user1478
    May 9, 2018 at 11:54
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    「聞いていない」"haven't even heard" 「やっていない」"haven't even done yet" って書くなら、「聞いていない」「やっていない」には "haven't heard" "haven't done yet" を書かないと比較にならないのでは・・?「聞いていない」、「やっていない」は "haven't heard yet", "haven't done yet" って意味と "is not hearing (now)", "is not doing (now)" の(少なくとも)両方の意味があるので。
    – chocolate
    May 9, 2018 at 13:28
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    I'll try rephrasing. Your answer suggests that the difference between these two meanings (be V-ing and have V-ed) depends on whether も is there. However, it can have either meaning regardless of whether も is there.
    – user1478
    May 9, 2018 at 14:03
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    Hmm, we don't appear to be communicating very effectively. I'll try a third time. No, I do believe the "even" meaning changes; that's what も adds in this case, as Yuuichi Tam points out. But your answer suggests that the examples with も have the 'have V-ed' meaning, while the examples without も have the 'be V-ing' meaning, which is strange since simply adding or removing も shouldn't cause that shift in meaning, particularly when the rest of the sentence gives enough context to understand which of the aspectual meanings ~ている should have.
    – user1478
    May 9, 2018 at 14:39
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    ^ As I said in my previous comment, 「聞いていない」「やっていない」can mean EITHER "I haven't heard" "haven't done" OR "I am not listening" "I am not doing", depending on context. 聞いてない in 「何それ、聞いてないよ!」 would naturally be interpreted as "I haven't heard", rather than "What, I'm not listening!"
    – chocolate
    May 9, 2018 at 16:16

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