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「たとえ + ても」 vs just 「ても」, what is the role of たとえ? Is it just emphasis or something more?

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You could possibly label the usage as "just for emphasis", but without 「たとえ」, the contrastive conditional simply would not sound "complete" or even "right". If the other native speakers here disagreed, I would like to hear from them.

That is because, according to me, being emphatic is an essential part of the contrastive conditional to begin with. Imagine eliminating the word "even" from the English contrastive conditional sentences using "even if". Would the sentences still sound the same way without "even"? I would doubt that very much.

Thus, I would suggest that you learn 「たとえ + ても/とも/としても, etc.」 as a set phrase.

Nothing to do with the question, but you will occasionally encounter the word's alternate spelling 「たと」.

  • Thank you for the answer, I have a small question about "emphatic" here, what does it actually mean? I see it often as "emphatic particle" etc and I am never sure what does author actually mean. I tried looking for that but it feels as if every person means something different by that "emphatic". Also, to sum up, ても/でも by itself is shortened version of the whole phrase being たとえ/たとい + ても? – personanongrata May 16 '18 at 16:07
  • 私は呼応の副詞の意味は強調のためじゃなく、次に言うことが本文でなく副詞節にすぎないことを示す前置きみたいなものだと思います。これが disagree なのか agree なのかは微妙ですが。 – user4092 May 17 '18 at 12:08

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