In grammar textbooks I see the 〜ても pattern clearly defined, but recently I've encountered a similar usage of も that I can't find a good explanation for. Here are two examples:

国民栄誉賞を打診されるもこれを固辞

(from the monologue at the start of a 僕のヒーローアカデミア anime episode)

とりあえずググってみるも、どの機器がいいか分からない

(from a RocketNews24 article, talking about being unable to find the right electric shaver)

Is this a casual pattern, or maybe an abbreviation of another pattern? From context it seems similar in usage to 〜ても, or maybe even just 〜けど, but I'm not sure of the nuance.

up vote 3 down vote accepted

It is an old fashioned way of saying ても. In old Japanese, particles were directly used after verbs' 連体形, without needing a nominalizer such as の or こと. Nowadays, using a particle that way when it's normally used with a nominalizer is considered archaic, so mostly used in literature or formal situations.

https://kotobank.jp/word/%E3%82%82-644757

[接助]形容詞・形容詞型活用語の連用形、動詞・動詞型活用語の連体形に付く。逆接の意を表す。…とも。…ても。…けれども。「見たくも見られない」「努力するも報われなかった」

The dictionary form + も behaves quite different from te-form + も.

Firstly, it is relatively more bookish. I don't mean you can't use it for a casual topic, but you have to keep the sentence that contains this conjunction in a detached style, like academic or journalistic writing. You can't use it with final particles (ね/よ etc.). Using it in polite ending (です/ます etc.) sentence is not prohibited, but ですが or でしたが would be more suitable.

Secondly, the focus is different.

  • X-ても Y: Y even (though) X
    an expression that implies X was what had near-highest expectancy not to end with Y, but still Y.
  • X-るも Y: X, only to Y
    describes that the result Y is disappointing from the standpoint of someone did X. You can take it as a nuanced version of -けど and -が "but". X always in dictionary form even if the event is past.

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