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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.

2 Answers 2

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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 this construct is 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」

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  • In modern day, does ~て (as in ~ても) function as a nominalizer? Jan 18, 2020 at 23:20
  • Yes, the te-form is nominal although it isn't a noun. It's comparable to an English gerund. XXしても "also in the case of doing XX" -> "even if [omitted] does XX / XX is done". The te-form contributes the "ing". Jan 23, 2022 at 17:45
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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 sentences with polite endings (です/ます etc.) 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 who 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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