Two kids enter a classroom and see a stranger sat at the desk of one of them. The one whose desk it is starts crying:

For that desk was indeed this crying child's own desk. ??? child was already halfway to starting to cry.

I'm confused by もひとり which I can't find in a dictionary. I had two thoughts:

1) Maybe もひとりの子 means 'the other child' but I can't find もひとり in a dictionary.

2) Maybe も is just a conjunction with the previous sentence. Earlier on I saw が at the start of a sentence, so it wouldn't surprise me. But if it is just も、ひとりの子 then I would read it as "Also, one child was about to cry", but that's a weird thing to say. We already know that one child is crying, so it surely isn't referring to that child. In English you would say "the other child" (of the original two kids) or "one of the other children" (of the original two plus the stranger). Maybe the Japanese don't make this distinction because they think it's obvious.

Is either of my guesses correct?

2 Answers 2


もひとり is a colloquial, contracted pronunciation of もう[一人]{ひとり}. You're right that もひとりの子 means 'the other child'.

Similar examples:

もう[一]{ひと}つ → もひとつ
もう[一回]{いっかい} → もっかい
もう[少]{すこ}し → もすこし 


もひとり is short for もうひとり. Proper way is もうひとり. If you say もうひとり fast, it sounds like もひとり。 that’s probably why it’s written that way. Or sometimes kids say it because it’s easier for them. Anyway, in writing, もひとり is incorrect. If you are speaking both of them would be fine.

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