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強いもなにもあるもんか

From this panel:

cheeky kid who claims to have just learned go challenges his grandfather to a game of go without a handicap, naturally the grandfather is skeptical

I originally read this phrase as meaning something like "There's no way you are strong or anything at all!" but then I noticed that there is ある in the phrase and now it is bothering me, what grammatical purpose is it doing here when 強い is an い adjective?

I know that 強いもなにも is the 〜も何も construction that is discussed here, is using 強い as an "example" of what quality the grandfather believes he doesn't have. and i know that もんか asserts disbelief in this case as explained here, so he's saying that he doesn't believe the kid is strong at all. But why would it take ある?

Unless I'm overthinking it here and the ある is actually just attaching to なにも, so that it becomes a sort of compound phrase combining the two phrases:

強いもんか There's no way you are strong!

なにもあるもんか There's no way you have anything!

7

The most generic form is AもBもない, which is a way to say "It's not a matter of A or B" or "It's not even worth discussing whether it's A or B". A and B are nouns or the dictionary forms(*) of adjectives/verbs. The B part can often be なに ("(or) other", "(or) something"). ない can be replaced by other emphatic negative expressions including ありはしない, あるか(よ), あるもんか, あったものではない and あるわけがない. Sometimes the ない part is completely omitted because AもBも can work as a negative polarity item.

* Strictly speaking, it may be attributive form.

  • いいも悪いもない。
    It's not a matter of good or bad. (It's not worth mentioning.)
  • 好きも嫌いもない。
    It's not a matter of whether I like him or not. (I'm not even interested. / I don't even know him.)
  • 悲しいも何もなかった。
    I was so shocked that I didn't feel sad.
  • 傑作も何もあったものではない。
    It's nowhere near a masterpiece.
  • ゾンビを殺すも殺さないもあるか。ゾンビはもともと死んでいるんだ。
  • どうもこうもあるもんか。/どうもこうも。
    It's out of the question! It's indescribably bad! [or] We have no choice!
  • 見るも何も…。/見たいも何も…。 (as a reply for "Wanna watch that movie?" when you do not even know the movie)

In the manga in question, the man said it was not even worth discussing whether the boy was strong because he seemed to be a true beginner.

See Also:

  • はっきり説明した答えをありがとうございました! – Janusz ヤヌシュ Jan 10 at 14:24

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