I read on Jisho.org that the も particle can mean:

  1. even if; even though; although; in spite of​. Often as 〜ても, 〜でも, 〜とも, etc.

I was translating「事故だったと言っても」, and I was wondering how the meaning changes. From my current understanding, it could mean:

  1. Even if you said it was an accident...
  2. You also said it was an accident...

The full sentence is 「事故だったと言っても信じてもらえないんですよね。」("...I would not believe you.")

When can も be taken to mean 'even if'? From the Jisho example, it says ても, and the Japanese quote uses て-form for 言って, with も right after, so does it only mean 'even if' after a て- formed verb?


1 Answer 1


That entry for も in JMdict (main dictionary of jisho.org) is a little misleading.

J->J dictionaries define ても as its own construct to have the meanings "even if", "even though", among others. The precise formation is

verb/adjective (連用形) + ても (sometimes でも or っても depending on the verb/adjective)

This is the formation used in the sentence you provided.

Now, it is true that も can also mean "even if", "even though", etc. just like ても -- so JMdict isn't wrong in that sense -- but there's a caveat. The usage of も in this way has different formation rules than ても, and it's an "old-fashioned" style of phrasing according to 明鏡国語辞典 第二版:

▶ 古風な言い方。

Formation for this usage of も is

[verb (連体形) / adjective (連用形)] + も

Side notes:

  1. You gave two ways to interpret 「事故だったと言っても」. The first one is possible. The second interpretation is not possible, grammatically speaking.

  2. If a person A is the one saying 「事故だったと言っても信じてもらえないんですよね。」, that person A cannot also be the one who could not be convinced that "it was an accident", so you should re-evaluate your "...I would not believe you." translation.

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