It is my understanding that using the either the particle も or まで can both indicate surprise that the noun is included within some context.

(I'm not that advanced in Japanese yet so I apologise for mixing English and Japanese into the example. Hopefully I got the idea across).


English: "Even children own phones!"

Japanese: "childrenも phonesを own!" v.s. "childrenまで phonesを own!"

Are these particles interchangeable in this context?

  • I feel like まで would put emphasis on the ubiquity of phones, whereas も would emphasize that even children own phones. (Non-native and would not consider myself an expert) – Angelos Apr 15 '19 at 19:37
  • By the way, it would be something like「こども『も・まで』けいたいをもってる」 – Angelos Apr 15 '19 at 20:36

In this case, using 「まで」 would be just fine, but using 「も」 by itself would be a little too weak to serve the purpose of expressing one's surprise.

The most often used (therefore, most natural) particle choices here would be:

「こども + まで/までも/でも/さえも/でさえも + 携帯{けいたい}を持{も}っている。」

Among all those choices, 「まで」 and 「でも」 are on the informal side, and 「でさえも」 would be the most formal and emphatic.

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