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When casually browsing through A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar, one of the example sentences for 〜なくなる has left me puzzled.

この郊外{こうがい}も地下鉄{ちかてつ}が来{き}て不便{ふべん}ではなくなった。

This suburban area is no longer inconvenient because there's a subway now.

My understanding of this sentence is as follows:

  • この郊外 (this suburban area)
  • も (?)
  • 地下鉄が来て (because the subway comes [cause])
  • 不便ではなくなった (stopped being inconvenient any more)

Is the meaning of も the one of a "non-assertive subject"? Seems somewhat odd to me, but then, I'm a beginner.

  • 1
    You used 「わ」 three times. Does your book use that instead of 「は」? – l'électeur Nov 13 at 23:13
  • Ah, my bad. Thanks for noticing! – Mike Hordecki Nov 13 at 23:32
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も is a very common particle. Some describe it as "inclusive", and it's often translated as "even / also / too".

In this particular context, the も implies that "even this suburb[an area]..." The underlying value judgment is that the subway is just so darn convenient, that it makes things so much better even in this area outside of the downtown.

Side note:

Don't rely (just) on translations to try to understand the nitty-gritty of Japanese grammar. There are so many things about Japanese that just don't fit very well into an English sentence. (Vice versa too, where English grammatical concepts don't translate well into Japanese, such as the "a" vs. "the" distinction, or plurals, or gender, etc.)

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