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I was just introduced a new grammar point, the も~も construction as shown on https://core6000.neocities.org/dojg/. I understand the main function of も and how it is the inclusionary particle and I can follow along with most of the examples for the grammar point that the site provides, but I can't make out how sentences with ば (I've only known the form to be the conditional. Haven't done grammar lookups in j-j dictionaries) are working.

One of the samples sentences provided is

彼は親戚でもなければ友達でもない。

and the english interpretation is "He is neither a relative nor a friend." My question is how does なければ, what I would think would be the ば conditional of ない, work here? Literal English translations aren't doing me much good here if I try and translate this taking ば as the conditional. Can someone help me understand how this is working?

  • Oddly, couldn’t find a relevant 明鏡 entry. – Darius Jahandarie Jan 9 at 0:50
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    @Darius, 明鏡、「ば」🈩〘接助〙❾の、"《「AもすればBもする」の形で》同類の事柄を並べて述べる。…もするし…もする。…でもあり…でもある。「雨もふれば風も吹く」「職もなければもない 」" ←これじゃないかな? – Chocolate Jan 9 at 2:32
  • Nice, missed that, thanks! – Darius Jahandarie Jan 9 at 3:11
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Perhaps a better translation might be "Whilst he is not a relative, neither is he a friend."

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