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Whats the difference in using a たとえ in a sentence. For example:

たとえ行かなくてもいいんだ

行かなくてもいいんだ

From what I understand, even without using たとえ, the sentence already mean " even if you don't go, it's ok". So what's the point in adding たとえ?

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1 Answer 1

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Let's compare some sentences:

1A くびになっても真実を言うつもりだ。 1B たとえくびになっても真実を言うつもりだ。

2A 本当だとしても証拠がない。 2B たとえ本当だとしても証拠がない。

3A 彼が何と言っても言うことを聞くな。 3B たとえ彼が何と言っても言うことを聞くな。

1: Even if it costs me my job, I will tell the truth.

2: Even granting that it's true, there is no evidence.

3: No matter what he says, you must not listen to him.

In these examples, the meaning of A and B are practically the same. Even though A don't have "たとえ", they already imply the meaning of "even" ("ても" functions as "even if").

But B (using "たとえ") emphasize the part "even if". The first part of each sentences may not happen, but even if it happens, the second part wouldn't be changed.

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  • so all たとえ does is it places and emphasis on the "even if"? whereas without it, it's a weaker even if?
    – Newbie
    Commented Apr 5, 2020 at 12:27

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