I'm reading Japanese Harry Potter (賢者の石)I am nearly at the end and there is this grammar that I have encountered twice so far that I have no idea how to interpret. The two sentences with this grammar that I have found:

  1. 男が、街中でハリーとしっかり握手までしてそのまま一言も言わずに立ち去った。
  2. ちょうどあの日にクイレルに会っているし、「漏れ鍋」で握手までしたじゃないか。

My attempted translation would be:

1: In the middle of town, a man shook hands firmly with Harry and then left without saying a single word. 2: It was that very same day when he met Quirrel at Leaky Cauldron and shook hands with him (wasn't it?).

I find it strange that both times this structure was paired with the word 握手 although I feel like that's probably just a coincidence.

I have no idea what the までして (I'm assuming it's from までする) means here. Using まで as "until" makes no sense to me here and using the meaning "even" which apparently まで can have as well makes little sense to me either. Any help is appreciated, thank you.

  • Why do you think 'even' makes no sense? Since you're happy with まで meaning 'until' maybe you could think of 'even' as 'go as far as to ...'. Commented Apr 6, 2020 at 13:30
  • @user3856370 That's not what I meant, I meant that the "even" meaning doesn't make sense in the context of the two example sentences that I gave. In other usecases, I can see it working but not here.
    – andrewb
    Commented Apr 6, 2020 at 14:06
  • In town, a man went so far as to shake hands with Harry, and left without saying a word. Seems to make sense to me. Shaking hands with someone you don't know who then just silently leaves seems to me to be an act worthy of some emphasis. Sure 'even' is a terrible translation, in this context, and mine is only a little better, but sometimes you can't make a direct translation. Commented Apr 6, 2020 at 14:20
  • @user3856370 hmm when you put it that way, it makes sense actually. Thanks! If you would like to post it as an answer I will upvote it.
    – andrewb
    Commented Apr 6, 2020 at 14:29

1 Answer 1


Both まで basically means "even". 握手までする means "even to shake hands", "to bother to shake hands", "to go as far as to shake hands" etc.

The second sentence is straightforward:

You've met Quirrell on that very day, and you even shook hands (with him) at Leaky Cauldron!

I understand it's a little difficult to use even directly in the first sentence, but "he even shook hands (and...)" is the basic meaning. You may rephrase it like "even though he shook hands" or "after even shaking hands".

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .