Consider these three lists:

In the verb-te form + ごらん structure, it seems that only the verb 考える needs to have も. (It seems that 考える can be used without も, but a cursory look over at Google suggests with も is more commonly used on the internet.)

Does this change the meaning at all? Why is the the case for 考える?

  • What exactly are you searching Google for? For "考えてもごらん" or "考えてもご覧" (quotes included) I get roughly 100k or 400k results respectively; but for "考えてごらん" or "考えてご覧" (again, with quotes) it reports close to 14 million or 4 million results. Which is to say, it looks like with も is actually used less commonly on the Internet. (And then of course, there's the whole fuzziness of Google's reported results, anyway.) Commented Oct 14, 2012 at 6:23
  • @SomethingJapanese: Just "考えてもごらん" (without quotes) and "考えてごらん" (without quotes). I was looking to see if they actually matched the search results (for て I found a lot of results did not actually have just the て, but for ても most of them actually did...if that makes sense). Commented Oct 14, 2012 at 21:21

1 Answer 1


I believe the も basically just acts as emphasis. This is supported by weblio's definition of ても (連語): 「て」を強める意を表す。

You could think of 考えてごらん as "You should think about it.". It's a straightforward suggestion.

By contrast, 考えてもごらん is "You should really, totally think about it, trust me, just do it!". ...But actually, I guess that only parallels one sort of case. In another case, like (from the sample sentences)...

Just think of his being a cabinet minister! / The idea of his being a minister!

it's more like "Just think about it, even for a second! (and you'll realize how crazy it is)". In any case, some sort of emphasis, like those.

In the sample sentences, that emphasis mostly seems to be accomplished with "Just (think about it)" (which is my first thought, too). So to put it simply, I'd consider it like the difference between, "I mean, think about it. There's no way it's real." and "I mean, just think about it! There's no way it's real." The latter kind of makes it sound a bit more like it should be dead obvious.

  • Once you strip out the colloquialisms and 尊敬語 (politeness), is there really any difference in meaning between the pairs 考えてご覧/考えてもご覧 and 考えて見て/考えても見て?
    – Tim
    Commented Oct 14, 2012 at 7:14
  • @Tim Weblio's definition of ごらんなさい suggests ご覧なさい and 見なさい are indeed technically equivalent, politeness and whatnot aside. I'm not entirely sure whether there's any other subtle differences or not, though. Part of me says maybe there is, and part of me says maybe that's just the effect of the politeness level I'm thinking of. Commented Oct 14, 2012 at 7:40

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