While translating the bolded sentence in the following paragraph, I find myself unable to translate the 何も, as my genki textbook, the online dictionary I am using, and the online textbook I am using all say that 何も is used in negative sentences, or only give translations for it's use in negative sentences only.

体力も神経も使い果たし、疲{つか}れ果てて泥{どろ}のように眠{ねむ}る毎日が続く。 余計なことを考える暇{ひま}もなければ、夢を見ることもない。やがて、そ んな生活に慣れはじめると、今度は物事をじっくりと考えることが苦痛になってきた。その時々の課題をクリアすることに、全力で取り組んでいる間は、何も思い悩{なや}んだりせずにすむ。

I'm ninety percent certain the bolded sentence isn't being negated, so how do I go about translating a 何も in a positive sentence?

  • You say you're 90% certain it isn't negative but what about the せずに part? Jan 18, 2021 at 13:19
  • @user3856370 Hold up, hold up, the adverb せずに is negating the sentence?
    – Toyu_Frey
    Jan 18, 2021 at 13:20
  • 1
    Not the whole sentence, just the 何も思い悩んだりせずに part = "without (doing things like) worrying about anything" Jan 18, 2021 at 13:28

1 Answer 1


You're correct that 何も is a negative polarity item that means "(not) at all". But you seem to have missed せず is a negative verb that roughly means しないで.

As long as you put all your energy into completing the task at hand, you don't have to worry about anything at all.


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