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According to jlptsensei and other sources (google), for the 何も〜ない construct, all of verbs, nouns, and adjectives can be used. But however, from all of the sources and my intuition, I can't find examples of using either noun nor adj. in this construct. Does anyone have any examples? Or is it that only verbs are used here?

e.g.

  • 何もしていません (verb: する)
  • 何もしたくないです (only class of adjectives I can think of stems from a verb, e.g.: したい)
  • この話題について何も知っていることがない (verb: ある)

but, I don't see how nouns and other adjectives fit in here, e.g.:

  • X 何もケーキじゃないです
  • X 何も熱いじゃないです
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  • What are you trying to say with something like 何もケーキじゃないです? Do you know how to naturally translate the three bulleted points into English or what the 何も〜ない structure conveys?
    – A.Ellett
    Aug 3 at 0:00
  • Do you want 何 to be the subject of the sentence, or is 何も working as an adverb, like 全然, also good?
    – aguijonazo
    Aug 3 at 0:06
  • @A.Ellett exactly the "X" in front meant this sentence does not make sense
    – nayfaan
    Aug 3 at 0:48
  • @aguijonazo 何も working as an adverb
    – nayfaan
    Aug 3 at 0:48
  • I knew what you meant by the X, but I was wondering whether you had in mind a meaning that you were trying to achieve (even if initially you knew you were missing the mark). Essentially, I was asking for clarification.
    – A.Ellett
    Aug 3 at 3:44
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With an i-adjective, you can say:

この本は何も面白くない。
This book is not interesting at all.

何も熱くないよ。
It's not hot at all!

Keep in mind that i-adjectives don't take だ.

With a noun, for example you can say:

彼には何も欠点がない。
He has no faults at all.

何も欲しいものはない。
I want nothing at all.

Use 何も only in the context of choosing one type of thing from many possibilities. When the noun is countable and you want to say there is not even one, you should use 1つもない, 1本もない, 1円もない and so on. Compare the following:

ここには何も本がない。
There is not even one (type of) book here whatsoever.

ここには1冊も本がない。
There is not even one book here.

EDIT: If you wanted to say "This is not a book by any means", you should say まったく instead. (何も is not incorrect in colloquial speech, though)

これはまったく本ではない。
This is not a book by any means. (It's a tablet.)

これは絶対に本ではない。
This is absolutely not a book.

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  • 1
    I think OP is looking for examples that match the pattern 何も〜ではない for nouns. They listed an example with ない as one using a verb (ある).
    – aguijonazo
    Aug 3 at 0:32
  • @aguijonazo I edited my answer, but I assumed OP wanted to say "There is no cake" rather than "This is not a cake by any means". The original link seems to be a fairly elementary introduction of 何も + ない.
    – naruto
    Aug 3 at 0:42
  • @naruto, exactly, I was trying to say that the 何も〜ではない doesnt make sense to me, but none the less it was listed on most reference sites, so i was thinking if I was missing something
    – nayfaan
    Aug 3 at 0:51
  • @naruto for your answer in い-adj., didnt know they could be used with 何も〜ない I always used 全然〜ない for adjs. also, i think the ない adjs should take だ just like everything else for formal constructions? e.g. この本は何も面白くないです。
    – nayfaan
    Aug 3 at 0:54
  • 1
    @nayfaan Note that this type of 何も has a connotation of "whatsoever", "no matter what" or "by any means". In a sense, 全然 is simpler. 何もケーキではない can mean "This is not a cake no matter what", but I think it's better to use まったく in formal speech.
    – naruto
    Aug 3 at 0:56
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You could use a noun with 何も to express your opinion that something doesn’t qualify as the said noun at all.

何も悲劇ではない。
It is not a tragedy at all (although some may call it a tragedy).

何も名案ではない。
It is not a good idea at all (although some may claim it to be).

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  • hmm... interesting, have not come across these kind of usages anywhere else yet. Does that translate to English in the lines of something like "There is nothing about this that is a [tragedy]"
    – nayfaan
    Aug 4 at 1:15
  • @nayfaan: It’s hard for me to tell the difference between “X is not Y at all” and “there is nothing about X that is Y” in English. The Japanese doesn’t necessarily mean “no portion of X is Y” if that’s what you are asking. It's basically the same as denying the whole of X as Y with まったく. It’s usually used with nouns that express one’s judgment or evaluation, not those that reference concrete stuff such as ケーキ and 本.
    – aguijonazo
    Aug 4 at 9:08

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