The sentence


apparently translates to

Tom's loud snoring kept me awake all night.

Question: What is the role that the も particle is playing in this sentence (via "一睡も")? I know it typically means "also", but it doesn't seem to make sense here?


1 Answer 1


Here, も isn't being used to mean also but rather (not) at all or (not) even.

So, the phrase 一睡もできなかった here is referring to the speaker's inability to get even a small amount of sleep, which is translated to/inferred as being kept awake all night

  • 3
    FWIW, も can mean "even" even in non-negative contexts, too.. You really need to choose between interpreting it as "also" or "even" depending on which seems more appropriate in the context.. if "also" doesn't seem to make sense, then it probably means "even". Sometimes it can even sorta mean both at the same time (for example, the classic phrase「猿も木から落ちる」("Even monkeys fall from trees"))
    – Foogod
    Commented Aug 2, 2022 at 18:11
  • @Foogod That's a good point - thanks for mentioning it ^^
    – Basil
    Commented Aug 2, 2022 at 21:44

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