After studying the difference between もう and まだ (which seems clear to me now), I realize that there seems to be two different words spelled もう, which apparently have different pitch accents; high to low for the もう meaning "already", low to high for the (additive?) もう meaning "another".

Are they actually different words and are those definitions correct? I don't seem to find much information concerning the pitch accents as well as the proper definitions in Japanese dictionaries (because my level is too low and Google Translate isn't accurate).

1 Answer 1


もう meaning "another" does have a low-high pitch accent and is used like this:

  • もう【LH】3分
    another three minutes
  • もう【LH】1回
    once more
  • もう【LH】少し
    a little more
  • もう【LH】片方
    the other one (of a pair)

もう meaning "another" is always followed by another word, and is pronounced like one compound (see this discussion).

Still, two monolingual dictionaries I checked explain those two types of もう under the same entry, so they're two different usages of the same word.

  • Thanks for your really great answer, I also particularly appreciate that you used examples in it! Are those monolingual dictionaries you speak of available online? Or would any monolingual Japanese dictionary be okay?
    – Gyabu_7
    Commented Nov 14, 2022 at 15:45
  • @Gyabu_7 One is デジタル大辞泉 available for free here. The other is 明鏡国語辞典, whose online version is available here but it's not free. I suppose all monolingual dictionaries have similar definitions and examples, though.
    – naruto
    Commented Nov 14, 2022 at 15:54

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