In an IMABI tutorial on the は-particle, the following sentence is presented:


which translates to

I like dogs, but cats...

What's throwing me off here is どうも. According to the dictionary, its meaning can be any of the following:

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In this case I assume it's functioning as a trailing Adverb (not an interjection). Is this the case? If so, none of those provided meanings seem to translate to "but...", as far as I can I tell.

Does anyone have any insight on what どうも is doing here (as far as literal translations go)?

3 Answers 3


A good way to think about どうも is "in every way (this way and that way)". The どう is "how" and when you add も we essentially get "every how way".


I like dogs, but as for cats, in every way (this way, that way, any way)... [I can't seem to like them.]

This definition is great when どうも is used to mean "Thank you" as well. For example if someone held the door open for you, you literally are saying: "In every way... [thank you]"


How about thinking of it as "no matter how hard one may try (to, not to)" in definition #5?

Lit. I like dogs but, speaking of cats, no matter how hard I try (to like them)...


The #5 in jisho looks like missing in the definition of 大辞泉, but I suppose the intention is what Chocolate's answer described.

That said, it is more proper (in terms of 大辞泉) to understand it as somehow. 大辞泉's def #2 has the following:


The bolded example is exactly the same as 猫はどうも..., where 苦手だ is omitted. That is, but comes from the contrast between the preceding 犬は好きです and the omitted part.

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