But, if by chance when I break across, it would be awful if I were to run over a kid.

I'm trying to understand what the でも means in でもしたら. The author earlier states:

でもしたら or でもしようものなら--"(even) if you were". This pattern attaches to the 連用形 of a verb.

I'm assuming the でも is not the conjunction particle ("but"), but rather でも = ((the て-form of だ) + も)? So a slightly more literal translation becomes something like:

But even (でも) by chance running over a kid, if it would be done (したら), would be bad.

Is this the case?

Then, this "is-even" (でも) is used to convey a sense of hoping that something doesn't come true:

The conditional たら is used neutrally, while the でもしたら expresses a condition you feel against and hope doesn't come true.

1 Answer 1


This でも is neither a conjunctive nor で + も, but a particle meaning "~ or something".

轢きでもしたら is 轢いたら with でも added. If you know how to attach a contrastive-wa (or も, すら, etc) to a verb, this follows the same pattern of 連用形 + particle + する.

  • Is the でも in 「便せんがなかったらないで、コピー用紙でもかまいません」 another example of this usage? Rough, semi-literal translation: "If you don't have stationery, then you don't have it; either way, copy paper (or something like that) isn't an inconvenience."
    – George
    Commented Feb 8, 2023 at 22:33
  • 1
    @George No, it's で (with/by) + も (also/even/too). "I'm fine with copy paper, too".
    – naruto
    Commented Feb 9, 2023 at 2:46

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