I was wondering if anyone could help confirm my understanding of these sentences below:

敵は その規模も力も強大だ…


I'm mainly thrown off on how to interpret the その and double も in the first sentence.

My best guess is that the その points back to 敵 in a way and more or less is "their scheme / plan they have". But it makes me wonder why it couldn't just be 規模も力も強大だ if a meaning like "their scheme" is or could be implied.

When it comes to the first も, I assume this one is for emphasis. Where as the second も is intended to be understood as a "and / in addition to X".

So in the end I interpret this whole thing as:

The enemy has a scheme, it's effective and powerful...

With a lackluster military force we'll meet our demise.

Overall context: A person is trying to seek help from a group in order to fight an enemy. After explaining what is going on and the group coming to terms with the situation, the above line is said by the original person explaining everything.

  • There is a possibility that that その refers to something else that was mentioned earlier and has something to do with 敵, such as 戦力.
    – aguijonazo
    Commented Apr 11, 2023 at 8:25

1 Answer 1

  • 規模 is "scale" or "size", not "scheme". Since 力 is contrasted with 規模 here, I think 力 mainly refers to the power of individual soldiers and weapons.
  • This その refers to 敵. It is purely optional here, but if present, it adds a mild literary or stilted flavor.
  • The two も are listing particles that have a nuance of "all/both (of A, B, C, ...)". 私は猫も犬もハムスターも好きです means "I like (all of the) cats, dogs and hamsters". Note that も replaced が.

The enemy is formidable in terms of both scale and strength.

Just in case you're still unsure, compare the following:

  • 彼は性格がいい。
    He has a nice personality.
  • 彼は顔も性格もいい。
    He has both a good-looking face and a nice personality.
    (lit. As for him, both the face and the personality are good.)
  • I did see that 規模 had a meaning of "scale" or "scope". But I picked "scheme" as I see that 規模 can also mean "plan" and it seemed to make more sense at the time. However, I do see a lot more phrases like 規模の経済 (economies of scale). So I guess 規模 is more rooted in the "scale" meaning Commented Apr 11, 2023 at 18:32
  • Anyway, using your も...も... animal example and matching up 強大 with 好き, we get something like "an enemy who's scale (規模) and strength (力) are powerful (強大).", which matches your interpretation. I'm taking that the second or final も (the one after 力), instead of the first one (the one after 規模), has been changed from a が like you mentioned in your 3rd bullet point. Do I have that correct overall? If so, could the sentence have been "敵は(その)規模も力が強大だ" ? Or will も...も... always end with a も? Commented Apr 11, 2023 at 18:32
  • @Tylersanzura I found 規模 used to mean something like scheme in archaic Japanese, but this sense is 100% obsolete. And unlike と or や, in "AもBも(CもDも...)", all items must be followed by も.
    – naruto
    Commented Apr 11, 2023 at 22:44
  • Ah, I see. I expected it to follow how と or や works in this case. Thanks for the follow up and explanation. Much appreciated! Commented Apr 12, 2023 at 3:11

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