What's new

Welcome to Japan Reference (JREF) - the community for all Things Japanese.

Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

何も + noun

Davide92

Kouhai
Joined
8 May 2017
Messages
96
Reaction score
3
Hi guys! I found this sentence in my textbook:

別に何も音がしなかったです。"No particular sound was heard".

I don't often see 何も next to noun, as if it's modifying it. I usually find 何も on its own, like the English pronoun 'nothing'. Except 何も isn't a pronoun. It's an adverb, right? So maybe in this sentence 何も is similar to 全然 (sounds weren't heard at all) ?

Also, are there any typical contexts where one would use 何も + noun? I've looked this up to no avail.
Thank you.
 
Joined
21 Jun 2017
Messages
703
Reaction score
96
何も is modifying する, not 音. It's just the 何も~ない construction, just perhaps with a different word ordering than you've seen before (remember that Japanese is not particularly based on word order, so often you can put words in completely different spots no problem; this is just an example of that). I assume you've learned about this construction, right?
 

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Moderator
Joined
22 Feb 2008
Messages
17,074
Reaction score
3,308
As Julie-san already answered correctly, and as you already realized, 何も is an adverb which modifies the verb しなかった, not the noun 音, so the word order 別に音が何もしなかった, or even 音が何も別にしなかった is also acceptable.

As for the difference between 何も and 全然/全く, 何も cannot be used for animate objects, thus, 人が何もいなかった or 鳥が何もいなかった is invalid. You need to use 誰も for people, or "1+counter+も" for animals (人が誰もいなかった/鳥が一羽もいなかった, 人が一人もいなかった is also OK).

Furthermore, 何も has a meaning of "any kinds of", so it cannot be used for specified things.
e.g.
〇この部屋には家具が何もない。
This sentence is valid since many kinds of furniture are possible, such like chair, table, bookshelf, etc.

×この部屋には椅子が何もない。
On the other hand, this is invalid since chair is already specified. You need to say 椅子が一つもない instead.

Here's other examples.
〇食べ物を何も食べていない。
×パンを何も食べていない。

〇花が何も咲いていない。
×桜が何も咲いていない。

〇服を何も着ていない。
×Tシャツを何も着ていない。

全然/全く can be used for all these cases, including animate objects or people.

〇食べ物を全然/全く食べていない。
〇パンを全然/全く食べていない。
〇鳥が全然/全くいなかった。
〇人が全然/全くいなかった。
 

Davide92

Kouhai
Joined
8 May 2017
Messages
96
Reaction score
3
Julie-san, Toritoribe-san, thank you for your answers. Looks like I was making a major mistake. I've learned about 何も~ない in the past but I thought 何も was an indefinite pronoun just like English 'nothing'. I suppose that's how it's normally translated in basic sentences like 1) 何も食べなかった, 2) 何もしなかった, 3) 何も知らない and 4) 何もありません. So, in all these sentences 何も is technically an adverb, right?

Also, Toritoribe-san, thanks for clarifying 全然/全く/何も. I think I get it now.
 

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Moderator
Joined
22 Feb 2008
Messages
17,074
Reaction score
3,308
In 何も音がしなかった and all the examples in my previous post, 何も is an adverb that describes the manner/state how the subject does or the object is done (people don't exist at all, I don't eat food at all, I don't wear clothes at all, etc.) since the subjects (音, 家具/椅子, 花/桜, 人/鳥) or objects (食べ物/パン, 服/Tシャツ) are already there. However, in your examples #1~4, there's no problem to interpret that 何も is an interrogative pronoun 何 + the particle も for complete denial (e.g. 誰も来ない, どこにも行かない, どれも正しくない) since there is not any subject/object other than 何も in the sentences. It's like "I didn't eat at all" vs. "I didn't eat anything./I ate nothing". Both interpretations are possible for #1, but the meanings are the same, anyway.
 

Davide92

Kouhai
Joined
8 May 2017
Messages
96
Reaction score
3
I see, that makes sense. I suppose finding lots of sentences having 何も but no other explicit subjects/objects made me overlook the adverbial usage of 何も. Much clearer now, thank you very much!
 
Top Bottom