Grammar Info

N1 Lesson 3: 10/17


To the (bitter) end, Stubbornly, Persistently


あくまで(も) + Phrase


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About あくまでも

()く is the old-fashioned and somewhat poetic version of ()きる the る-Verb meaning 'to tire of (A)', or 'to get sick of (A)'. When used in conjunction with the adverbial particles まで 'until', and も 'even', ()くまでも will imply that (A) is being done 'persistently', 'stubbornly', or 'to the bitter end'. The more literal translation of 'to continue (A) even to the point of getting tired of it' fits these interpretations quite well.
()くまでも will often come at the beginning of sentences before going on to describe that thing that is being done persistently.
  • 容疑者(ようぎしゃ)あくまでも自分(じぶん)がしたことを(みと)めようとしませんでした。
    The suspect stubbornly refused to admit what he had done.
  • (わたし)たちはあくまでもあなたのお()さんを()つけるつもりです!
    We intend to look for your child until we can find them!
  • 彼女(かのじょ)あくまでも子供(こども)たちには秘密(ひみつ)にしておこうと(おも)っていたが、これ以上(いじょう)子供(こども)たちには(うそ)をついていられないと(おも)い、子供(こども)たちに(すべ)てを(はな)した。
    She thought that she would have kept it a secret from her kids till the bitter end, but she couldn't lie to her children any longer, so she told them everything.
も is not required, and ()くまで may sometimes be seen without it. However, as the phrase is quite strong, it is far more common for も to be included to highlight the emphasis.
  • 犯人(はんにん)のことなら(わたし)にお(まか)せください!あくまで(かれ)(つか)まえるまで(さが)(つづ)けるつもりです!
    Leave it up to me to find the culprit! I intend to look for them until I catch them!
Due to the persistence that the verb ()く itself can highlight, it will often be seen together in sentences that include words like つもり 'intention', to show that someone intends to do something regardless of the consequences.
Despite ()くまで being a combination of ()く and まで, it will appear in most dictionaries as a standalone adverb in modern Japanese.




    I will fight against injustice to the end.


    If you (stubbornly) insist on doing this, I won't stop you. (to the end)


    Despite political pressure, she opposed the new tax to the bitter end.


    I have heard that the defendant insists on claiming his innocence until the bitter end.


    Vice Director Ira stubbornly didn't change her decision. As a result, we had no choice but to shelve the project. (to the end)

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