Grammar Info

N3 Lesson 4: 3/21


No matter how (much)


いくら + Verb[ても]
いくら + [い]Adjective[ても]
いくら + Noun + でも
いくら + [な]Adjective + でも


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About いくら〜でも

In a similar way to どんなに~ても, いくら~でも is regularly translated to 'no matter how (A), (B)'. However, unlike どんな (which is an abbreviation of どのような), いくら is a noun that comes from the kanji (いく)ら, meaning 'how much'. When partnered with ても (with verbs and い-Adjectives), or でも (with nouns and な-Adjectives), the literal meaning means 'however much (A), (B)'.
With いくら~でも, the (B) part of the phrase will usually highlight something that is being negated, giving the phrase it's 'no matter how much' nuance.
  • あの(ひと)いくら()ても(なに)()らないよ。
    No matter how much you tell him, he won't change.
  • いくら(あたら)しくても()としたら(こわ)れる()まってるじゃん。
    No matter how new it is, of course it is going to break if you drop it!
  • あの(ひと)ことがいくら(きら)でもそんな(こと)()たら可哀(かわい)そうだよ。
    No matter how much you dislike them, that is a hurtful thing to say.
  • いくら(おれ)でもそんな(おも)いものは()ないよ。
    No matter if it is me, I can't lift something that heavy. (Even if it is me, who is strong, I cant lift something that heavy)
Despite this trend of being used in sentences that contain ない or ありません, いくら~でも may also be seen in positive sentences. In these cases, despite not being negative, the (B) phrase will still be something that is surprising/unexpected in some way (due to its extent or amount).
  • 相談(そうだん)ならいくらでも()てあげるよ。
    I'll listen to you vent however much you need.
  • 菓子(かし)ならいくらでもあるから()だけ()っていきな!
    As for snacks, I have plenty, so take all you want!
Fun Fact
(いく)ら places more emphasis on the 'amount' of something, while どんなに places more emphasis on the 'type', or 'style'. Due to this, いくら will be a better choice when the 'volume' of something is being highlighted, while どんなに will sound more natural when the 'state' is being discussed.
  • (かね)はいくら(はら)てもいいのでその(くつ)(わたし)(くだ)さい。
    I will pay however much for those shoes, so please let me have them! (Amount only)
  • (かね)はどんなに(はら)てもいいのでその(くつ)(わたし)(くだ)さい。
    I will pay whatever sort of money for those shoes, so please let me have them! (Possible amount or type. Dollar, yen, euro, etc)
Despite this small difference, いくら and どんなに are used fairly interchangeably in most situations.




    No matter how quickly I do it, I won't finish before Saturday.


    No matter how much they cry, they won't cry themselves out.


    Before finding Bunpro, no matter how much I studied grammar I couldn't understand it.


    No matter how cute your grandchildren are, it's not good to buy them whatever they want.


    No matter how hard I try, I can't compete with him.

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いくら〜でも – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (3 in total)

  • seanblue


    Why do you only cover いくらでも and not arbitrary question work + でも?

  • Pushindawood


    @seanblue Is this what you are looking for? We felt that grammar structures like いくらでも and どんなに~ても would benefit from having their own, dedicated grammar pages. Cheers.

  • conan


    I’d be curious to see this expanded on too. Integrated Approach gives more examples:
    いつ見ても no matter when (I/we/you) look
    何を食べても no matter what (I/we/you) eat
    どこへ行っても no matter where (I/we/you) go

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