Grammar Info

N1 Lesson 5: 15/17

でもなんでもない

Not at all, By no means, Definitely not, Nothing like that, Not really

Structure

Noun + でもなんでもない
[な]Adjective + でもなんでもない

Details

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    Standard

  • 使用域

    一般

About でもなんでもない

でもなんでもない is a structure seen after nouns or な-Adjectives in Japanese to indicate that something is 'definitely not (A)', or 'not (A) at all'. This is a combination of the adverbial particle でも 'even', the adverb (なん)でも 'whatever' or 'anything at all', and the い-Adjective ない 'not'. Due to this, the literal translation of 'not even (A) or anything of the sort' reflects the desired nuance.
  • (おれ)はファンでもなんでもないよ、ただあの(ひと)作曲(さっきょく)した(きょく)()くのが()きなだけ。
    I am not a fan by any means. I just like listening to the music he produces.
  • あっ、あの(ひと)ですか?友達(ともだち)でもなんでもないですよ、なんかさっき(きゅう)(はな)しかけてきたので(はな)していただけです。
    Oh, that person? They are not my friend at all. They just came up to me and started talking to me so I was just talking to them.
  • 迷惑(めいわく)でもなんでもないですよ、ゆっくりしていってください。
    It's not bothersome at all. Please take your time.
  • ()でもなんでもない(ひと)からそんなこと()われても全然(ぜんぜん)(うれ)しくない。
    I'm not at all happy to hear such a thing from someone I don't like or anything.
でもなんでもない may be used either positively or negatively. When being used positively, it often has the translation of '(A) is no big deal'.
Caution
Although not as common, some sources list the conjunctive form of い-Adjectives partnered with もなんでもない as another possibility.
  • あいつとは(わか)れたけど、ひどい(やつ)だったから、(かな)しくもなんでもない
    I broke up with him, but since he was such an awful person, I am not sad or anything.
  • これ(おも)もなんでもないじゃん。
    This isn't heavy at all.

Examples

--:--

    AがBをいじめている、A:「ただの(あそ)びだ・・・」
    B:「(あそ)でもなんでもないよ、ただの(いや)がらせじゃないか。」

    A is teasing B, A: 'I'm just playing with you...'
    B: 'This is definitely not a game! Aren't you just harassing me?'

    友達(ともだち)との(はなし):A:「ごめんね、迷惑(めいわく)かけちゃったよね。」
    B:「ううん。(べつ)迷惑(めいわく)でもなんでもないよ。」

    Chat between friends, A: 'Sorry. I have caused you troubles.'
    B: 'Nah. There was no trouble at all.' (definitely not)

    研究室(けんきゅうしつ)後輩(こうはい)(はい)(とき)後輩(こうはい):「お(いそが)しいところを、すみません。」
    先輩(せんぱい):「いえ、仕事(しごと)でもなんでもないです。ただの調(しら)べごとですよ。」

    Laboratory, junior enters, junior: 'I am sorry to bother you when you are busy.'
    Senior: 'No, I'm not really working at all. I'm just reading up on (articles, data).' (definitely not)

    「これは偶然(ぐうぜん)でもなんでもないんです、()こるべくして()こったんです。」

    'It is not a coincidence at all. It was sure to happen.' (definitely not)

    AとBから(はな)れた位置(いち)(ひと)について(はな)す、 A:「あの(ひと)(だれ)恋人(こいびと)?」
    B:「恋人(こいびと)でもなんでもない。ただの()()い。」

    A and B talk about a person some distance away, A: 'Who is that person? Girlfriend?'
    B: 'She is not my girlfriend at all. Just an acquaintance.' (definitely not)

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