Grammar Info
N5 Lesson 7: 8/13

Already, Anymore

もう + (Past) Phrase
もう + (Negative) Phrase
Part of Speech Adverb
Word Type Ordinary
Register Standard
品詞 副詞
単語の種類 一般
使用域 一般
In English, もう is regularly translated to ‘already’, or ‘anymore’, depending on if it is used in a positive-past (already), or negative (anymore) sentence. The reason that Japanese only requires one word for both of these nuances is due to もう literally meaning ‘something has unexpectedly ended’.
  • 朝(あさ)ごはんもう食(た)べ
    I already ate breakfast. (Although you probably didn’t expect it, I have already eaten breakfast)
  • もうお金(かね)ない。
    I don’t have any more money. (Although you probably didn’t expect it, I have no money)
From these sentences we can see that もう can be translated in each case as the following.
(Past) - Although expected to not be done, it is. ‘Already’, in English. (Negative) - Although expected to still be going, It isn’t. ‘Anymore’, in English.
This is the opposite of まだ, which means ‘something is unexpectedly still going’.
もう may also be used to ask questions. This is when the speaker thinks that something ‘might’ have ended, but wants to confirm.
  • もうデザート食(た)べ
    Did you already eat dessert?
Fun Fact
もう is often used simply as an expression of exasperation (giving up on arguing), to show that someone has already reached the point of not wanting to continue.
  • あ~もう無理(むり)。
    Ugh, that's enough. (I've had enough, I’m done arguing/continuing)
Slow Male
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Did you already go to school?
I have already read that book.
I already made coffee.
Marugoto Elementary 1 (A2) Rikai
Page 80
みんなの日本語 I
Page 50 [CH 7]
Marugoto Elementary 2 (A2) Rikai
Page 80
[DBJG] Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar
Page 254