is an adverb used to emphasize the nuance of ‘if’, with expressions like と
, and ても
. Literally, the meaning of もし
is close to ‘while slight’, or ‘while small’.
To use もし
, simply add it to the beginning of any phrase that uses one of the conditional expressions listed above.
If we were to compare him to an animal, he resembles a cat. (Even if you only slightly compared him)
If you can come today, please do. (If, on the slight chance you can come)
If your head still hurts, you should go to the doctors. (If, on the slight chance it does hurt)
If you go shopping, can you buy some snacks? (If, on the slight chance you do go)
Even if it rains, we will still go to the amusement park. (If, on the slight chance it does rain)
もし is sometimes seen written as 若（も）し, a kanji which has the meaning of ‘low in (A)’, (also seen in the word 若（わか）い ‘young’). It is from this kanji that もし gets its meaning of ‘while low in (probability, number, age, experience)’.