Grammar Info

N2 Lesson 9: 23/23

も~ば~も

…And…, Both ... and ..., ... And ... as well

Structure

Noun (A) + Verb[ば]+ Noun (B)

Noun (A) + [い]Adjective[ば]+ Noun (B)

Noun (A) + [な]Adjective + なら + Noun (B)

Noun (A) + Noun + なら + Noun (B)

Details

  • Register

    Standard

  • 使用域

    一般

About も~ば~も

も~ば~も is a construction in Japanese which presents aspects of something to which both (A) and (B) are true. も will be connected to a noun, before the hypothetical marking particle ば will appear following a verb, い-Adjective, な-Adjective, or noun. In the case of nouns and な-Adjectives, なら or ならば will be used.
In this way, も~ば~も just highlights that 'If (A) is true, then so is (B)'. This usually just emphasizes that (A) and (B) are things that go together hand-in-hand, with one trait or characteristic always existing if the other does. Standard translations include 'both (A) and (B) are (C)', or 'the trait of (C), is in (A) and (B) as well'.
  • (とう)さんはイタリア()出来(でき)、スペイン()(はな)せる。
    My father can speak Italian and Spanish.
  • 日本(にほん)(ふゆ)湿度(しつど)(ひく)けれ温度(おんど)(ひく)いから(そと)()使(つか)(とき)()をつけないといけない。
    Winter in Japan is cold and dry, so you have to be careful when using fire outside.
  • このギターの(おと)()なら(がら)()きなので、一生(いっしょう)手放(てばな)したくありません。
    I like the sound and the design of this guitar, so I never want to let it go.
  • マルチ商法(しょうほう)(はなし)()くたびに、(だま)(ほう)(だま)(ほう)なら(だま)される(ほう)(だま)される(ほう)だといつも(おも)う。
    Whenever I hear about pyramid schemes, I always think that if the scammers are scammers, then the scammed are scammed. (I always think that the scammers and the scammed are both at fault.)
Caution
With も~ば~も, both traits must be things that share some sort of mutual connection. This means that both (A) and (B) will either be positive, neutral, or negative, but never a mixture of any one.
  • あの居酒屋(いざかや)のスタッフの態度(たいど)よけれ値段(ねだん)(たか)いから人気(にんき)がある。
    The attitude of the staff at that izakaya is good and it is expensive, which is why they are so popular. (Unnatural Japanese)

Examples

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  • (かれ)は、スポーツ上手(じょうず)にできれ仕事(しごと)効率(こうりつ)よくできる。

    He can play sports well and do his job efficiently.

    • 彼女(かのじょ)地位(ちい)なけれ(かね)ない。

      She has neither status nor money.

      • 総理大臣(そうりだいじん)は、経済(けいざい)見直(みなお)しできれ人権(じんけん)問題(もんだい)解決(かいけつ)できそうです

        The Prime Minister looks like he can reform the economy and resolve human rights issues.

        • (かれ)撮影(さつえい)できれ、ナレーションできる。

          He can do photography and also narration.

          • あの曲芸師(きょくげいし)は、茶碗(ちゃわん)(まわ)せれ座布団(ざぶとん)(まわ)せる。

            That acrobat can spin a tea cup and spin a cushion.

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            も~ば~も – Grammar Discussion

            Most Recent Replies (6 in total)

            • DarkConfidant

              DarkConfidant

              Is there any known reason why it uses the えば form? It never seems to be hypothetical.

              I would love to understand this

            • Fuga

              Fuga

              Hey there @DarkConfidant !

              This ば form used here is how it was used in old Japanese and it seems like it is still being used here. Before 〜ば was used for hypothetical situations, it was used to describe how something ‘has already come true’, this form is called 已然形. For example, 彼は、スポーツも上手にできれば、仕事も効率よくできる。If we translate this sentence with the 已然形 in mind, this sentence has the nuance of ‘He can already play sports as well as he can work efficiently.’ Here, できれば does not mean ‘if he can do’, but ‘it is true that he can already do’.

              We hope that this answers your question!

            • DarkConfidant

              DarkConfidant

              Thanks! That helps a lot!

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