てもいい break down


#1

Hi all!

I more or less understand how to use てもいい, but I’d like to understand it a bit better mechanically.

Specifically, is も a particle and いい good, or is もいい kind of it’s own word? If it’s an idiom/phrase that doesn’t make sense when broken down literally that’s okay, but I find it useful to know if that’s the case anyway.

Thanks!


#2

It’s more that ~ても is like “even if” or “even though”. So it’s like “if you do this, it’s okay”.


#3

I think I get what you’re saying…

So for this sentence: “テレビを見みてもいいですか”
“May I watch tv?” Is the natural translation, but a more literal translation is something like “Even if I watch TV… It’s all good?” does that sound about right? Thanks!


#4

Yeah, pretty much.


#5

I think its worth nothing too, the も is surplus.
Its somewhat causal, but you can follow て directly with いい
テレビ見ていい?
Stuff that follows て also directly follows it in terms of occurrence.
So literally, “watch tv, its good”.

The も just sort of softens it up a little and is more, indirect sounding?
In Japanese, more indirect = more polite as a rule of thumb.


#6

I was thinking further on this, and had one more bit of confusion. How can て be apart of the word ても, when it is already apart of the word it is inflecting? If the te is a part of both words - while strange - I could learn to get my head around it.

P.S. Did you do an account reset? I recall you helping me out before XD


#7

These are good questions you’re asking.

I don’t think Leebo meant to imply that ~ても is a word, but rather it is a commonly used grammatical construct meaning “even if” or “even though”. The ~て part means a verb in the the-form, which is why the ~ is there before the て.

This construct can be used in may ways. Another example is this type of usage:

たくさん食べても、太りません。

Even though (or even if) I eat a lot, I don’t gain weight.


#8

I booked marked this for future reference thanks


#9

It’s not ても as though that is a word. I wrote 〜ても, noting that it’s part of an inflected verb. The も is a normal も particle, but this grammatical structure means “even if”.


#10

I think I got it now. Thanks for the further info!

I got a little confused at first because ても appeared to be defined as a word on jisho.


#11

Well, the part of speech is listed as “particle”. The て in the て form is sometimes considered to be a particle that comes after an inflection of a verb. I’ve heard of that way of thinking about it, but usually beginners are not taught it that way. And then if you do consider it a particle, then ても is a compound particle, like では, etc. But it couldn’t exist on its own, it would only come after the first half of what we would call the て form, so there’s no functional difference, it’s just a matter of how you analyze the parts.


#12

That makes a lot of sense. Thanks!


#13

That’s really interesting. I’ve never thought of the て itself as a particle, but it makes way more sense in that context.

I kind of wish it was taught that way to beginners. I feel like a lot of concessions are made to get people going, when in the long run misunderstandings are being created. I digress though.

If I understood you correctly you can view, te, mo, and “temo” all as particles in their own right.

I’d still like to break down では a little bit further one of these days too, but perhaps I’m digging myself a little too deep!