何も知らない。— Can you read this sentence and understand what it means?

何も知らない。— Can you read this sentence and understand what it means?

Level 6+ should know all the kanji, but the meaning of the sentence might be tricky to guess (though it is a very useful expression!)


Vocab

何 LV.5: What.

知る LV.6: To Know.


Let’s break it down!

何も

何’s meaning “what” changes to “nothing” when it is used with the particle も and followed by a negative verb (知らない in this case).

知らない

The negative form of 知る. So it means “don’t know”


The answer:
Reading: なに も しらない。
Meaning: I don’t know anything.

Bonus info💡
The 何も rule applies to other interrogative words 誰(who) and どこ(where).
誰もいない。= There’s nobody.
どこも行かない。= I go nowhere.

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I dont understand anything

Or I dont get it
x)

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My initial guess was “What else don’t I know?” or “What else don’t you know?” but the breakdown was helpful. I have a lot to learn–certainly learned something about one use of “mo”.

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I really liked this post it was very helpful for me, I’m level 10 but I didn’t know about this usage of も. Thank you :smiley:

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Thank you for your time to make these. They are very useful and (of course) informative.
Please give us more of these and once more, thank you for your time making these.
Really appreciate it. :heart:

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It’s surprisingly regular!

何 ・(なに)か ・(なに)も ・(なん)でも = what, something, nothing, anything
どこ・どこか・どこも・どこでも = where, somewhere, nowhere, anywhere
だれ・だれか・だれも・だれでも = who, someone, noone, anyone
いつ・いつか・いつも・いつでも = when, sometime, never, always

The negative ones often trip me up a bit though, because they only mean that in a negative sentence. (I think. Not an expert…)

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Wow, I didn’t know all these. I realised by myself the similarities of どこ - どこか and だれ - だれか but that was all. Now some things became a little bit easier. :smile:

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That’s just a consequence of も plus a negative sentence.

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:brain: :bulb:

Thanks. Wow, I never made that connection before. Let’s see if it’ll stick.

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Thank you for this interesting example of も.

Would 何も分かない also be an acceptable usage? I guess it would mean “I don’t understand anything”?

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It would, though I think you mean 分からない or 分かんない

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Ah yes, thanks for the correction. I meant 分からない.

One of the best examples of that sentence structure is that movie:

誰も知らない, or Nobody Knows, a great and very sad movie about abandoned children.
Thanks to it, I never forget about that one!

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@selfinvoking
Both are used though - 分かんない is simply the colloquial form.

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Or the substandard one that kids are always using, 分かんねえ!

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Nope, I don’t understand anything :wink:

I must say I love how this exact sentence was picked for a “do you understand” :rofl:

Hm, I probably forget about the も doing it, but have come across this exact line before and learned it from context =)

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Ohhhh this is neat!

What a 懐かしい, and such a good movie!
Maybe I’ll watch it again this weekend.

My guess was “how can it know that?!” But it know nothing.
Thank you sensei!

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