Use of 事 in 何事も

I read a phrase in a manga and need help understanding part of it grammatically.

The phrase is: 楽しくいこうぜ何事も

It’s translated as: “Happily face anything!”

The part I’m confused about is the 何事も. I know 何も can mean anything or nothing depending on the context, but what is the 事 doing in there? I had learned こと as a verb nominalizer or as “thing”.


Not trying to be patronizing, but just checking if you looked at a dictionary first.


As I said I understand 何も means anything and nothing. And that 何事も also means anything and nothing. But what is the こと doing in 何事も, does it have any effect at all? When would one use 何事も instead of 何も?

This might help: Question words and particles – Learn Japanese

Thanks. I used to say nounify.

a nounified verb: hiking is fun.
a verbified noun: let’s table the motion.

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何も only means “anything” in the negative sense (e.g. “He couldn’t do anything”).
何事も can also mean “anything” in a positive sense, such as in your example.

see also

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A bit of a tangent:
Note there is several versions of nominalising a verb in English: “hiking” / “hiker”
Sometimes you can also the “-ed” form as a noun: “the accused”
With some other verbs “-ee” is used: “employee” “appointee” etc

Japanese distinguishes between the concrete nominaliser もの (“the thing X’ed”) and the abstract nominaliser こと (“the matter of X-ing”)
Then there is の which can work either role.

A bit more on topic: I wonder whether 何事も is also restricted to the abstract but I’m not sure.

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I think this is one of those set phrases situations where you would not translate word by word instead memorize the phrase and learn which context to use it.

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It’s just one word. なにごと. This is no different from any compound. The 事 is not “playing a grammatical role.”

I don’t understand any of the discussion about nominalizers and whatnot. This is like 事 in 物事 or 仕事. It’s just… part of the word.

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So true! It should be learned like one word.

US born native speaker here, so can’t necessarily justify this from a grammatical perspective. I’ll say that 何事, in this case, is probably easily translated as the difference between “no matter what” (何が起きても) versus “no matter what happens”(何事が起きても). I’m actually not confident on the verb in the second part there, but hopefully you understand the point that I am trying to make?

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