2005
10.19

Nuance

x と y に行ったことがない。
x にも y にも行ったことがない。

When I came up with these sentences and asked the difference, my language exchange partner was stumped, but insisted there is a significant difference. Perhaps the も example implies that x & y are only two of many places which haven’t been visited yet while xとy does not?

I pointed out that we can use も in situations like the following, although perhaps this is more simple than the above?

お茶が好き+コーヒーが好き>お茶も好き、コーヒーも好き。


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  1. Basic meaningは同じだけれど、
    下の言い方はそのことを不満に思っている感じがする・・・。上の言い方はただ事実を述べただけ、かな。
    This is only my opinion, though. I’m not sure…:-(

  2. みよ、ありがとう!やはり微妙に違いますね。

  3. You’re welcome, Darren. Good luck with your JLPT test! 😛

  4. Yes, I agree that one difference is と is exclusive: it implies that the list includes all options.
    I’d translate each of your examples idiomatically as follows:
    x と y に行ったことがない。
    I haven’t been to x or y.
    x にも y にも行ったことがない。
    I have been to neither x nor y.
    To me, this gives the ○○も version a stronger sense that the list could be indefinitely extended, while the ○○と version is an exhaustive list.
    I think the way に is applied in each case is also revealing. Applied once to the whole list (xとyに), the sense is that a pre-formulated list of places is where you haven’t been; while applied to each item in turn (xにも yにも) gives a sense of itemising places as they occur to you.

  5. Thanks for the comment. I get what you are trying to say about と providing more of an exhaustive list.

  6. Taking a stab:
    I think maybe
    X to Y ni itta koto ga nai
    COULD imply that you haven’t been to X and Y (leaving open the fact that maybe you had been to one or the other, but not both)
    whereas
    X ni mo Y ni mo itta koto ga nai would explicitly state that you’ve never been to either.
    In either case, I’m sure that the second one is much more explicit that you’ve never been to either. Ask Sensei if this is the differnece

  7. Ryan, I’m not too sure about your answer, though I can’t fault your logic! Thanks for the input.

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