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Fukuyama Masaharu-ga mō saikō-datta-no! (Masaharu Fukuyama was really fantastic!)

Situation 1: Mr. Mita asks his colleague, Ms. Gray, about yesterday’s concert.

三田: きのうのコンサート、どうだった?

グレイ: 福山雅治がもう最高だったの! 感激しちゃった。

Mita: Kinō-no konsāto, dō-datta?

Gray: Fukuyama Masaharu-ga mō saikō-datta-no! Kangeki-shichatta.

Mita: How was yesterday’s concert?

Gray: Masaharu Fukuyama was really fantastic! I was deeply moved.

Today we will introduce some uses of もう and まったく, which help to emphasize something when speaking. もう is used when the speaker gets emotional and wants to emphasize their feelings of excitement. Usually もう attaches to an adjective that expresses a high degree, such as 最高 (さいこう, superb, fantastic), すごい (great), 大変 (たいへん, very hard) or verbs of feeling, such as 驚(おどろ)く (to be surprised), あわてる (to be upset), 怒 (おこ)る (to get angry) or 笑 (わら)う (to laugh). Examples: この仕事(しごと)はもう大変(たいへん)だったんだ。 (This work was really hard.) いやだ、もう恥(は)ずかしい (Oh no! How embarrassing!) みんな彼(かれ)の演技(えんぎ)にはもう笑(わら)っちゃったよ。 (Everybody laughed really hard at his performance.) もう is also used by itself to show the speaker’s anger, disappointment or embarrassment. 「ごめん。遅(おそ)くなって。」 「もう! 寒(さむ)いところで30分(さんじゅっぷん)も待(ま)ったんだよ。」(“Sorry, I’m late.” “For heaven’s sake! I waited for 30 minutes in the cold.”) ひどいなあ、もう (Oh, this is too much!) もう! びっくりさせないで(Hey, don’t scare me like that!)

Situation 2: Mr. Okubo is speaking with his client, Mr. Suzuki, about the weather.

鈴木: 最近は以前と違って、ものすごい雨が降ることがありますね。

大久保: まったくですね。気候が以前とは変わってしまいましたね。

Suzuki: Saikin-wa izen-to chigatte, monosugoi ame-ga furu koto-ga arimasu-ne.

Ookubo: Mattaku-desu-ne. Kikō-ga izen-towa kawatte-shimaimashita-ne.

Suzuki: Unlike previous times, there has sometimes been a tremendous amount of rain.

Okubo: There sure has. The climate has changed from before.

まったく means really or truly and emphasizes adjectives expressing a high degree or verbs of feeling. Examples: まったくあきれた。(I was really embarrassed.) 一等(いっとう)が当(あ)たるなんて、まったく夢(ゆめ)みたいです。 (It feels like a dream that I won first prize.) あの音(おと)にはまったくがまんできない。 (I can’t put up with all this noise.) まったく is also used by itself to show the speaker’s anger, disappointment or embarrassment, as well as もう. Therefore, まったく, in this use, can usually be replaced by もう, and they are often used together, as in まったくもう. Example: まったくもう、何(なに)をしているの! (For heaven’s sake, what are you doing?). But, まったく can be used when the speaker agrees what another person has said and to show sympathy — as in Mr. Okubo’s remark — while もう is not used in this way. もう also sounds more emotional than まったく.

Bonus Dialogue: Mr. and Mrs. Okubo are talking about the noise their neighbor is making.

夫: あの家(いえ)、子(こ)どもの声(こえ)がほんとにうるさいなあ。まったくがまんできない。

妻: ほんとね。きのうは30分(さんじゅっぷん)ぐらい泣(な)きわめいていたのよ。もういらいらしちゃう。

夫: まったく困(こま)ったもんだ。今度(こんど)文句(もんく)を言(い)おうか。

妻: でも、うちの子どもたちも小(ちい)さかったときはずいぶんうるさかったと思(おも)うなあ。それでも、ご近所(きんじょ)の人(ひと)は文句も言わず、いつもやさしくしてくれた。そう思うと、何(なに)も言えなくなっちゃう。

夫: うん。それを思い出(だ)すと、まったくもう恥(は)ずかしくなるなあ。

妻: そうね。もうちょっと大(おお)きくなったら、泣かなくなるでしょう。それまでやさしく見守(みまも)らなくちゃ。

夫: ああ、まったくだね。

Husband: The kid in that house is really noisy! I can’t put up with his voice.

Wife: Yeah. Yesterday, I think he was crying for almost 30 minutes. It really irritates me.

Husband: It really is a problem — shall we complain about it next time?

Wife: But when our kids were small, they must have been very noisy. Our neighbors were kind to us, though, and didn’t complain. I don’t think I can say anything.

Husband: Yeah. Now that I remember it, I’m really embarrassed.

Wife: Me, too. Once the boy grows up, he won’t cry. Until that time, we have to be gentle and patient.

Husband: Ah, that’s for sure.

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