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Mō chūgakusei-nan-dakara (You’re already a junior high school student.)

Situation 1: At the Okubo family’s house.

たか子: お母さん、制服のボタンが取れちゃったから、つけてくれる?

母: たか子は、もう中学生なんだから、ボタンぐらい自分でつけなさい。

Takako: Okāsan, seeifuku-no botan-ga torechatta-kara, tsukete-kureru?

Haha: Takako-wa, mō chūgakusei-na-n-dakara, botan-gurai jibun-de tsukenasai.

Takako: Mom, a button has come off my school uniform. Will you fix it for me?

Mother: Takako, you’re already a junior high school student. So, you should sew it on by yourself.

Today, we will introduce various ways of using the adverb もう (already/no more). The pattern もうX(phrase) means that something is already in a certain condition (X) and expresses the speaker’s feelings about that condition, such as surprise, or in the way the mother uses it in Situation 1 as way to complain or give a warning. When the negative form of X is used, もう expresses that the condition is not X anymore. So, the mother’s phrase can be changed to: “もう小学生(しょうがくせい)じゃないのだから (Since you’re not a pupil of elementary school any more).”

Situation 2: At her office, Ms. Gray takes a telephone call for Ms. Tamachi.

グレイ: 田町は今、席をはずしております。もう戻ると思いますが、折り返しお電話いたしましょうか。

客: いえ、大丈夫です。もう一度こちらからかけますので。

Gray: Tamachi-wa ima, seki-wo hazushite-orimasu. Mō modoru-to omoimasu-ga, orikaeshi odenwa-itashimashō-ka.

Kyaku: Ie, daijōbu-desu. Mō ichido kochira-kara kakemasu-node.

Gray: Ms. Tamachi is not at her desk right now. I think she’ll be back soon. Shall I ask her to call you?

Customer: No, thank you. I’ll call her again.

もう also means that a certain condition will be met soon, as in Ms. Gray’s second sentence in Situation 2, or as in “もう終(お)わるから、ちょっと待(ま)っていて (I’ll finish soon; will you wait for a while?).” The customer’s use of もう of もう一度(いちど) in Situation 2 is in the another usage that means to add one more thing, some more of a quantity or degree. Examples: “私(わたし)の、もう片方(かたほう)のてぶくろ、見(み)なかった? (Have you not seen my other glove?).” “もう少(すこ)し大(おお)きい声で言 (い)ってください (Please speak a little louder).”

When the speaker wants to emphasize the feeling that he/she does not want to repeat or continue something any more, もう is used as in: “戦争(せんそう)は、もういやだ (I’m tired of war).”

Bonus Dialogue: While Mr. Sere is walking down a corridor he finds Mr. Mita coming out of a room with a suitcase. Later, their boss Mr. Okubo also passes by.

セレ: あ、三田(みた)くん、もう帰(かえ)るの?早(はや)いね。

三田: うん。今日(きょう)の仕事(しごと)は、さっさとすませたんだ。今夜(こんや)は大事(だいじ)な用(よう)があるから。

セレ: あれっ、今夜は大宮(おおみや)くん主催(しゅさい)の合(ごう)コンじゃなかったっけ?

三田: なんだ、セレくん、知(し)ってたの?大事な用って、それのことだよ。彼女のいない生活(せいかつ)とは、もうさよならしたいから。

セレ: 幸運(こういうん)を祈(いの)るよ。

大久保: [とおりかかる]あ、三田くん、まだいたのか、よかった。プロジェクトの資料(しりょう)がきゅうに必要(ひつよう)になったから、会議室(かいぎしつ)まで、すぐ持(も)ってきて。たのんだよ。[とおりすぎる]。

セレ: 三田くん、合コンには、遅刻(ちこく)だね。

三田: うん。もう少(すこ)しで帰れるところだったのに、残念(ざんねん)。ぼくはいつも、こんなふうにタイミングが悪(わる)いんだ。やっぱり、もうしばらく、彼女のいない生活が続(つづ)くのかも…。

Sere: Oh, Mita, are you leaving so early?

Mita: Yeah. I finished my tasks as early as possible, since I have an important event this evening.

Sere: But, this evening, won’t you be joining the group date that Mr. Omiya organized?

Mita: Oh, you already know. Yes, that’s the very important event I mentioned. I want to say goodbye to my single life.

Sere: Good luck!

Okubo: (Passing by) Hey, Mr. Mita, I’m glad you’re still here. I urgently need that document for the project. Please bring it to the conference room at once, OK? (He leaves).

Sere: Mr. Mita, you’ll be late for the party.

Mita: Yeah, I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to leave a little earlier. I always have bad timing like this. Well, it looks like I’ll be living the single life for a while longer.

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