If Taro says コーヒーでも どうですか to you, which of the following is most likely?
a. Taro wants to know what you think of the coffee.
b. Taro wants to have some coffee.
c. Taro wants to talk to you over coffee.
d. Taro wants you to have some coffee.
The answer is c. Taro wants to talk to you over coffee (or even without coffee).
The key phrase here is でも, which means “…or something”, “say…” or “for instance.” So coffee is one of the examples of things Taro is offering. It is perfectly fine for you to choose “tea” or “soft drink” instead of coffee.
- [noun] + でも
Similar usage of でも can be:
= Shall we watch a movie or something?
まって いる あいだ、テレビでも 見て いて ください。
= While waiting, please watch TV or something.
= Shall I make ramen or something?
でも itself has many meanings and this でも is different from that in the following examples. These listed below will be explained at some other occasions.
- きょうはあめです。でも、あしたは はれでしょう。It’s raining today. However, it will be sunny tomorrow.
- どこへでも いきます。 I will go anywhere.
- はなしだけでも きいてください。 Please just listen to the story.
- にちようびでも しごとをします。 I work even on Sundays.
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