JPLT N3. Used in both conversation and writing.
【Verb: Stem】ようがない
【Verb: Stem】ようもない

よう is volitional ending for group 2 verbs. By treating this as a noun and appending the negative, the structure is saying: “It’s not even worth attempting to do” because the situation makes it hopeless.

Note that although the ending looks like the volitional it is not. This means you need to be careful for group 1 verbs.

行こうがない。(✗)
行きようがない。
泥棒は警察に取り囲まれて、逃げようがなかった。
The robber was surrounded by police and had no chance of escape.
どうしようもない。
It can’t be helped.

The above is a very common phrase.

否定しようがない事実である。
A truth that cannot be questioned.
この投資は間違いないよ。お金を損しようがない。
This investment is a sure thing. There’s no way you can lose money.
彼が山に登っている最中だから連絡を取りようがない。
He’s climbing a mountain so we have no way to contact him.

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