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It could if...

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It could if...

Postby Disco » Fri 04.17.2009 7:32 pm

How would you express that in Japanese? B could occur if A happens. For example; I could drive to the store, if I had a car. (or) I could eat if I were at home. I had been wondering how to do this, because I'm learning the conditional in both Japanese and spanish 『 Si tengo dinero, yo viajaria a Mexico(if I have money, I could travel to mexico)』also is there a WORD for "to be able to", like "can" in english or "poder" in spanish?
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Re: It could if...

Postby astaroth » Fri 04.17.2009 8:13 pm

これ、どうぞ。
I'm still not to the point to learn conditionals though a couple of times I used 〜なら in very simple situations. I tend to think at those like subjunctives (those are not ... but it makes my life easier for the time being), I wonder though is there no subjunctive in Spanish?
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Re: It could if...

Postby Disco » Fri 04.17.2009 8:25 pm

oh, The subjunctive is a BIG part of spanish, and easy to use. Ex: Espero que ustedes tengan cuidado. ( I hope that you guys are careful.); used to express wants, desire, volition, and general uncertainty in a situation. But I feel frustrated because many of the concepts I can articulate in spanish, I cannot in japanese.
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Re: It could if...

Postby astaroth » Fri 04.17.2009 8:36 pm

I know I feel the same with English and almost always feel the sentence "I hope I were ..." (or similar) more correct because of the subjunctive. I couldn't see because despite the similarities between Italian and Spanish I don't speak the latter, not even a bit ...

But back to Japanese. The moods are not there in the language; I use the analogy of なら、と、ば and so on as an analogy but I'm not saying they are subjunctives in any ways.
Disco wrote:But I feel frustrated because many of the concepts I can articulate in spanish, I cannot in japanese.

It gets worse when I can't articulate concepts in Italian (my native tongue), but I can in English ... ;)
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Re: It could if...

Postby Disco » Fri 04.17.2009 8:43 pm

So,[Assumed Context] + なら + [Result] ; ケンさんは新しいゲームを買うなら僕も新しいゲームを買う。
 [condition]+と+[result] ; 私はよく勉強すると頭がいい
Thank You very much for the site link.
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Re: It could if...

Postby furrykef » Fri 04.17.2009 9:52 pm

astaroth wrote:I know I feel the same with English and almost always feel the sentence "I hope I were ..." (or similar) more correct because of the subjunctive.


"I hope I were..." sounds strange to me. Did you mean perhaps "I wish I were..."?
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Re: It could if...

Postby astaroth » Fri 04.17.2009 10:04 pm

furrykef wrote:"I hope I were..." sounds strange to me. Did you mean perhaps "I wish I were..."?

No, I really meant "I hope I were ..." I know it's wrong, or at least strange, but to me sounds more natural because in Italian secondary sentences of "to hope" (and other verbs) require the subjunctive and not the indicative, for instance "Spero sia ..." instead of the wrong "Spero sono ..."
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Re: It could if...

Postby furrykef » Sat 04.18.2009 12:41 am

Ah, yes, in Italian you'd use the subjunctive there, but the subjunctive is never used with "hope" in English, even among speakers (like me) who do use the subjunctive. But I suppose that was the point you were making? I dunno, I'm kinda confused... ^^; Ah well, doesn't matter, really. :)

BTW, wouldn't the equivalent in English be "I hope I be" rather than "I hope I were"? "Sia" is equivalent to "be", not to "were", which would be "fossi". (An example with the present subjunctive in English is, "I ask that you be polite.")

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Re: It could if...

Postby astaroth » Sat 04.18.2009 11:06 am

furrykef wrote:But I suppose that was the point you were making? I dunno, I'm kinda confused... ^^; Ah well, doesn't matter, really. :)

I kind of lost the point, if any, I was trying to make ... :oops:

furrykef wrote:BTW, wouldn't the equivalent in English be "I hope I be" rather than "I hope I were"? "Sia" is equivalent to "be", not to "were", which would be "fossi". (An example with the present subjunctive in English is, "I ask that you be polite.")

It should, but for some reasons I switched times in the middle of the sentence and didn't read it again. :oops:
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Re: It could if...

Postby Disco » Sat 04.18.2009 2:03 pm

Yet regardless of the language, there are going to be concepts exclusive to/ best articulated by that language alone. The hardest part (for me) is hardwiring those into your thought process. I give my empathy ( right word?) out to any English learners out there, as I think it's an irregular, ridiculous language.Also, I was told that Japanese doesn't have a subjunctive, but I think と思う would be subjunctive. I don't know, I'm barely (if at all) an intermediate.
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Re: It could if...

Postby astaroth » Sat 04.18.2009 2:07 pm

Disco wrote:Also, I was told that Japanese doesn't have a subjunctive, but I think と思う would be subjunctive. I don't know, I'm barely (if at all) an intermediate.

I had that impression too. Many times when I had to translate a sentence into と思う into English and/or Italian, I feel that conditional is the right mood many times, like
量子力学について話したいと思います
I think it's well represented by
I'd like to talk about Quantum Mechanics (or Vorrei parlare di Meccanica Quantistica)
rather than the literal translation.
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Re: It could if...

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 04.18.2009 2:35 pm

Disco wrote:Also, I was told that Japanese doesn't have a subjunctive, but I think と思う would be subjunctive.


The problem here is in terminology, not capability of expression. Anything that can be expressed in English (or a European language) can be expressed in Japanese, whether or not there is a special conjugation or form used for it. Most people (or at least non-linguists) speak of every language in terms of the old Latinate grammatical categories, whether or not they actually apply well to the language being spoken of. In addition, most people (once again, except for linguists) try to use grammatical labels to describe meaning rather than form. So if someone tells you that Japanese lacks a subjunctive, they're not saying that something can't be expressed in Japanese (or at least that's not what they should be saying), just that there's no special form for it.

(In the same way, the claim that the subjunctive is disappearing in English doesn't mean that native speakers of English are actually losing the ability to express certain ideas, just that the special irregular form "were" in "If I were..."-type statements is replaced by "was" in the speech of some English native speakers.)
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Re: It could if...

Postby JaySee » Sat 04.18.2009 2:59 pm

I think even linguists quite like to use grammatical terms used in Latin and Greek for other languages, they just redefine those terms to fit the feature in the language they apply it to (which is the reason terms like "aorist" can mean a thousand different things nowadays, depending on the language you're talking about). Of course this is unavoidable to an extent because there will always be (subtle) differences between the usages of similar features in any language, and inventing different terms for each feature in each language would leave you with a million different terms.
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Re: It could if...

Postby Disco » Sat 04.18.2009 3:17 pm

Thank You Yudan for that explanation. I learned spanish at school, and learned everything by name (i.e. subjunctive, conditional preterite) but that's not how native speakers see it. Also, I learned phrases that no one is familiar with (ex. me estas tomando el pelo) So talking with various native speakers I've learned which phrases to discredit and how to alter what I say to be the "normal" way instead of the "textbook" way. I figured out that (at least the people I speak with ) native spanish speakers from Mexico are not too big on the subjunctive, or future ( voy a viajar instead of viajare). Also, for english, I would say, " I wish I were a dog" instead of "I wish I was a dog". I do not think that is acceptable on paper though.
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Re: It could if...

Postby furrykef » Sat 04.18.2009 3:37 pm

Disco wrote:I figured out that (at least the people I speak with ) native spanish speakers from Mexico are not too big on the subjunctive, or future ( voy a viajar instead of viajare).


I can understand how they're not big on the future tense, but how are they not big on the subjunctive? My understanding is that the use of the subjunctive doesn't vary much from region to region.
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