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あれば and 聞いて

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あれば and 聞いて

Postby spin13 » Mon 04.18.2005 12:04 am

I am having trouble translating the following sentence:


I understand that the jist of it is:
"If you don't understand something in Japanese, by all means please ask."

The part I am having difficulty with is the the use of 'ことがあれば'. I understand that こと is used as a gerund of sorts, making a verb a noun, but I 1) cannot find the exact the meaning of of あれば and 2) cannot infer what it means or what its root is.

Also, while I know that 聞 means 'to hear,' or in this case, 'to ask', I cannot place the form it is in here. Windows IME changes the kana 'きいて' to '聞いて', so I know the pronunciation, but that still doesn't help for my online dictionary.

Thanks in advance.
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RE: あれば and 聞いて

Postby hihlordjp » Mon 04.18.2005 1:26 am

こと means "thing" or "matter". In this case, we have わからないこと, which could mean "thing(s) not understood" or a more literal "not-understood-things". Basically, わからないこと refers to whatever it is you don't understand.

The "root" of あれば is ある "to be/to have". It's the conditional form, if I'm not mistaken.

聞いて is the request form of 聞く. For 〜く verbs, the く becomes いて for their request forms.
Last edited by hihlordjp on Mon 04.18.2005 1:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: あれば and 聞いて

Postby Mukade » Mon 04.18.2005 1:30 am

わからないことがあれば literally means "if there is the thing of you not understanding." あれば is simply "to be (ある), placed in the Conditional Form.

A couple examples of some other verbs in the Conditional Form:
"if (you) hear" = 聞けば
"if (you) look" = 見れば


聞いて is the て-Form of the verb "to ask." When you put a verb in て-Form and follow it immediately with ください, you essentially get a polite command. In this case, "Please ask."

A couple of examples of some other verbs in the て-Form with ください:
"please look" = 見てください
"please read" = 読んでください
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