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Do you want to merge the main article to here, coco?
Yes, I'd like to merge this article to the main page article, if it's possible.
もし可能なら、この記事をメインページに移動させたいと思います。--Coco  11:04, 16 July 2007 (EDT)
So, a merge from article to discussion, and then a copy and paste from discussion to article. Does that make sense?
I copied some part of article about と( gray colored sentences). Did it a way you suggested? :) --Coco  03:06, 18 July 2007 (EDT)
Yeah, thanks coco. Do you want the conjugation charts in the article?
I guess making と conditional is very easy because words never conjugate. But it might be kind to put the charts for the beginner. Do you think the conjugation charts is needed?--Coco  10:36, 22 July 2007 (EDT) 
You going any place interesting? Gundaetiapo 19:48, 20 July 2007 (EDT)


「~と」is used when sentence1 and sentence2 have a constant, repetitive, or continuous relationship. The conditional と expresses a phenomenon that constantly occurs with the condition described in sentence 1.
と is a subordinate conjunction which makes S1 a condition, and S2 a result. The nuance that is implied by usage of と is this: if the condition of S1 is satisfied, then the result of S2 follows naturally (and will always be true provided S1 holds true).


Dictionary form と conjugation Reading
Nouns 休日
な adjectives 立派な
い adjectives いい
Verbs 来る

Repetitive phenomenon

Example 1

sentence 1: 春になる。 (spring comes)
sentence 2: 花が咲き始める。 (flowers start to bloom)
To express the relationship between the two:

When spring comes, flowers start to bloom.

You can replace と and たら


Example 2

sentence 1: コインを自動販売機に入れる。 (insert coins in a vending machine)
sentence 2: ジュースが出てくる。 (juice comes out)
To express the relationship between the two:

When you insert your coins in a vending machine, drinks come out.

Note that 自販機 is an abbreviation of 自動販売機.

You can put たら instead of と


Example 3

sentence 1: 掃除機をかける。 (use a vacuum cleaner)
sentence 2: ネコが[騒ぐ/怒り出す]。 (cat makes a noise)
To express the relationship between the two:

When you use a vacuum cleaner, the cat makes a noise.

You can put たら instead of と


See more usages of conjunction と.

Personal expressions

You can ask with ~と for someone's physical condition as a repetitive behavior.

Example 1

sentence 1: リンゴをかじる。
sentence 2: 歯茎から血がでませんか?
To express the relationship between the two:

○リンゴをかじる歯茎から血がでませんか? (An advertising slogan from a tooth paste brand.)
Don't you get (repeated) bleeding from the gums when you bite an apple?

Also you can express your physical condition or repetitive behavior under the condition expressed in the sentence 1.

Example 2

sentence 1: 春になる。
sentence 2: クシャミがでる。
To express the relationship between the two:

I sneeze a lot in spring season. I have an allergy to pollen.

Example 3

sentence 1: 寒くなる。
sentence 2: ミスタードーナツで勉強した。
To express the relationship between the two:

○寒くなると よくミスタードーナツで勉強した。(repetitive behavior)
When it got cold, I often studied at Mr. Donuts. (From this thread.)

In this case, we rather add ものだった/ものでした on the end of sentence to express a speaker's reminiscence.


Wrong usages of Conditional とsentences

You can find a interrelationship easily between sentence1 and sentence2 which are connected with と.
You can not put following types of sentences after the conditional と.
ⅰ) speaker's will, wish/hope/desire
ⅱ) imperative sentence
ⅲ) request
Since と represents a natural consequence, it cannot be used when the result S2 is dependent on volitional action of someone. For example, S2 cannot be something like a command, invitation, or suggestion. Here is an example of incorrect usage of と:

Example 1

sentence 1: 春になる。
sentence 2: 花見に行きませんか。(asking invitation)

× 春になる、花見に行きませんか
○ 春になったら、花見に行きませんか。
Shall we go to the sakura-watching-party when spring comes?

sentence 2: 花見に行く予定だ。(telling plan/will)

I'm planning to go watch sakura flowers when spring comes.

Example 2

sentence 1: コインを入れる。
sentence 2: ボタンを押してください。(request)

× コインを入れる 、ボタンを押してください。
○ コインを入れたら、ボタンを押してください。
Please push a button when/after you insert your coins.

Example 3

sentence 1: 掃除機をかける
sentence 2: 窓を開けた方がいい (suggestion/advice)

×掃除機をかける 、窓を開けた方がいい。
It would be better to open windows if you use a vacuum cleaner.

The speaker would say this if it seems you're about to use a vacuum cleaner.If you'd like to say this as a general consideration,

It would be better to open windows when you use a vacuum cleaner.

Usuful expressions

そうしない = otherwise
さもない (conj,exp) otherwise; else; if not so; KD ( from WWWJDIC)

寒ければコートを着なさい。[そうしない/さもない]風邪をひきますよ。(mother's speech)= If you feel cold, put on your overcoat. Otherwise you will catch a cold.

急いでください。[そうしない/さもない]、会議に間に合いません。=Please hurry or else you/we will be late for the meeting.

シートペルトをしてください。[そうしない/さもない ]警察に違反キップを切られますよ。
Fasten the seatbelt. Otherwise the police will give you a ticket.

You can make these forms more casual with V+negative+ と.
(in-group conversation)


「~なら」is used when a speaker expresses his/her own opinion, judgment, or command which can not be expressed in the 「~と」conditional sentence.
One of the features of this usage would be the reply to the person's (whom you are talking) topic. When using なら form, you can say your opinions or suggestions about specific suppositions which the person had just mentioned.


Dictionary form なら conjugation Reading
Nouns 休日
な adjectives 立派な
い adjectives いい
Verbs 来る

Usages as topic taking

e.g. (in-group conversation.)

田中: 夏休みには、海外旅行にいきたいな。
Tanaka: I'd like to go abroad during summer vacation.
山田: 夏休みに行くなら、早く予約しない  飛行機のチケットがとれなくなるよ。
Yamada : If you go abroad during summer vacation, you'd better hurry to book, 
otherwise, you'll miss an airline ticket.

It might have a sound like " I suggest as to your supposition (in this case the trip during summer vacation)".

「Verb+なら」 is often interchangeable with  verb+の(ん)だったら/verb+ならば.

だったら is from だったら. The particle の(no) is often changed into ん(nn) in colloquial speech.


山田:夏休みに行くならば、早く予約しないと飛行機のチケットがとれなくなりますよ。( bit solid)


高橋: 天気予報によると、週末に 台風が来る らしいですよ。
Takahashi: According to a weather forecast, the typhoon is coming this weekend.
佐藤: そうですか。台風が来るなら、週末は外出しない方がいいかもしれませんね。
Satou : Oh, really?  We might not want to go out this weekend if the typhoon will come.

Mr./Ms. Satou might say

佐藤 : そうですか。台風が来るだったら、週末は外出しない方がいいかもしれませんね。
佐藤 : そうですか。台風が来るならば、週末は外出しない方がいいかもしれませんね。

Usages as topic making

Also you can provide a topic using the なら form, which is not a response speech.

e.g. (in-group)
If I were Michael Jackson, I would keep a dolphin rather than a chimpanzee as a pet.

Usages as limited condition

山本さんは豚肉でしたら召し上がりますが、牛肉は召し上がりません。more polite expression
Ms./Mr. Yamamoto can eat it if it is pork, but can't eat beef.
The meaning is almost the same as 山本さんは豚肉食べられますが、牛肉は食べられません。( Ms./Mr.Yamanoto can eat pork, but cannot eat beef.) However you can emphasis what food Yamamoto-san can eat or not by using なら.
Although I'm not available today, I will be able to meet you/someone if it is tomorrow afternoon.
This is almost the same as 今日は会えませんが、明日の午後会えます。Using なら has the nuance of limited condition, like saying "tomorrow afternoon only".



Dictionary form ば conjugation Reading
Nouns 休日
な adjectives 立派な
い adjectives いい
Irregular verbs 来る
Ichidan verbs あげる
Godan verbs もらう


A requirement/conditions to make a status of sentence 2 is placed in sentence 1.

What's the Japanese for this sentence? Gundaetiapo 20:46, 18 August 2007 (EDT)
I couldn't understand what I wanted to say ^^  probably
「文2の状態を構成する要件/条件が、文1に置かれます。」--Coco  08:19, 21 August 2007 (EDT)
May I suggest: "A precondition of sentence 2 is placed in sentence 1."

It sounds great. Thanks.
Now I notice my explanation is not a feature of ば. It would apply to all conditionals. I mean my explanation was bad.
Your explanations are very helpful and appreciated.
As another question, is ば conditional "if and only if" or just "if"? Gundaetiapo 14:24, 21 August 2007 (EDT)
I think ならば could have a nuance of " only if". I suppose it might be ~の場合に限って. What do you think about ~さえ + ば~ form. (これはJLPT 2級文法です。)
For example;
If only Tanaka had made it, we'd be in Hawaii right about now. (?)
If you just drink water, you can live 30 days. (?)
Do you think さえ+ ば would be " (if and)only if " ?

On the other hand, 塵も積もれば山となる, 降れば土砂降り、犬もあるけば棒にあたる don't have its meaning. Also ば in " 3時になれば、(先生がいらっしゃいます。)" would not be " if and only if ".
So, " if and only if" might not be an explanation of ば.
Would these be a sort of answer? Or am I misreading your question? --Coco  09:38, 22 August 2007 (EDT)
Intended: I see, So it sounds like the ば conditional isn't iff. Thanks for your explanation. Gundaetiapo 20:29, 22 August 2007 (EDT)

sentence 1 (postulation)= 天気がいい sentence 2 = 東京からも富士山が見える。
天気がよけれ 、東京からも富士山が見えます。
You can see Mt.Fuji from even Tokyo if the weather is clear.
(You might not be able to see Mt.Fuji from Tokyo if the weather isn't clear.)

Both of these sentences sound good. Gundaetiapo 20:46, 18 August 2007 (EDT)
ありがとうございます。--Coco  08:19, 21 August 2007 (EDT)

This is very similar to ~と usage because the presupposition expressed in the sentence 1 forms the status expressed in sentence 2, has a repetitive interrelationship.
So you can say

天気がいい 、東京からも富士山が見えます。
晴れている 、東京からも富士山が見えます。

sentence 1 = 3時になる sentence 2 = 岡田先生が来る (いらっしゃる is the 尊敬語 of 来る.)

Professor Okada will come here when it is 3 o'clock.
You can say also
When it is 3 o'clock, professor Okada comes here.

「3時になる 、岡田先生がいらっしゃいます。」implies that the professor repetitively comes up there at 3:00 every day. Meanwhile, 「3時になれば、岡田先生がいらっしゃいます」means the speaker knows the professor's schedule on that day, does't mention the other days.

sentence 1( postulation)= 雨が降る。 sentence 2 = 花火大会は中止。
The fireworks exhibition won't be held if it rains.

Good. Gundaetiapo 20:50, 18 August 2007 (EDT)
ありがとう。--Coco  08:19, 21 August 2007 (EDT)

「雨が降る、花火大会は中止されます」rather has a tone of something like an empirical rule.( e.g.: Generally, fireworks exhibitions are canceled when it rains.) But 「 雨が降れば、花火大会は中止です」 mentions about "The fireworks exhibition" which you are anxious about.

You can express a contrary-to-fact condition by using conditional ば. In this case sentence 2 is always the past tense.

Pick either:
express a contrary-to-fact condition
express contrary-to-fact conditions
Gundaetiapo 21:00, 18 August 2007 (EDT)
修正しました。ありがとう。--Coco  08:19, 21 August 2007 (EDT)

If I got up 30 minutes earlier, I would have been in time for the departure of the airplane. ( But I failed to catch the flight).

If I got up 30 minutes earlier, I would have been in time for the departure of the airplane.
"catch up with the flight" sounds a little better. "catch the flight" is good too. Gundaetiapo 21:08, 18 August 2007 (EDT)
ありがとうございます。--Coco  08:19, 21 August 2007 (EDT)

In this case, adding のに on the end of the sentence can express your feelings stronger.

雨が降っていなければ、花火がみられのに。 If it didn't rain, I would have been able to see the fireworks.( But I failed to see the fireworks.)

I'll let you correct this sentence using the word "would". :) Gundaetiapo 21:08, 18 August 2007 (EDT)
"If it didn't rain, I would have been able to see the fireworks." (?)
I hope the day of the fireworks won't rain so that I wouldn't have to use this usage. :) --Coco  08:19, 21 August 2007 (EDT)
Hehe, well done though. Gundaetiapo 14:30, 21 August 2007 (EDT)
ありがとう。^^ 修正しました。--Coco  09:38, 22 August 2007 (EDT)

wrong usages of ~ば form

You can not use ~ば(eba) form in that kind of situations:

1) the accidental events
When I was walking through the shopping mall, rain fell over me. (?)

I found an interesting article when/while I was reading a news paper.(?)

2) directions (after someone satisfied the conditions.)
Please call me back after you checked this message. <be>

Please submit your report as soon as you made up it.(?)/ Please submit your report immediately when you finished it.(?)

  • 「~ば」 forms in the proverbs.

れば土砂降(どしゃぶ)り。= It doesn't rain but it pours.
ちり(塵)も積もれば山となる。= Penny and penny laid up will be many. /Many small make a great.
犬も歩けば棒にあたる。= The beast that goes always never wants blows./The dog that trots about finds a bone./A flying crow always catches something.

  • Useful expressions (probably)

You can ask " how can I do/how shold I do" with どうすれば.
どうすれば、[きっぷ/チケット]を安く買えますか? = How can I buy the ticket cheaper? (?)(*Generally チケットis used for flight tickets, きっぷ is used for train tickets.)
どうすれば、そこに泊まれますか? = How can I stay over nights there? (?)
どうすれば、そこに行けるのかわかりません。= I don't know how I can get there.(?)
どうすれば、パンディオンをインストールできるのかわかりません。= I don't know what to do to install the Pandion. (?)
どうすればいいか、教えてください。= Please tell me how shold I do.(?)


「~たら」 is widely used as a conditional form.

If you were able to meet with yourself aged around 15 years old, what would you like to say to her/him? (?)

In this case ○15歳の頃の自分と対面できるなら

If one day had 25hours, what will you do during the extra hour? (?)
In this case
○1日がもし25時間なら/ならば (→ See なら uesge above)

Difference between なら and たら (tense)

Please care the tense, otherwise the turn goes upside down.

大学に入るなら、本をたくさん読みなさい。(more about なさい)
Read tons of books if you are going to a university/college.(?)

All of these are saying same things. This is an advice/suggestion to read books for the preparation of an enrollment. 

Read tons of books when you go to a university/college.(?)
Read tons of books when you become a university/college student.(?)

This is an advice/suggestion to undergraduate students/college student. A speaker don't mention about the preparation for an enrollment. Just advises your attitude for learning as a college/university student.

The following slogan, which is used as an prohibition campaign of drinkers' driving, would be good to learn the difference between なら and たら/だら.

Do not drive a car when you've been drinking, 
and do not drink (any alcohol) if you are going to drive a car. 

飲んだら is the conditional of posteriority. This command mentions "after your action(= drank some alcohol)".
乗るなら is the conditional of " your intention". This sentence directs something before you act(= drive a car)

  • Useful expression ( probably)

~したらどうですか= How about if ~/why don't you ~
How about if we/I/you take( took?) the earier train to get there? (?)
How about if I/we/you stay( stayed?) two nights at that hotel? (?)
How about if I/we/you take ( took?) the midnight bus instead of the flight as a return trip? (?)

See also どう
Shin1ro-san's post.
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