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たら vs. ば vs. と? Conditionals

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Kirakira1232

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Konbanwa minna!
I'm revising for my Japanese exam and throughout the semester we've been taught these three conditionals.
like
日本に行ったら、富士山に見ましょうか?
but what is the difference between this and using the ば conditional like for example...
お金があれば、車を買います。
would お金があったら、車をかいます mean the same thing? 
Is there any difference between saying
薬を飲めば、治りますよ。
薬を飲むと、治りますよ。
 
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grapefruit

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Konbanwa minna!
I'm revising for my Japanese exam and throughout the semester we've been taught these three conditionals.
like
日本に行ったら、富士山に見ましょうか?
but what is the difference between this and using the ば conditional like for example...
お金があれば、車を買います。
would お金があったら、車をかいます mean the same thing? 
Is there any difference between saying
薬を飲めば、治りますよ。
薬を飲むと、治りますよ。

I can only provide textbook explanations.
Syntactically, "to" is very narrow. Only intransitive verbs come to the second clause. Consequently, the meaning of the second clause is strongly associated with events that take place as a consequence of the action expressed in the first clause.

"ba" is a tricky one. I believe some textbooks might explain it as "if and only if". It seems to me that "ba" also requires some kind of pre-established topic to use it. In the example given above, it is natural to assume the conversation prior to "薬を飲めば、治りますよ" centered on how to cure the ailment. Having this installment of the topic, the phrase with "ba" seems natural.

"tara" is probably used in the widest range of situations. One thing unique about "tara" is sometimes it signal sequential order between the first clause and the second clause.
日本に行ったら、かぜをひいた。I got sick after/when I went to Japan.
 

Toritoribe

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It's hard to explain the difference among the conditional forms. A site for Japanese teachers of non-native speakers made a kind of excuse at the top of this section.:emoji_blush:

日本語の条件表現は非常に難しいものの一つとされています。これまでに多くの研究がなされていますが、まだまだわからないことの多い文型です。

Roughly,
たら
colloquially, mainly used in a particular/one-off situation

ば、と
more likely used in a general/repetitive situation
Also, these particles are hardly used when the main clause has the expressions of strong intention, such as a command, invitation, request etc.

○日本に行ったら、富士山を見ましょう。(personal issue/invitation)
×日本に行けば/行くと、富士山を見ましょう。

○日本に行けば/行くと、富士山が見えます。(general issue)

It's also said that ば focuses more on the condition.

日本に行けば、富士山が見えます。(This implies something like 行かなければ、見えない.)
日本に行くと、富士山が見えます。(something like "When you go, then you can see")

Of course, there exists many exceptions.

お金があれば、車を買います。
would お金があったら、車をかいます mean the same thing?
So, the former might have a nuance like お金がないから、車を買いません.
 

Kirakira1232

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I remember the teacher said that ば is used something like "Only under the condition of having money, I can buy a car." Whereas たら is more like "When I have the money, I'll buy a car". So たら can be used with volitional forms of verbs and ば cannot.

Basically they said if you have the choice select たら because its the most versatile of the conditionals...the only time where there is no choice is if your are saying

~ばいいです。 "It would be good if..."
~たらいいです。 "You should..." (Suggestion).

ba and to cant be used with an invitation, request or anything showing an intenton huh? Interesting...definitely need to keep that in mind.
 

grapefruit

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Iwasaki (2002) explains that in spoken narratives the two clauses combined with the tara conditional tend to have different subjects. He further explains the conditional to tends to be used in writing.

Iwasaki, Shoichi. (2002). Japanese. Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins.
 
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