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Conditional for Dummies?


13 Oct 2003
All of the conditional forms are getting me down, and I have alot of questions to ask and hope a 上手な先生 will answer them :)

Ok let's see..First off..-ba and -kereba..Is it correct that these are mainly used in the written style/polite spoken Japanese? With -ba and -tara I'm having a hard time knowing when to distguinish 'if' and 'when'. Examples:

If it's not cheap it's not fashionable.

When they meet, their conversation is lively.

How am I supposed to tell if these mean 'if' or 'when'? Because they would still both make sense if they were inversed, but the meanings could be drastically different. I have the same problem with -tara

When I grow up, I want to be a painter.

If we miss this opportunity, we'll never get another chance!

How can I tell sentence #2 doesn't mean 'when' opposed to 'if'?

If someone just wants to give me a website with the run through on when and why to use things like -ba, nara, -tara, -te mo, to, -kereba, -kerya etc. I'd be eternally grateful. Also, which ones are most commonly used in the spoken language? Because right now my main focus is on speaking/listening.

教えてください :)
uhh not that i know japanese or anything but i would say use your english to help you out. which sounds better to you in english is most likely the right one.
it seems to me that if you use it as "if" then the rest of the sentance should be in future tense "if they meet, their conversation will be lively" another thing is when you use "when" then it sounds like you already know the outcome rather than it being a variable "when we miss this opportunity..."
basicly all context i suppose, but then again i dont know japanese...
Yeah, it's true these may not be the best examples since you don't often think in terms of "If they meet, something always happens" or "When I miss this opportunity." But there are some real subtleties as well especially with "tara" and rules (of thumb) that dictate differences with "toki" "te" for "when" and "nara" for "if," for instance.
このページはすごいし便利ですよ! 難しいんだと思いますけど、頑張ります!

ありがとうございました :)
暇さえあれば、勉強しなくてはならないね。(Even if you have free time....) だってすべてを知りたいですか?:)
もちろん。:) でも、多くの時間はかかるでしょう。 イリサベスはどのようにそれを学習しましたか。
Originally posted by SacredBlue
もちろん。:) でも、多くの時間はかかるでしょう。 イリサベスはどのようにそれを学習しましたか。

今、私にとって聞き取りが最も苦手なのだと思います。それで、Tutor-さんのテープや日本のテープ、ビデオを聞いたりして勉強してみます。私にとって日本語を勉強するのに一番役に立つのは聞き取りです。(又は、聞き取りは日本語の勉強方法のなかで最も役に立ちます。) 大変ですが、挑戦してみるのは大切なことですよ。


僕は驚きます!今、僕も日本人と話して、メールも書いてる:)。 あいにく、あまり日本語を話せないよ。:( 僕はこれを非常に心配します。ぼくは日本の教師と勉強をしていますけど、日本のテレビか会話をわかりませんなぁ。どうしたかな!:mad:
私も十二月の八日、シカゴで JLPT級2を受けろつもりです。
勉強にも目標があるとやりがいも出てくるのではないでしょうか?Sacred Blueさんを出来るだけお手伝いしたいと思っています。

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