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Help with a sentence 普段元気なら元気なほど体に気を付けた方がいいですよ.

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GenjiMain

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Hi all.

So I'm learning about ~ba ~hodo which is no problem, but there are a few things about this example sentence I don't understand. The sentence 普段元気なら元気なほど体に気を付けた方がいいですよ supposedly translates as 'The healthier you are, the more you should be careful about your health'.

1) Why say 普段元気 instead of just 元気.
2) I'm completely lost on the 体に気を付けた方がいいですよ part. I understand 体 means body and いいです means it's good, but can't really piece together how it means 'the more you should be careful about your health'.

Thanks in advance.
 

Majestic

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1. Its not 「普段元気」as one set phrase.
It's more like 普段、元気なら

2. ~なら ~ほど

This is a construction that translates into the English idiomatic expression of as the more you~, the more you~ (or other related phrases) .
A more literal translation would be something like

元気なら If you are genki
元気なほど as genki as you are
体に気を付けたほうがいい should take care of your body

気を付ける means take care, or use caution. Its a set phrase
気を付けたほうがいい is the same set phrase but conjugated to mean should take care, or should use caution.
 

GenjiMain

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I should've probably been more specific in the first question. What I don't understand is where the 普段 comes from.

Thanks.
 

Toritoribe

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I changed the thread title. It's confusing since the title is completely the same as your previous one. Thanks for your understanding.


1) Why say 普段元気 instead of just 元気.
"Usually" doesn't make sense?

2) I'm completely lost on the 体に気を付けた方がいいですよ part. I understand 体 means body and いいです means it's good, but can't really piece together how it means 'the more you should be careful about your health'.
You missed to interpret 方. The meaning "giving an advise/a suggestion" of the set phrase 方がいい is provided by this 方 (hint: good vs. better).
 

GenjiMain

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"Usually" doesn't make sense?

Of course the Japanese sentence sentence makes sense with 普段. Rather, my point is that in the English translation the word 'usually' doesn't appear, and (as far as I can tell) isn't even implied, so I don't see why 普段 is used.

You missed to interpret 方. The meaning "giving an advise/a suggestion" of the set phrase 方がいい is provided by this 方 (hint: good vs. better).

Sorry, I did already know the phrase meant "it's better if". It was more the 体に気を付けた part I didn't understand.
 

Toritoribe

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Of course the Japanese sentence sentence makes sense with 普段. Rather, my point is that in the English translation the word 'usually' doesn't appear, and (as far as I can tell) isn't even implied, so I don't see why 普段 is used.
Are you saying that you believe the given translation is always the literal translation that contains the original meaning thoroughly?

Sorry, I did already know the phrase meant "it's better if". It was more the 体に気を付けた part I didn't understand.
Oh, your translation "good" didn't seem that you got it correctly to me.
 

GenjiMain

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Are you saying that you believe the given translation is always the literal translation that contains the original meaning thoroughly?

I know this isn't the case. With that said, and while acknowledging I'm no expert, I've usually found that there is some logical connection between translations with almost everything I've encountered. All I'm doing is trying to find that logical connection. Even if it's just an idiom, that at least helps me understand why it's there. As of right now though, to me, there is no clear reason for why 普段 exists in that sentence.
 

Toritoribe

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The sentence is understandable even without 普段, but 普段 shows more clearly that the speaker is talking about the addressee's usual health condition (not "the current health condition", for instance).
 
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