Grammar Info

N1 Lesson 4: 1/17


Once, Now that, As soon as


Verb[た]+ + 最後(さいご)
Verb[たら]+ 最後(さいご)


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About たら最後

たら最後(さいご) and たが最後(さいご) are grammar structures that both share the meaning of 'once (A), definitely (B)'. (B) will always be something negative that is thought to inevitably occur once the action of (A) happens. These expressions may be translated as 'once (A), (B)', 'now that (A), (B)', or 'as soon as (A), (B)'.
Both たら and が are being used as conjunction particles. たら carries its usual meaning of 'if' or 'when', while が has the meaning of 'however', or 'but'. This means that たが最後(さいご) means '(A), but it will end up as (B)', while たら最後(さいご) means 'when (A), in will end up as (B)'. Although this nuance is slightly different, they are used completely interchangeably.
  • 恋愛(れんあい)だけではなく、友達(ともだち)(あいだ)でも信頼(しんらい)(うしな)たが最後(さいご)()(もど)すにはかなりの時間(じかん)がかかる。
    Once you lose trust, not only in love, but also among friends, it takes a long time to regain it.
  • その会社(かいしゃ)契約(けいやく)をしたが最後(さいご)解約(かいやく)するのがものすごくめんどくさい。
    Once you have signed a contract with that company, it is a huge hassle to cancel.
  • あの(へび)()まれたら最後(さいご)(からだ)麻痺(まひ)するらしい。
    I heard that once you get bitten by that snake, your body becomes paralyzed.
  • 田中(たなか)さんが(はな)(はじ)たら最後(さいご)(くち)(つか)れるまでずっと(はな)(つづ)ける。
    Once Tanaka-san starts talking, he won't stop until his mouth gets tired.
Because 最後(さいご) is primarily seen before the comma in these types of sentences, it can be easy to think that it is connected to the が or たら. However, it is actually more correctly connected logically to the (B) half of the sentence, and states that the 'final state' will end up being that way.
Occasionally, the (B) phrase will be omitted from these sentences when the negative result is obvious.
  • あの(ひと)政治(せいじ)についての意見(いけん)(もと)たら最後(さいご)だ。
    It's the end once you ask him for his political opinions. (He won't stop talking after that)
  • 先生(せんせい)注意(ちゅうい)しなくなったら最後(さいご)だ。
    It's the end once your teacher stops giving you advice. (Because it means that they have given up on you)




    Once my boyfriend starts playing a game, he can't stop until late at night no matter what.


    At a company, senpai to kouhai: 'Once vice-director Ira has an eye on you, you won't be able to continue at this company. I'm not joking, of course. '


    Company president to employees: 'Once the company loses its reputation, it cannot be regained, so be careful when communicating with clients.'


    Customer review of a book: 'What a beautiful story. Once I started reading, I couldn't stop crying.'


    Once she opens her mouth, she will keep on talking for hours with no intention of stopping.

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