Grammar Info

N1 Lesson 4: 1/17

たら最後(さいご)

Once, Now that, As soon as

Structure

Verb[た]+ + 最後(さいご)
Verb[たら]+ 最後(さいご)

Details

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    Standard

  • 使用域

    一般

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.
Caution
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)

Examples

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    (わたし)彼氏(かれし)はゲームをいったんやり(はじ)たら最後(さいご)、どうしても深夜(しんや)までやめられない。

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

    会社(かいしゃ)先輩(せんぱい)後輩(こうはい):「イラ次長(じちょう)()()けられたら最後(さいご)、この会社(かいしゃ)では生きていけなくなるんだよ。もちろん比喩(ひゆ)ではない。」

    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. '

    社長(しゃちょう)社員(しゃいん):「会社(かいしゃ)信頼性(しんらいせい)一度(いちど)(うしな)った最後(さいご)絶対(ぜったい)()(もど)すことができないので、クライアントとの対話(たいわ)には()をつけてね。」

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

    小説(しょうせつ)のカスタマーレビュー:「綺麗(きれい)(はなし)です。()みはじめたら最後(さいご)(なみだ)がとまりません。」

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

    (くち)(ひら)たら最後(さいご)自分(じぶん)意志(いし)では()められなくて何時間(なんじかん)(しゃべ)(つづ)けてしまう。

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

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