Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 8: 11/18

If, When, Whenever, And, [Conditional]


Verb +
[い]Adjective +
[な]Adjective + +
Noun + +


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About と

In the same way as the case marking particle means 'and', sometimes it is translated as 'if'. In these cases, it is considered to be far stronger than , なら, or たら (which express hypothetical outcomes). This is because one of the primary uses of is highlighting a result. In these cases, is actually a conjunction particle, and shows one of three things.
仮定(かてい)順接(じゅんせつ) - A result that is assumed to be true, and obvious.
確定(かくてい)順接(じゅんせつ) - A result that is known to be true.
仮定(かてい)逆接(ぎゃくせつ) - The opposite of a result that is assumed to be true.
Due to this, the (B) part of a phrase using as 'if', will always occur when (A) happens, as it is considered to be the result of (A).
  • (あま)ものいっぱい()(ふと)
    If you eat a lot of sweet things, you will gain weight.
  • 部屋(へや)(きたな)、お(かあ)さんに(おこ)られる
    If my room is messy, my mother will yell at me.
  • 部屋(へや)(しず)(ねむ)ない
    If my room is quiet, I can't sleep.
  • 地下鉄(ちかてつ)、5(ふん)(はや)()
    If it's the subway, you will arrive 5 minutes faster.
may not be used in situations where the (B) result 'might' happen. It must be definite (or close to definite).
  • (はし)けがする
    If I run, I will injure myself. (Unnatural Japanese, unless this person always injures themselves while running for some reason)
In this particular nuance of , despite being translated as 'if', the actual meaning is much closer to 'and', as is expressing that (A) and (B) will always go together.
  • ()()(なに)()ない
    I close my eyes, and I can't see.




    If you study, the test will be easy.


    If you polish this rock, it will become beautiful.


    If you look from here, you can't see Mt. Fuji at all.


    If you forget to bring your swimsuit, you won't be able to swim in the ocean.


    Whenever you workout three times a week, you gradually get stronger. (if...)

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と – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (6 in total)

  • jrmr50


    how do I know when と means if, when or and?

  • Ambo100


    Usually based on context, in some of the examples there is a comma after と.




    You wouldn’t use a comma if you are using と to join nouns.

    と can be used more than once when used to mean ‘and’, unlike in the conditional と.


  • jrmr50


    thank you, explained very clearly…

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