Grammar Info

N1 Lesson 1: 9/17

ならまだしも

A is fine...but B is not, If it's ~ then it is ok...but ~ is not, It's different when...but, It's not so bad when...but

しも is from classical Japanese and emphasizes まだ

Structure

Phrase (A) + ならまだしも + Phrase (B)

Details

  • Register

    Standard

  • 使用域

    一般

About ならまだしも

ならまだしも is a combination of なら 'if', まだ 'still', and the adverbial particle しも, which has the primary purpose of strengthening the word that comes before it. When used, this structure will often be translated as '(A) is fine, but not (B)', or '(A) is fine, but it's different when it's (B)'.
ならまだしも is a phrase that usually separates the first and second half of sentences, so will be attached to the end of the (A) phrase, marking the statement that is acceptable.
  • (あつ)いだけならまだしも湿度(しつど)(たか)いからどこにも()きたくない。
    If it was hot, that would be fine, but because it is also humid, I don't want to go.
  • ()三日(さんにち)ならまだしも二週間(にしゅうかん)なんて()てませんよ。
    If it was 2 or three days, we could wait, but 2 weeks? We can't wait that long.
  • 一回(いっかい)だけならまだしも毎日(まいにち)(おな)じことで(おこ)られて(なん)にも(おも)わないの。
    If it was only once, okay, but don't you feel any sort of way being told the same thing everyday?
Due to the way that しも alters まだ, a more literal translation of this grammar point can be thought of as 'if it's (A), then of course there's still that, but as for (B)'.
Fun Fact
しも is a classical particle that is not frequently used in modern times outside of set phrases or expressions like ならまだしも, (いま)しも 'right this moment', and だれしも 'absolutely anybody'. In all cases, it merely strengthens the word directly before it.
  • (いま)しも(いえ)()ようとしていたところだった。
    I was just about to leave the house.
  • (だれ)しも長年(ながねん)使(つか)ってきた()竿(ざお)には愛着(あいちゃく)がある。
    Everyone has an attachment to a fishing rod they have used for many years.

Examples

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  • すみませんが、()()ぐらいならまだしも結婚(けっこん)無理(むり)注文(ちゅうもん)です。

    I am sorry, if it is just going out then it is ok, but marriage is out of the question.

    • すごく()ずかしい!(とう)さん、ビーチでならまだしも半裸(はんら)(そと)()のはやめてほしい!

      This is so embarrassing! Papa, if it is a beach, it is ok, but going half naked outside? I want you to stop!

      • 隣人(りんじん)がうちの駐車(ちゅうしゃ)区域(くいき)にたまに(くるま)()めるならまだしもいつも()めているから、いい加減(かげん)(はら)()

        If my neighbor uses my parking spot from time to time then it's ok, but because he is always parking there, I get pissed.

        • 友達(ともだち)出荷(しゅっか)遅延(ちえん)について苦情(くじょう)():「1週間(しゅうかん)とか2週間(しゅうかん)ならまだしも出荷(しゅっか)までヶ月(かげつ)()つなんて(まった)()()れられない!」

          Complaining to a friend about a shipment delay: 'If it was one or two weeks, that would be fine, but waiting something like 3 months until the shipment? That is completely unacceptable!'

          • ツイート:「自分(じぶん)感染(かんせん)するだけならまだしも祖父母(そふぼ)(おや)などが病気(びょうき)になってしまうのがとても(おそ)ろしいです。」

            Tweet: 'If it is just me becoming infected, then it is ok, but my grandparents or parents becoming ill is really scary.'

            This is often used with だけ.

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            ならまだしも – Grammar Discussion

            Most Recent Replies (1 in total)

            • Brand_S

              Brand_S

              Judging from nihongosensei.net, this phrase seems to be interchangeable with ~ならともかく (which I just encountered in the wild). I’m wondering if ~ならともかく should be added to the SRS in some form.

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