Grammar Info
N4 Lesson 3: 14/18

if… then, [conditional]


[い]Adjective[+ けれ
[な]Adjective + なら
Noun + なら

[る1]Verb → 見 +
[る5]Verb → 座 +
[う]Verb → 歌 +
[く]Verb → 歩 +
[す]Verb → 話 +
[つ]Verb → 打 +
[ぬ]Verb → 死 +
[ぶ]Verb → 飛 +
[む]Verb → 休 +
[ぐ]Verb → 泳 +

する → すれ
くる → くれ

Negative Forms:
Verb[ない+ ければ
+ ければ
[な]Adjective + + ければ
Noun + + ければ
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使用域 一般
There are several different ways to express ‘if’ in Japanese. One of these is through using the 接続助詞(せつぞくじょし) (conjunction particle) . presents hypothetical situations (possibilities), and pairs with verbs using an う to え sound-change conjugation method on the terminal (last) kana. Let’s examine this with a few verbs first.
  • 仕事(しごと)辞(や)めれ自由(じゆう)時間(じかん)増(ふ)えけど、お金(かね)無(な)くなる
    If I quit work, I will have more free time, but I will have no money.
  • 雨(あめ)止(や)めれ、今日(きょう)釣(つ)りに行(い)くつもりです
    If it stops raining, I intend to go fishing today also.
  • そこ信号(しんごう)右(みぎ)曲(ま)がれ病院(びょういん)着(つ)きます
    If you turn right at the light just there, you will get to the hospital.
  • 店(みせ)電話(でんわ)すれ、すぐに予約(よやく)できる
    If you call the store, you will be able to make a reservation immediately.
  • あいつくれパーティー楽(たの)しくなると思(おも)う
    If he comes to the party, I think it will be more fun.
As we can see with these verbs, the final kana will change to an え sound, from its original う (る to れ, う to え, く to け, す to せ, etc.) before adding . It is important to practice these, to not get them mixed up with verbs that use れる, and られる. Unlike with these verbs, the base form of する and くる will not change when using .
To conjugate い-Adjectives with , the い will be replaced with けれ, one of the standard い-Adjective conjugation forms. After this, just add .
  • 頭(あたま)痛(いた)けれ、薬(くすり)飲(の)ん寝(ね)た方(ほう)がいい
    If your head hurts, it would be better if you take some medicine and then sleep.
  • ラーメン屋(や)チャーハン不味(まず)けれそこラーメン不味(まず)だろう
    If a ramen shop's fried rice tastes bad, then the ramen probably tastes bad too, right?
For な-Adjectives, and nouns, なら (another standard conjugation form of these words) will be added, before attaching .
  • 刺身(さしみ)が嫌(きら)いならば 、寿司(すし)嫌(きら)いでしょう
    If you do not like sashimi, then you probably don't like sushi either, right?
  • バイクならば、バイク専用(せんよう)駐輪場(ちゅうりんじょう)止(と)めてください
    If it's a motorcycle, please park it in the designated bike parking lot.
In the negative form (using ない), both the 助動詞(じょどうし) ない, and the い-Adjective ない will conjugate in the same way. Simply replace い with けれ, and then add .
  • 私(わたし)作(つく)っクッキー食(た)べたくなければ、捨(す)ててもいい
    If you don't want to eat the cookie that I made, you can throw it away.
  • カレー辛(から)くなければ、いっぱい食(た)べれる
    If the curry isn't spicy, I can eat a lot of it.
  • トラック運転手(うんてんしゅ)でなければこの仕事(しごと)辛(つら) 分(わ)からない
    If you aren't a truck driver, then you wouldn't understand the hardships of this job.
Fun Fact
The なら in ならば is often used by itself to mean ‘if’, and is an abbreviation of the classical Japanese 助動詞(じょどうし) (auxiliary verb) なり ‘to be’. In its 仮定(かてい) (hypothesis) form, なり will become ならば. However, なり is very irregularly used by itself in modern Japanese, with なら, and ならば being far more common.
So that you do not mix up the conjugation rules for , and passive verbs, remember that the last kana of the verb will change to an あ sound, before adding れる with passive verbs. However, this change is to an え sound with .
  • 運動(うんどう)痩(や)せ
    If you exercise, you will lose weight.
  • 夜(よる)遅(おそ)くに電話(でんわ)される迷惑(めいわく)です
    It is very inconsiderate of you to call this late at night.
Slow Male
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If it rains tomorrow, then I will go watch a movie.
[lit. "if rain gets fallen"]
If you go to soccer practice every day, then you can become a professional soccer player.
[lit. "if practice gets gone to"]
If (you) cannot do it by this Friday, then (you) have to finish it next weekend.
[lit. "if it is not able to get done"]
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