Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 10: 18/18


Should have, I wish, It would have been better to


Verb[ば]+ よかった

()べる → ()べれ + よかった
()む → () + よかった
する → すれ + よかった


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About ばよかった

ばよかった is a common expression used when someone regrets that something has not been/was not done. It is a pairing of the conjunction particle , and the past form of the い-Adjective, () (remembering that conjugations of いい use よ, and not い). This construction is often translated to 'I wish I did (A)', or 'I should have done (A)'.
ばよかった is used after verbs, so requires the standard conjugation, before adding よかった.
  • サービスエリア(ひと)ないじゃないか高速(こうそく)()(まえ)トイレ()ばよかった
    There aren't any service stops, are there? I wish I had gone to the bathroom before we got on the highway.
  • 今日(きょう)残業(ざんぎょう)昨日(きのう)(はや)()ばよかった
    I have to work overtime again today? I should have gone to sleep early last night.
As highlights hypothetical situations, ばよかった literally means that 'it would have been good if (A)', where (A) is the thing that the speaker wishes had happened.
Fun Fact
This grammar point is in direct contrast to ばいい, the non-past version, which is used to express 'it would be good if (A)'.
  • 運転(うんてん)たくなかたら電車(でんしゃ)()ばいい
    If you don't want to drive, it would be better if you went by train.



  • (つぎ)電車(でんしゃ)()ばよかったです

    I should have waited for the next train.

    • ゲームより勉強(べんきょう)すればよかったです

      It would have been better to study rather than play games.

      • 天気予報(てんきよほう)()ばよかったです

        I should have looked at the weather forecast.

        • スーパー()った(とき)牛乳(ぎゅうにゅう)()ばよかった

          I should have bought milk while I was at the store.

          • ()ないで日本語(にほんご)勉強(べんきょう)すればよかった

            It would have been better to study Japanese rather than sleep.

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            ばよかった – Grammar Discussion

            Most Recent Replies (27 in total)

            • Asher


              That is correct, the point would disappear from the review queue. Definitely good timing on N3!

            • Marcus.W


              Very good, thanks.

            • quufer


              I found this grammar point mostly by accident (did a search on “かった”), and noticed that it’s listed as N4 Lesson 11… which doesn’t exist. What is the purpose of this point, if it’s not included in the standard path? Are there a lot of orphan grammar points like this?

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