ば conditional question


#1

Hi there,
I have a question about Japanese conditionals. Recently, I had a lesson on the use of ~ば、~と and ~たら. I found the distinctions between all of these rather confusing, especially in the following sentences:
(1) ゆきさんが【×来れば ×来ると 〇来たら】、パーティーを始めましょう。= When Yuki-san comes, (I/we) will start the party.
(2) 試験が【×終われば ×終わると 〇終わったら】遊びに行きたい。 = When the exam ends, I want to go have fun.

My teacher told me that in both cases, the use of ば is wrong, because in (1) it’s used to express intention and in (2), it’s used to express a wish. However, when I consulted my “Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar” I found the following statement: “(in S1ばS2) S2 can be a statement of the speaker’s volition or hope.” So who’s right here? Because I really don’t know now…


#2

WIth たら, the second clause occurs after the first clause is complete or a result of the first clause whether intentional or not

ば indicates hypothetical situations. So, at least in your examples above, it would not work because the first clause is something the speaker knows will happen at some point.

Example of ば hypothetical hope: 病気にさえならければ、みんなと一緒に行けたのに。
If only I hadn’t become sick, I would have been able to go with everyone…

There is, of course some more to them than that, but I think it makes sense for what you are asking.


#3

Good explanation. In this case:

ゆきさんが来れば = If Yuki comes, not when Yuki comes

試験が終われば = If the test ends (makes no sense)


#4

Thanks for the explanation. But in this case, would you say that if I didn’t know if Yuki-san will come, would the use of ば in that sentence be correct?


#5

Thanks so much - it makes much more sense to me when I translate it as “If”.


#6

but is ~ba also used when you’re offering advice as in "学校に来なければ、卒業できません。”


#7

I think so, but then the party would explicitly not start if yuki-san doesn’t come.


#8

Sure, now I can see how it could sound absurd. Not starting a party because someone doesn’t come is weird. But let’s assume that Yuki’s birthday - then it makes a little bit of sense methinks :slight_smile:


#9

ゆきさんが来ればパーティーを始めましょう

This sentence is not good any way I look at it. It’s like you have a bunch of people just waiting around to start a party on the off chance that Yuki comes. I can’t think of a situation where it would be useful in Japanese.

Let’s say Yuki might come to town at some point and if/when she does, you plan on setting up a party. Now this:

ゆきさんが来ればパーティーしましょう or
ゆきさんが来たらパーティーしましょう


#10

@akirayonsanrokku yes, ば can be used for cause and effect, like you said. “If you do X, then you can do Y.”

@tel003a - I agree, you COULD have ゆきさんが来れば, but then the second clause would have to be something different than パーティーを始めましょう.


#11

Ok, now I see why it doesn’t make sense - thanks!


#12

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