Grammar point なら

I don’t fully understand the grammar point なら like I don’t understand its use in a sentence for example チョコレートを食べるなら、歯をみがきなさい. What purpose does なら have?

なら is one of the conditionals in Japanese (conditional = a way of saying if), and I think of なら in particular as a hypothetical. Basically, you’re saying if you eat chocolate, go brush your teeth. There’s a possibility that you might eat chocolate, but it’s also possible that you will not. なら is special among the conditionals in that it has this additional meaning attached to it.

Is your question about why you would choose なら rather than one of the other conditionals?

do you have an example?

I remember learning a helpful rule for understanding the differences between なら and たら.


If you’re going to drive, don’t drink
If you drink, don’t drive

The first sentene indicates that X (not drinking) is a prerequisite for Y (driving). If you’re going to do Y, you have to do X. In this case, you use なら.

In your case, brushing your teeth is a prerequisite for being allowed to eat chocolate. You won’t be permitted to do it otherwise.

The second case presumes you will be doing X first. If you do/don’t do X, Y shouldn’t/can’t/will happen. たら is more of a future conditional. You will often see it translated as “when” in English.

One more example:



Please excuse me if my explanation is wrong or bad.


Yes, that is exactly my question thanks.

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