Why is ら in 行ったら? and what does ご mean here たまにご両親と話せばどう?

These are from here Desire and Suggestions – Learn Japanese at the bottom. I don’t remember the grammar rules for them but I could still translate the sentence.

oops I just saw why ra is there to add dou. I still don’t know what go is doing there though.

~たら is a form that expresses several meanings, but one of the most common is a conditional. 行ったら would commonly be understood as “If I/you go” or “When I/you go”.

ご and お are honorific prefixes that make the word they are attached to more polite. You use them when you are talking about someone else’s things, or apply them to some general purpose words all the time because they’ve just become standard that way, like ごはん for meal/rice and おかね for money.


You’ll learn about the ~たら form soon if you haven’t yet (sounds like you’ve already learned with ~た). Like Leebo says, it’s primary function is as one of the the three commonly used (and all slightly different in nuance) conditional forms in Japanese. It has a few other uses indicating sequences and expectations, but you’ll learn those probably in intermediate study material.

But yeah, unless it’s 思ったら, there is a good chance when you see that ending that you’re looking at an “if/then” / “when/then” statement.

Nothing to add on ご and お! They’re just respectful prefixes and there’s no real way at them (for your own use; understanding is easy) but memorizing which one tends to be paired with what words.

Edit – Incidentally, you’re looking at one of the other conditional forms at the end of the sentence in the title.

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