How to use ば ( = ba)

いつも笑っていれ幸せになるよ!」

= Itsumo waratte ireba shiawase ni naru yo!

= If you always smile, you will be happy!


Hi everyone!

Today’s guest teacher is my good friend, Papi. 

He is the sweetest dog I have ever met. 

I’ve made a lesson on these conditional forms in past.

* なら ( = nara) 

* ( = to)  

* たら ( = tara) 

BUT many of you asked me to make a lesson on how to use the other conditional form: ( = ba).

I’ve been working on this lesson for over a year! To be honest, I was kind of procrastinating because I knew it would be a long one!

Now Papi-sensei will give me a “paw” to help finish this lesson. Take it away, Papi-sensei!

*****

みなさん、はじめまして!パピです。

= Minasan, hajimemashite! Papi desu.

= Nice to meet you, everyone! I’m Papi.

I am the happiest dog because I know the trick of life. Just smile! 

Yes, this is going to be another long lesson so get ready!

 !star! How to form:

verb:

dictionary form

* 行く = いく=  iku = to go

1) delete the last “u” and change it with “e”. 

iku → ik + e 

行け =いけ=  ike

2) add ( = ba)

行け = いけ = ikeba

**

Got it?

* 話す= はなす = hanasu = to talk

→e sound: 話せ = はなせ = hanase

→+ ( = ba) : 話せ = はなせ = hanaseba

* 来る = くる = kuru = to come

→e sound: 来れ = くれ = kure

→+ ( = ba) : 来れ = くれ = kureba

* する = suru = to do

→e sound: すれ = sure

→+ ( = ba) : すれ ( = sureba) 

Negative form:

* 行かない = ikanai = not to go

1) delete ( = i) and add なけれ ( = nakereba) 

行かなけれ = いかなけれ =  ikanakereba

adjective

* i-adjective

* 忙しい = いそがしい = isogashii = busy

1) delete the last ( = i ) 

忙し = いそがし= isogashi

2) add ければ ( = kereba)

忙しければ = いそがしければ = isogashi kereba

* 難しい = むずかしい = muzukashii = difficult 

→ delete ( = i): 難し = むずかし= muzukashi

→ add ければ ( = kereba) : 難しけれ = むずかしけれ = muzukashikereba

Negative form:

1) delete the last ( = i)  and add くなけれ (= kunakereba) 

→ 忙しくなけれ = いそがしくなけれ = isogashiku nakereba

*na-adjective

* 便利 = べんり = benri = convenient, useful

→ add ならば (= naraba)

便利なら = べんりなら=  benri naraba

or

→ add であれ = de areba

便利であれば = べんりであれば= benri de areba

Negative form

add + でなけれ ( = denakereba)  / + じゃなけれ ( = janakereba)  (more casual) 

→ 便利でなけれ = べんりでなけれ=  benri de nakereba

(more casual)

便利じゃなけれ = べんりじゃなけれ = benri janakereba 

* noun 

noun +  add であれ ( = de areba)/  なら ( = naraba)

* 先生 = せんせい = sensei = teacher

→ add であれ ( = de areba) 

先生であれ = せんせいであれ = sensei de areba

or

→ add なら ( = naraba)

先生なら  = せんせいなら = sensei naraba

Negative form

nounでなけれ ( = denakereba)  / + じゃなければ ( = janakereba)  (more casual) 

→ 先生でなけれ

= せんせいでなけれ

= sensei de nakereba

(more casual)

→ 先生じゃなけれ

= せんせいじゃなけれ

= sensei janakereba

Note: なら (= naraba) →なら (= nara) 

You often drop ( = ba) in conversation.

なら (= naraba) →なら (= nara) 

なら (= nara)  is more conversational. 

Check my なら (= nara) lesson.

 ***

 :s: How to use:

1) If certain condition X is fulfilled (If X happens),  Y will happen (predictable outcome) / If X happens, s.o. will do Y.

X Y = X ba Y

Ex. 今、家を出れ (X) 間に合う (Y)

= Ima, ie wo dereba  (X) maniau (Y) .

= If I leave my house now (X) , I can make it (Y).

In other word, 

*If certain condition X is not fulfilled (If X doesn’t happen), Y will not happen  (predictable outcome) 

Ex. 今、家を出なけれ (X) 間に合わない  (Y)

= Ime, ie wo denakereba (X) maniawanai  (Y).

= If I don’t leave my house (X), I won’t make it (Y).

*****

Note: Most of the following sentences can be replaced with たら (= tara). 

Before I give you all the examples, let me explain some of the differences between たら (= tara) and    ( = ba).

★The difference between たら ( = tara) and ( = ba):

(1) While たら (= tara) can be used for both negative and positive outcomes, you tend to use   (= ba) for favorable outcomes for the speaker.

(2) You can use たら (= tara) when you talk about past events but you cannot use   (= ba) unless you are talking about regrets that you have/haven’t done in the past or if you are talking about something that is not true.

I asked her out for a date (X), but she turned me down (Y).

Ex. 彼女をデートに誘ったら (X) 断られた (Y)。

= Kanojo wo deeto ni sasottara  (X) kotowarareta  (Y).

(The speaker actually asked her out).

You can’t say 誘え = sasoeba

She would say:

Ex. 誘ってくれれ*行ったのに。

= Sasotte kurereba itta noni.

= If you had asked me out, I would have said yes.

(*誘ってくれたら = sasotte kuretara) 

(He didn’t actually ask her out, so she didn’t go.)

(3) When you are talking about what you are going to do/will be able to do.

Ex.3時になったらおやつを食べよう。(verb volitional form)

= Sanji ni nattara oyatsu wo tabeyou.

= I am going to eat my snack at three.

You can’t say:

3時になれ   ( = sanji ni nareba) 

Turning three o’ clock won’t be the condition for one’s desire to eat a snack.

You can say:

* 3時になれ*おやつを食べてもいいです。(giving permission)

= Sanji ni nareba oyatsu wo tabete mo iidesu. 

= You can eat a snack at three.

(*なったら= nattara)

* 3時になれ*おやつが食べられる。(potential form)

= Sanji ni nareba oyatsu ga taberareru.

= When it hits three o’clock, I can eat a snack.

(*なったら= nattara)

In both cases, three o’ clock  is the condition that has to be met for someone to be able to have a snack.

*****

So you give a condition (X) to have the outcome (Y).

Ex. 明日になれ*熱も下がりますよ。

= Ashita ni nareba netsu mo sagarimasu yo.

= Your fever will go down tomorrow. 

( * 明日になったら= ashita ni natttara)

Ex. 毎日この運動をすれ*必ず痩せます。

= Mainichi kono undou wo sureba kanarazu yasemasu.

= If you do these exercises everyday, I can guarantee that you will lose weight.

(* 運動をしたら= undou wo shitara) 

Ex. 努力していれ*いつか報われる。

= Doryoku shite ireba itsuka mukuwareru.

= If you keep making efforts, you will be rewarded eventually.

(* 努力をしていたら = doryoku wo shiteitara)

Ex. 春になれ*もっと暖かくなる。

= Haru ni nareba mottto atatakaku naru.

= It will get warmer in spring. 

( * 春になったら = haru ni nattara) 

Ex. 大人になれ*わかるよ。

= Otonani nareba wakaru yo.

= You will know when you grow up.

( * 大人になったら = otonani nattara)

Ex. 優しい人じゃなけれ*結婚しません。

= Yasashii hito ja nakereba kekkon shimasen.

= The person I marry must be a sweet person. (If not, I won’t marry)

(*優しい人じゃなかったら= Yasashii hito ja nakattara)

Ex. 20歳になれ*お酒が飲める。

= Hatachi ni nareba osake ga nomeru.

= When I turn twenty, I can drink. 

(*20歳になったら = hatachi ni nattara)

Ex. 彼なら私の気持ちがわかるはずだ。

= Kare naraba watashi no kimochi ga wakaru hazuda.

= He should know how I feel.

(Maybe other people wouldn’t understand, but he would.)

(*彼だったら= kare dattara / 彼なら = kare nara) 

Ex. 今日は忙しいけれども明日なら時間があります。

= Kyou wa isogashii keredomo ashita naraba jikan ga arimasu.

= I’m busy today, but I have time tomorrow.

(If it is tomorrow, I will have more time.) 

(* 明日だったら = ashita dattara / 明日なら = ashita nara)

Ex. ここをまっすぐ行け*大きな通りに出ます。

= Koko wo massugu ikeba ookina toori ni demasu.

= If you go straight, you will get to the big street.

(*行ったら = ittara/ **行く = ikuto = You will find the big street. )

Note: The difference between ( = ba) and ( = to)

* The particle ( = to) 

certain condition + (= to) + predictable outcome,  habitual actions, natural phenomenon, to give instructions on how to use a machine

If you do ~ / something happens, →automatically, naturally/ certainly happens. / the speaker discover something 

Ex. 1) この薬を飲む熱が下がりますよ。

= Kono kusuri wo nomu to netsu ga sagarimasu yo.

= When you take this medicine, your fever will drop. (automatically) 

***

The speaker thinks if you do ~ +  something will happen.

Ex. 2) この薬を飲め/飲んだら熱が下がりますよ。

= Kono kusuri wo nomeba/nondara netsu ga sagarimasu yo.

= If you take this medicine, your fever will go down. (more hypothetical)  

***

The speaker finds out something after doing something.

Ex. ドアを開ける父が立っていた。

= Doa wo akeru to chichi ga tatte ita.

= When I opened the door, I found my dad standing there. 

You can’t replace this ( = to) with ( = ba) 

X ドアを開けれ父が立っていた。

= Doa wo akereba chichi ga tatte ita.

2) Asking for advice/ suggestions. 

Interrogative いつ/どこ/なに/だれ/どう, etc. ( = Itsu/ Doko / Nani / Dare/ Dou)  + V ( = ba) ~ ですか?( = desu ka)? 

= When / Where / What / Who / How (Y) ) + should I +   to do ~ (X) ?  

Ex. 切符を買うにはどこに行け*いいですか?

= Kippu wo kau ni wa dokoni ikeba ii desu ka?

= Where should I go to get a ticket?

(* 行ったら = ittara ) 

Ex. この件について誰に聞けわかりますか?

= Kono ken ni tsuite dare ni kikeba wakarimasu ka?

= Who should know about this matter? / Who should I ask about this matter?

( * 聞いたら= kiitara) 

Ex. 日本語がうまくなるためにはどうすれ*いいですか?

= Nihongo ga umaku naru tame niwa dousureba ii desuka?

= What should I do in order to improve my Japanese?

( * どうしたら = doushitara) 

Ex. 私はなにをすれ*いいですか?

= Watashi wa nani wo sureba ii desu ka?

= What should I do?

( * たら = shitara) 

Ex. いつまでにレポートを提出すれ* いいですか?

= Itsumade ni repooto wo teishutsu sureba ii desu ka?

= By when should I submit my report?

( * たら = shitara) 

Ex.  いつ行けパピに会えるの?

= Itsu ikeba Papi ni aeru no?

= When should I go to see Papi? 

(  * 行ったら = ittara) 

3)   giving someone a suggestion/ an advice.  (Why don’t you do ~ ?/  I think you should do ~.

Ex. もっとがんばれ*いいんじゃない?

= Motto ganbare ba iin jjanai?

= I think you should try a little harder.

( *がんばったら= ganbattara) 

Ex. もう遅いから明日やれ*? 

= Mou osoi kara ashita yareba?

= It’s late so why don’t you do that tomorrow?

( *やったら =yattara)

Ex. 最後まで読め*?

= Saigo made yomeba?

= Why don’t you read to the end?

( *読んだら = yondara)

4) Expressing one’s desire ( Vたい ( = tai) = to want to V) wish

If the condition X is fulfilled, the speaker wants to do Y.

Ex. 安けれ買います。

= Yasukereba kaimasu.

= If it is cheap, I will buy it.

( *安かったら買います。

= Yasukattara kaimasu.)

or

Ex. 高くなけれ買います。

= Takaku nakereba kaimasu.

= If it is not expensive, I will buy it.

Ex. 時間があれ*会いたいんだけど。

= Jikan ga areba aitain dakedo.

= I would like to see you if you have some time.

( * あったら = attara) 

Ex. いい人がいれ結婚したい。

= Ii hito ga ireba kekon shitai.

= If there is someone nice, I would like to get married.

Note: You use たら ( = tara) when you think some action has completed, you want to do something.

Ex. 日本に行ったら美味しいラーメンが食べたい。

= Nihon ni ittara oishii raamen ga tabetai

= When/If  I go to Japan, I’d like to eat delicious ramen.

In this sentence, the action is 行く( = iku) to go but actually it means “once I get to Japan/ When I am in Japan”.

You can’t say:

X 日本に行け ( = nihon ni ikeba)

Getting in Japan won’t be the condition for your desire to eat ramen noodle.

4) to express one’s expectation on others (counterfactual) 

(1) V~ のに = ba ~ noni = It would be nice if you did something / I wish you could ~ 

Ex. マギーも行けいいのに

= Maggie mo ikeba ii noni.

= You should go, too, Maggie.

(*行ったら = ittara) 

Ex. もっと食べれいいのに

= Motto tabereba ii noni.

= You should have eaten more. / You should eat more.

(*食べたら = tabetara) 

(The speaker knows the listener is not going to eat anymore.)

Note: The difference between ( = ba) and たら ( = tara):

You use たら (= tara) + のに (= noni) when you talk about your own desire.

Ex. JLPTの1級に受かったらいいのに

= JLPT no ikyuu ni ukattara iinoni.

= I wish I could pass JLPT Level 1.

It will sound unnatural if you use ( = ba ) with your wish.

X 受かれいいのに (= ukareba iinoni)

(2) V + + V past tense + のに ( = ba ~  noni): It would have been nice if you had done something / You should have done ~ 

When you tell someone what they should have done:

Ex. 嫌だったらそう言え*よかったのに

= Iya dattara sou ieba yokatta noni.

= If you didn’t want to do it (didn’t like it) you should have said so.

(* 言ったら = ittara) 

Ex. 傘を持っていけ*よかったのに

= Kasa wo motte ikeba yokatta noni.

= You should have taken an umbrella with you.

(* 持っていったら= motte ittara) 

Ex. もっと早く言ってくれれ*スーツケースを貸してあげたのに

= Motto hayaku itte kurereba suutsukeesu wo kashite agetanoni.

= If you had told me earlier, I could have lent you my suitcase. 

( * 言ってくれたら = itte kuretara)

Ex. 薬を飲んでいれ*熱が下がったのに

= Kusurui wo nonde ireba netsu ga sagatta noni.

= If you had taken a medicine, the fever would have dropped. 

(* 飲んでいたら = nonde itara) 

 !Anapple! Related lessons:

For more usage of のに ( = noni) 

5) to express one’s regret feelings.

Ex. よせいいのに無理してジョギングして足を痛めた。

= Yoseba ii noni muri shite jogingu shite ashi wo itameta.

=  I forced myself to jog and I ended up hurting my leg. I really shouldn’t have done it.

Ex. 私も買え* よかった。

= Watashi mo kaeba yokatta.

= I should have bought it.

(* 買ったら= kattara) 

Ex. 若い頃にもっと勉強しておけよかった。

= Wakai koro ni motto benkyou shite okeba yokatta.

= I wish I had studied more when I was young.

For more usage of よかった ( = yokatta)  

6) command

~ (X) + ~ しなさい/してください/して/ しろ ( *しろ ( = shiro) is strong command), etc = ~ ba (X) + shinasai / shitekudasai / shite/ shiro

If the verb in the following sentence (Y) is not action (思う= omou,etc.)  and a state verb such as ある (= aru) / いる (= iru) / なる (= naru) etc.,  you can use ば (= ba)

Ex. 時間があれ *来てください。

= Jikan ga areba kite kudasai.

= Please come over if you have time.

(* あったら= attara)

Ex. それが自分のためになると思え*やりなさい。

= Sore ga jibun no tame ni naru to omoeba yarinasai.

= If you think it would be good for you, just do it.

(* 思ったら = omottara)

Ex. わからないことがあれ*私に聞きなさい。

= Wakaranai koto ga areba watashi ni kikinasai.

= If there are things that you don’t understand, just ask me.

(*あったら = attara) 

Again if the verb in the sentence (X) is not the state and implies completion of some action, you can’t use ば ( = ba).

Ex. 空港に着いたら電話しなさい。

= Kuukou ni tsuitara denwa shinasai.

= Call me when you get to the airport.

X 空港に着け ( = kuukou ni tsukeba)

Ex. お父さん、私が満点取ったらゲームを買ってね。

= Otousan, watashi ga manten tottara geimu wo katte ne.

= Dad, if I get a perfect score, buy me a game, OK? 

X You can’t say  取れ (= toreba) 

Ex. 近くに来たら連絡してね。

= Chikaku ni kitara renraku shitene.

= Let me know when you are in the neighborhood. 

X You can’t say 来れ ( = kureba ) 

7)   V negative form + ( = ba) + いけない ( = ikenai)/ ならない ( = naranai) = have to do / must to do ~ 

Ex. もう行かなけれいけない。

= Mou ikanakereba ikenai.

= I have to go now.

Ex. もっと勉強しなけれいけません。

= Motto benkyou shinakereba ikemasen.

= You (or I) have to study more.

Note: You can’t replace with たら ( = tara) in this usage.

X 行ったらいけない ( = ittara ikenai ) means “shouldn’t go”)

X 勉強したらいけない ( = benkyou shitara ikenai) means “shouldn’t study”  

In more conversational speech you can say ない (= naito) instead of なけれ (= nakereba) 

行かないいけない。= Ikanai to ikenai.

勉強しないいけない。= Benkyou shinai to ikenai.

8) ~ほど = ~  ba ~  hodo =   the more you do ~, the more ~ 

Ex. この本は読め読むほど面白くなる。

= Kono hon wa yomeba yomu hodo omoshiroku naru.

= The more I read this book, the more interesting it gets.

Ex. 安けれ安いほどいい。

= Yasukereba yasui hodo ii.

= The cheaper the better.

Some of you might say:

Ex. このレッスンは読め読むほどわからなくなる :-? 

= Kono ressun wa yomeba yomu hodo wakaranaku naru.

= The more I read this lesson, the more I get confused.

But I would say:

Ex. 勉強すれするほど、わかるようになりますよ。

= Benkyou sureba suru hodo, wakaru you ni narimasu yo.

= The more you study, the more you will come to understand.

Check this lesson for more example sentences. 

 :rrrr: How to use ほど ( = hodo) 

9) Idiomatic expression: 

Ex. 住め都 

= sumeba miyako 

= Home is where you can make it.

Ex. 三人寄れ文殊の知恵 

= Sannin yoreba monju no chie 

= (literal meaning) If three people get together, they can come up with a good idea. 

Two heads are better than one 

Ex. 終わりよけれすべて良し 

= Owari yokereba subete yoshi~

= All’s Well That Ends Well. 

Ex.  ああ言えこう言う

= Aa ieba kou iu.

= always talk back / If I say this, you say that.

あ~終わった~!最後まで読んでくれてありがとう!

= Ahh Owattaa! Saigo made yonde kurete arigatou! 

= It’s finished. Thank you for reading to the end. 

*******

マギー先生より = Maggie sensei yori = From Maggie Sensei

パピ先生、ありがとう!

= Papi Sensei, arigatou!

= Thank you Papi-sensei!

笑っていれパピ先生みたいに幸せになれるね。

= Waratte ireba Papi Sensei mitai ni shiawase ni nareru ne.

= Right. If we keep smiling, we will be happy like Papi-sensei.

****

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2 Comments

  1. Thank you so much Maggie Sensei! You spend so much time on these lessons!

    I was wondering how you would translate “the more you do~, the LESS~”?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Rachel!

      Good question!
      “the more you do~, the LESS~” = Usually ~ すればするほど〜なくなる patten works.

      the more I know, the less I understand
      知れば知るほどわからなくなる。

      The more I buy, the less money I have.
      買えば買うほど、お金がなくなる。

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