Request lesson その場合は VS それなら ( = Sonobaaiwa VS sorenara)


= Ame ga futte kitayo!

= It has started to rain!


= Sore nara mou kaeru!

= Then I’ll go home now.

Hi everyone! I have just got another request from another dear Twitter follower recently,

:rrrr: Hi, Maggie, have you done a lesson on “それなら” and “そのばあいには“?  If not, I would love examples of when to use which! :)

It is probably because when you look them up in a dictionary it says

それなら = sorenara  =in that case, then…

その場合には = sono baai niwa = in that case, then…

Hum… no wonder you get confused. The translation is the same…

They both usually refer to anticipated future events, but generally speaking, while それなら ( = sorenara) usually refers to

something that could possibly happen, something that actually is happening, or something that has already been decided, その場合は ( = sono baai wa)  is more like “If that happens” “if it comes to that”. So the possibility of それなら( = sorenara ) is  higher than その場合には ( = sono baai niwa)

Another  difference is それなら (= sorenara) is much more casual than その場合には ( = sono baai niwa)

Let’s look at some examples.


:s:それなら  = sorenara then, in that case, if so

(We often use it to interact with people. )


A : 「明日、大阪に行くの。」

= Ashita Ousaka ni iku no?

= I’m going to Osaka tomorrow.

B : それならうちに遊びにおいで!」

= Sorenara uchi ni asobini oide!

= Then come over to my house!


B :  「明日大阪に行くの?それならうちに遊びにおいで!」

= Ashita Ousaka ni ikuno? Sorenara uchi ni asobini oide!

= Are you going to Osaka tomorrow? Then come over to my house?


A: 「週末、映画を観に行くんだ。」

= Shuumatsu eiga wo mini ikunda.

= I am going to go see a movie this weekend!

B : それなら私も連れていって。」

= Sorenara watashi mo tsureteitte.

= Then take me with you!


A : 「試験なのにどこに出かけるの?」

= Shiken nano ni dokoni dekakeru no?

= You have to study for the exam. Where are you going?

B : 「図書館に行くの。」

= Toshokan ni iku no

= I am going to the library.


= Sorenara iikedo.

= All right then.


A : 「マギー先生が日本語は毎日勉強しないと上達しないって言ってるよ。」

=Maggie sensei ga nihongo wa mainichi benkyou shinaito joutatsu shinaitte itteruyo.

= Maggie Sensei said in order to improve, we have to study Japanese everyday.

B :それなら勉強しないとね。」

= Sorenara benkyou shinai tone.

= Then I have to study.


You can use it alone when you refer to someone’s quote or what you hear or see.

B : 「明日映画に行くの?それなら私も連れていって。」

= Ashita eiga ni ikuno? Sorenara watashi mo tureteitte.

= You are going to go see a movie tomorrow? Then take me with you!



= Aa gogo amega furunoka. Sorenara kasa wo motte ikanakucha.

= Oh, it is going to rain in the afternoon… Then I should take my umbrella.



= Kyou kenchan kitenaino? Sorenara kaerimasu.

= Ken is not here today? Then I will go home.


:yy: You can’t change それなら ( = sorenara) to その場合は  ( = sono baai wa) not just because all the above cases are casual talk but also they are actually happening or very possibly going to happen.


:kkk:その場合は = sono baai wa

Some possible result  +その場合は  ( = sono baai wa) If that happens, in that case, + giving suggestion or instruction / telling people what is going to happen / what you are going to do.

We see その場合は (= sono baai wa)  in some formal conversations, official announcements, manual, instructions, contracts, etc.


Ex. もしそれまでに全ての資料が揃わなかったら、その場合は会議は延期となりますか?

= Moshi soremade ni subete no shiryou ga sorowanakattara sono baai wa kaigi wa enki to narimasuka?

= If we can’t get all the documents by then, will the meeting be postponed?


Ex. この薬を飲むと副作用があるかもしれませんが、その場合はすぐに医師に相談して下さい。

= Kono kusuri wo nomu to fukusayou ga arukamo shiremasen ga sono baai wa suguni ishi ni soudan shite kudasai.

= You may have a side effect when you take this medicine, but if that happens, please contact a doctor immediately.


Ex. 画面がフリーズすることがあります。その場合は、コンピューターを再起動して下さい。

= Gamen ga furiizu suru koto ga arimasu. Sono baai wa konpuutaa wo saikidou shite kudasai.

= Sometimes the screen is frozen. If that happens, please restart the computer.

!candy! So all of these are hypothetical situations. It may happen but it may not happen. We don’t know. And they are all formal sentences so we have to use その場合は ( =  sono baai wa)


Now some of the cases might be confusing because you might hear something said both ways.


= Mou netsu ga sagattara kono kusuri wa nomanakute mo iidesu ka?

= If the fever drops, I don’t have to take this medicine anymore?

The doctor would say,


= Sono baai wa mou nomanakute iidesu.

= In that case, you don’t have to take them anymore.


= Sorenara mou nomanakute iidesu.

= If so, you don’t need to take them anymore

Actually they both mean the same thing “If so, (If you don’t have a fever anymore, ) you don’t have to take the medicine.”

a) is more formal and b) is more casual. And technically speaking the possibility of dropping fever of b) is slightly higher than a).

See another example. c) is formal speech and d) is more casual.

c)  明日雨が降るかもしれません。その場合は、遠足は中止となります。

= Ashita ame ga furukamo shiremasen. Sono baai wa, ensoku wa chuushi to narimasu.

= It might rain tomorrow. In that case the excursion will be canceled.

d) 明日雨が降るかもしれないの?それなら遠足は中止だね。

= Ashita amega furukamo shirenaino? Sorenara ensoku wa chuushi dane.

= It might rain tomorrow? In that case, the excursion will be canceled, huh?

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

= Watashi no koto suki ? Sorenara oyatsu choudai!

= Do you like me? If you do, give me a snack!

Note : You can see the Spanish translation on my Facebook Page.

Translated by our friend from Chile, Orti! Gracias Orti!


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  1. Maggie-sensei! Please, Could you make a lesson about when to use 動詞+場合・名詞の場合?

    For example… I having lots of trouble finding the reason of next sentence is right… “地震の場合、エレベーターが使用禁止” or “遅刻する場合、お知らせください” but next isn’t right “地震が起こる場合、…” or “地震が起きた場合、…”

    Thank you sooooo much! I promise to pay you an extra large coffee!

  2. Hello Maggie-sensei

    I have a doubt, in the whole conversation of the “A : 「試験なのにどこに出かけるの?」” example, were you using female speech or neutral? It’s just that my intuition tells me that a man wouldn’t speak in that way :P
    Thank you very much for this lesson!

    1. @Orti

      It sounds very soft but it is neutral. If you want to make it sound more “manly” you could say “どこに出かけるんだ?” But it is rough and the listener would feel you are interrogating.
      Anyway when ~の is used in a question form both women and men can use.
      But if you used it in an affirmative sentence, の ending sounds very feminine. In other word, men don’t use this form except little boys.

      1. なるほど! 分かったと思います ^^
        Maggie-sensei, new doubts came to my mind…
        How do you use 「事実上」? I looked up in the dictionary for “actually” because I wanted to ask “Then B sentence is actually femenine?” but I couldn’t figure out how to use it correctly S:
        The other doubt is about 「よ」…
        It is used at the end of a sentence to add emphasis neutrally, is it right? Are there any cases in which 「よ」 might sound too femenine?

        Sorry for making so many questions, sometimes I feel like I’m abusing of your good will ):

        有り難うございます ^^

        1. @Orti
          OK here you go!
          1) Exactly B) is for women.
          2)事実上 means “practically speaking” For example if a couple lives together for a long time, we say they are 事実上結婚している。(Maybe not legally but they are just the same as a marriage couple.
          If you want to say “actually” just say 本当は, 実は、実際は、実際のところ
          3) When you are talking to someone and try to involve them, it is neutral
          Ex. これおいしいよ!(Asking for agreement from a listener ) neutral
          Ex. やってみようよ!/ 今度ドライブに行こうよ!(Asking someone to do something, inviting ) neutral neutral
          When you assert things telling people what you think or what you are going to do, it is femenine.
          Ex. これ私のよ!(Affirmative sentence. To tell people what you are going to do. ) for women
          Ex.明日、学校に行くのよ!(Affirmative sentence to show what you are going to do.) for women

    1. @寝ちゃま

      がんばらねば = がんばらなければいけない = I have to do my best!, I have to try hard.
      It is a form ~ねば(ならない)which comes from なくてはならない = have to do something.
      やらなくてはいけない→やらねば(いけない)= I have to do (something.)
      勉強しなくてはいけない→勉強せねば(いけない)= I have to study.

  3. すごい すげえ Blog Maggie先生. Was wondering if you could do more slang. Stuff like very informal grammar contractions/abbreviations things like that. I’ve heard native speakers love to make their speech fluid and easier to say (of course in more casual relaxed speech). Is there a comprehensive list of such grammar?

    I would also like to see more advanced grammar lessons overall.


  4. マギー先生、いろいろ教えてくれて本当にありがとうございます!

    but when it comes to “なら”, I’m actually more confused with “なら”, “と”, “ば”, “たら”… I’m always struggling with when to use which.. Could you talk about that when you are free?
    Many Thanks ^^”

    1. @カラー
      ば、たら、たら…Oh my! Those are very confusing as well.
      時間があったら、もし出来たら、その気になったら、暇があれば….I will make a lesson! :)

  5. 先生 I was wondering one thing.
    from the line それなら私も連れていって I take it that
    連れて is the te form of 連れる but i am wondering what いって is from, i am guessing te form of 入る or am i wrong on both and if not I thought te forms were only used to make compound sentences? I am a bit confused since I am barely starting to learn hope you can help me Thanks.

    P.S. I really love your site thanks so much for the lessons. どもありがとうございます (^o^)/

    1. @ゴンザレス

      Hello! Thank you for coming to this site!
      OK, we also write 連れていって as 連れて行って (not 入って) The basic form is 連れる+行く→連れて行く
      →When we ask someone to take somewhere we say, 連れて行って (We often write 行く with hiragana)
      Let me show you other examples,

      Asking someone

      *to go somewhere running →走る+行く→走って行くく→走っていって

      Ex. 急いでいるから走っていって!= Isoside iru kara hashitte itte. = I am in hurry so please go (somewhere) running.

      *to go buy something → 買(か)う + 行く→買いに行く→買いにいって

      Ex. お弁当を買いにいって!= Obentou wo kaini itte = Go buy my lunch!

      There are other cases of ~teiku.
      Please go check my tekuru +teiku lesson

      1. Ahhh OK thank you so much and thanks for the Link for the tekuru lesson ill study that lesson next.

        ありがとうございます. \(^o^)/

        1. @ゴンザレス


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