〜と & 〜ないと ( = ~ to & ~ naito) conditional

how to use to
= Jaakii kurenai to itazura suruyo!
= Trick or “dog treats”!!
(If you don’t give me “dog treats”, I will play a trick on you!)

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Today we will learn one of the conditional forms,と ( = to) and ないと ( = naito).

certain condition + と (  = to) + a predictable outcome, a consequence

:rrrr:  When / If someone does something / If something happens と + what is going to happen / what someone is going to do

⭐️How to form:

1) verb plain form (present tense)と ( = to)

走る  ( = hashiru) to runと  (  = to)

:rrrr: 走ると ( = hashiruto)  when / whenever / if subject run/runs

2-a) i-adjective  ~い ( = i) + と ( = to)

かわいい   ( = kawaii) cute + と ( = to)


:rrrr: かわいいと ( = kawaiito ) when / whenever / if the subject is/are cute

2-b) na-adjective ~だ  ( = da) + と ( = to)

元気  ( = genki) healthy, energetic + だ  ( = da) + と ( = to)


:rrrr: 元気だ= genki dato = when / whenever / if the subject is/are energetic, healthy,happy

3) noun + だ ( = da) + と ( = to)

犬  ( = inu) a dog + だ  ( = da) + と ( = to)


:rrrr: 犬だと ( = inudato) when / whenever / if the subject is/are a dog/dogs


There are a few ways to make conditional sentences in Japanese. For example ~たら ( = tara), ~なら ( = nara) or ~ば ( = ba).

Note : Check my  lesson onたら( = tara) and   ~なら( = nara)

We won’t have time to go into all the conditional form differences in this lesson, but as I mentioned above, ~ ( = to) expresses natural consequences/results or something inevitable or unavoidable.
For example, you give a certain condition and  if someone/something fulfills it, ~ it’s going to happen


When A happens, B is supposed to happen.

verbと ( = to)

🔹When you give an instruction :

Ex. このボタンを押す録音できます。

= Kono botan wo osu to rokuon dekimasu.

= If you push this button, you can record the sound.

= You can record the sound with this button

Ex. この道をまっすぐ行く病院が右にあります。

= Kono michi wo massugu iku to byouin ga migi ni arimasu.

= Go straight down this street and you will see the hospital on your right.

🔹 When you talk about something habitual

Ex. お菓子の箱を開ける必ずマギーがやってくる。

= Okashi no hako wo akeru to kanarazu Maggie ga yatte kuru.

= Whenever I open a box of sweets, Maggie appears (literally: comes to me).

Ex. 栄養ドリンクを飲む元気になる。

= Eiyoudorinku wo nomuto genki ni naru.

= If I drink this energy drink, I get vitalized.

Ex. 雨が降る膝が痛くなる。

= Ame ga furuto hiza ga itakunaru.

= When it rains, my knees hurt.

Ex. この本を読むいつも眠くなる。

= Kono hon wo yomu to itsumo nemukunaru.

= Whenever I read this book, I get sleepy.

Ex. この曲を聞く涙が出る。

= Kono kyoku wo kiku to namida ga deru.

= Whenever I listen to this song, I cry.

= This song makes me cry.

🔹 What is likely to happen / What is supposed to happen if / when you do something?

Ex. マギー先生のサイトに毎日くる日本語が上達します。

= Maggie sensei no saito ni mainichi kuru to nihongo ga joutatsu shimasu.

= If you come to Maggie Sensei’s site every day, your Japanese will improve.

Ex. 内職していることが会社に見つかるクビになる。

= Naishoku shiteiru koto ga kaisha ni mitsukaru to kubi ni naru.

= If my company finds out I have a side job, they will fire me.

🔹 With time expressions: when ~, in ~

Ex. ハロウィーンが終わるすぐにクリスマスケーキの注文を始める人がいる。

= Halloween ga owaru to suguni kurisumasu keiki no chuumon wo hajimeru hito ga iru.

= When Halloween is over, some people immediately start to order Christmas cakes.

Ex. 明日になる結果がわかる。

= Ashita ni naruto kekka ga wakaru.

= I will know the results tomorrow.

Ex. 11月に入るもっと寒くなる。

= Juuichigatsu ni hairu to motto samuku naru.

= It will be colder in November. (→when we are in November.)

🔹 You can use it for unexpected or unknown results.

Ex. 彼に電話をかける知らない女性が出た。

= Kare ni denwa wo kakeru to shiranai josei ga deta.

= When I called him, a woman I did not recognize answered.

Ex. 朝になる彼の姿はなかった。

= Asa ni naruto kare no sugata wa nakatta.

= He was gone in the morning.

adjective + と  ( = to)

Ex. 彼女が静かだ心配になる。

= Kanojo ga shizukadato shinpai ni naru.

= When she is quiet, I start to worry.

Ex. 彼が元気だ私まで嬉しくなる。

= Kare ga genki dato watashi made ureshiku naru.

= When my boyfriend (or he) is happy, I get happier, too.

Ex. 私の先生もマギー先生みたいに美しいいいのに。 :)

= Watashi no sensei mo Maggie sensei mitai ni utsukushii to iinoni.

= I wish my teacher was as beautiful as Maggie Sensei.

noun + だ  ( = da) + と ( = to)

Ex. 毎日が日曜日だいいのに。

= Mainichi ga nichiyoubi dato iinoni.

= (If every day was Sunday, I would be happy)

= I wish every day was Sunday.

Ex. 日本語の先生が犬だ日本語の勉強をする気がなくなる。

= Nihongo no sensei ga inu dato nihongo no benkyou wo suruki ga nakunaru.

= “If my teacher were a dog, I would get discouraged from studying Japanese.”

    or  “Since my teacher is a dog, I get discouraged from studying Japanese.”

→Hey! I heard you!  🐶


Now we’ll see how to use ~ないと ( = naito)

〜ないと ( = naito) + what is going to happen (a predictable outcome, consequences)”

= If / when/ whenever you don’t do something/ subject is/are not ~, what is going to happen (possible consequences)

⭐️ How to form:

1) verb plain negative form  ~ないと ( = to)

行く ( = iku) to go

行かない ( = ikanai) +  と ( = to)

:rrrr: 行かないと ( = ikanai to) when / whenever / if  Subject  don’t / doesn’t go

2-a) i-adjective  change い ( = i) to ( = ku)  + ないと ( = naito)

美味しい ( = oishii)  delicious

美味しくない  ( = oishikunai) not delicious と ( = to)

:rrrr: 美味しくないと ( = oishikunai to) when / whenever / if Subject  is/are not delicious

2-b) na-adjective + ~で ( = de) +  ないと ( = naito)

静か  ( = shizuka) quiet

静かで ( = shizukade) when / whenever / if not quiet


:rrrr: 静かでないと ( = shizuka de naito)

Note: In colloquial Japanese we say じゃないと ( = janaito)

3) noun + ~で  ( = de) + ないと  ( = naito)

女性   ( = josei) women  + ~で  ( = de) + ないと ( = naito)

女性でないと  ( = josei de naito) when/whenever/if  Subject is/are not a woman/women

Note: In colloquial Japanese, we say じゃないと ( = janaito)

verb + ないと ( = naito)

Conditional:   If you don’t/ there isn’t/it is not…

Ex. 今、彼に気持を伝えない他の人と付き合っちゃうよ。

= Ima, kare ni kimochi wo tsutaenai to hoka no hito to tsukiacchauyo.

= If you don’t tell him how you feel now, he will go out with another girl.

Ex. 仕事が終わらない帰れない。

= Shigoto ga owaranai to kaerenai.

= (If I don’t finish my work, I won’t be able to go home.)

= I can’t go home until I finish my work.

Ex. この薬がない困ります。 

= Kono kusuri ga nai to komarimasu.

= (I will have problems if I don’t have this medicine)

= I will have problems without this medicine.

Ex. 日本語を勉強しないマギー先生に逮捕されます。

= Nihongo wo benkyou shinai to Maggie Sensei ni taiho saremasu.

= If I don’t study Japanese, I will be arrested by Maggie. (a passive form of “Maggie Sensei will arrest you.)



*have to ~

= ~ naito (ikenai)

Ex. もう行かないいけない
= Mou ikanai to ikenai
= I have to go now.
We often omit the last part and finish the sentence with と ( = to)


= Mou ikanai to
= I have to go now.

We also use it when we tell someone what to do.
= Mou ikanai to ikenai desuyo.


= Mou ikanai to…
= You have to go now.

Ex. マギー、もっと優しくならない

= Maggie, motto yasashiku naranaito…
= You have to be more sweet, Maggie.

📝Note: I know it may look confusing when there is no subject. But usually, you can tell by the context. If not, you have to observe if the speaker is talking to themselves or someone else.

Ex. 宿題やらないと…
= Shukudai yaranaito….
= to  have to do one’s homework
= I have to do my homework / You have to do your homework

Ex. 母に電話をしないと…
= Haha ni denwa wo shinaito…
= I have to call my mother.


adjecitve + ないと ( = naito)

Ex. あそこの会社は若くない採用してもらいない。

= Asoko no kaisha wa wakaku naito saiyou shite moraenai.

= That company won’t hire you if you are not young.

Ex. この値段より安くない買いません。

= Kono nedan yori yasuku naito kaimasen.

= I won’t buy it if it is not cheaper than this price.

*noun + ないと ( = de naito) / (じゃないと  = janaito)

Ex. マギー先生でない(or じゃない)日本語を勉強しません。

= Maggie sensei de naito (or janaito)  nihongo wo benkyou shimasen.

= I won’t study Japanese if my teacher is not Maggie Sensei.
(My Japanese teacher has got to be Maggie sensei.)


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


= Tanoshii Halloween wo sugoshite kudasai.

I hope you all have a fun Halloween!

大丈夫! 逮捕しないから心配しないで! 😉

= Daijoubu! Taiho shinaikara shinpai shinaide!

=Don’t worry! I am not going to arrest you!


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  1. hi maggiesensei, can you tell me the difference between 〜ないといけない and 〜なくてはいけない?thanks

  2. Maggie先生、こんにちは!

    初めてのコメントなんですけど I’ve known your website for a long time! Your detailed lessons have been very helpful, ありがとうございました!


    Is it possible to use と directly after たら? I’ve come up with the following sentence, somehow:


    I mean to say: If I gave up [on my study], provided that I could give up on it, I’m sure I would regret it [now].

    Does that make some sense, or did I fail fabulously?(笑)

    (Also, does that ね make it sound feminine? It’s supposed to be said by a boy. Sorry for so many questions…)

    1. Hello Vivi,
      You mean if you can use
      Yes. Let me fix your sentence a little.
      勉強を(途中で)諦めてもいいからと諦めたらきっと後悔するだろうね。(するんだろうね = more casual)
      or instead of saying 諦める, you can also say やめる

  3. Hi Maggie sensei,

    How may i insert two conditions using と ?
    It would like this kind of sentence : If A and B, then C.

    Do we simply add と at tyhe end of each proposal ? If A to, soshite B to, then C
    Or is something more like ? : If A で, B to, then C

    1. Hi Bee,
      One way to connect more than two verbs with と is use the te-form (Ex. 食べて・飲んで)or masu-stem (make a masu-form and delete masu (Ex. 食べます→食べ・ 飲みます→飲み) and finish with verb と・ないと

      粉にドライイーストを入れ、よく混ぜ、しばらくおくとふくらんできます。(connecting with te-form)
      粉にドライイーストを入れ、よく混ぜ、しばらくおくつとふくらんできます。 (connecting with masu-stem)

      粉にドライイーストを入れ、よく混ぜ、しばらくおかないとふくらみません。(connecting with te-form)
      粉にドライイーストを入れ、よく混ぜ、しばらくおかないとふくらみません。(connecting with masu-stem)

  4. Maggie-sensei,
    I also can use the conditional と with てる forms, I mean, in present progressive?

    Because I faced this sentence:
    There are two girls at school, and the principal is making a speech, then one of the girls calls the other, and she replied with that.

    1. おはよう、Gabriel

      First てる is a casual way to say ている
      And yes, you can use (て)いる with と
      話していると・話してると describes the state of talking more vividly.

      1. Thanks for clearing up for me! Your blog has been sooooo useful for me! Thanks a lot!!

  5. Hello Maggie Sensei,

    I am curious…why can と mean both “if~” and “when~”. Since it’s a conditional it’s all about when conditions are met and the subsequent events occuring after, but i’m confused why it can be “when” as well as “if”.

    1. Hello, shadoni

      Some of the translations could be either “when” or “if” depending on your interpretation.
      When you do something and automatically happens something, probably the translation “when” works better but when you are talking about more hypothetical situations or less possibilities, “if” would be better.

  6. Maggie sensei, can I use ではないと instead of でないと when the precedent word is a ナ形容詞 or a 名詞?
    Like, is「りっぱな刀ではないとあの人を倒せません」gramatically correct?
    Moreover, is the comma that may comes after と purely optional?

    1. My first impression is
      でないと・じゃないと is more natural but I guess it is possible. When you emphasize what comes before, in this case, りっぱな刀, you use では
      You can write it with 点(comma) or without 点

  7. Maggie Sensei, please help me.と in this context is mean “If” too?
    I got this context it hasの after verb and has と too.
    Thank you.

    1. OK, it will be easier for you to think this と as “and”
      AとBは違う = A and B are different.

      It is an excerpt of some sentence so I can’t tell “A” but B is “断ること” (V+ こと or V+ の is nominalization for a verb)

  8. こんにちはマギー先生👩‍🏫
    I have a problem understanding this sentence can you plea help me 😊🤗also I am not sure where the あれかgoes maybe at the beginning or at the end what would me more sense? Also is the nai form plus to = have to or something else


    Sorry i now it’s hard because it’s not so clear but please try you would help me a lot thank you 😊

    1. Hi Chii!
      仲直りさせないと = to make some (or to let someone, depending from the context) fixed up a quarrel / to make someone make up with someone.
      EX. 僕はその二人を仲直りさせようとしたけど・・・。
      The あれか part is unclear for me, I need a wider context.


    2. @Chii & 天人

      Thank you for helping Chii, 天人!

      The position of あれか, at the end,
      仲直りしないとあれか。 sounds more natural.
      As 天人 says, it depends on the context but you sometimes say あれか to make your speech vague on purpose to avoid saying いけない・だめ・まずい (not good)
      Or only the speaker knows what is going to happen (some bad consequences such as divorce, etc. ) or just looking for the right word.

      1. @maggie&天人

        Thank you both for your help 😊🤗👍😉 now I have an idea what it can mean than you both your explanations are so great they helped me a lot 😊👍🤗😉 as for the あれか I would say it stands for いけない in this situation also I would choose it because the pattern ない+と+ いけない I think I haven’t seen it some were before. 🤔 I hope I get it right 😊🤗


  9. 彼女の世界を現実と繋げてあげたいです。What と in this sentence mean?

    This sentence mean :rrrr: (I want to) connect reality with her world , That right?

  10. うわあ、このレッスンを勉強すると決めて嬉しい。
    「ないと conditional」について知ってなかった。まあ驚いた!

    1. @ocd

      (1つだけ直しますね。知ってなかった→知らなかった の方が自然です。)

      1. 直してくれてありがとう!

        1. @ocd

          Grammatically 「知る」is a dictionary form (=to know) and it means “to find out, to learn”

          知っている= to have known something/something

  11. Hi Maggie,

    Can you not also say 「ジャギーをくれなかったらいたずらよ!」?

    What’s the basic difference between using ~たら and ~と?

    1. @Jeff

      Hello Jeff,
      Yes, you can also say 「ジャーキーをくれなかったらいたずら”する”よ」
      And in this case, the translation is the same
      ”If you don’t give me “dog treats” or I will play a trick on you!”

      But the basic difference between 〜と and 〜たら is…
      While 〜と + what is going to happen (a predictable outcome, a consequence)
      ~たら is more hypothetical. And it sometimes involves hypothetical condition which is impossible or difficult to be fulfilled (or something emotionally hard to imagine).

      I also have a lesson on ~たら. Check this lesson.

  12. (I’m sorry I have to post this here, since I coulnd’t post in the previous page… my computer freezes whenever I returned to that page :/”)
    Maggie-sensei, may I ask something pretty er.. random?
    Approximately how many Kanjis I have to know to be able to read Seinen mangas? (The one that doesn’t have Furiganas).
    I learned around 500 kanjis (although I only remember around half…) and I can barely read raw Seinen mnagas :/””. I’m curious to know how far am I from reading them without having to find what’s the kanji by searching those kanjis by radical in websites….@@”
    Thank you!

    1. @Zephuros

      We learn at least 1,000 kanji in elementary school. And 2000 kanji by the time when you graduate high school.
      That will give you an idea… Ganbatte!
      (As for the comment, use Maggie’s Room comment section. That way, you can remember where you have posted your question. :))

  13. BANZAI!! Maggie sensei

    eeto…. I wonder if へと for example in.. kimi e to kono te wo nobashita.. applies this ruuru concept that you’ve explained or it has other bunpou..?

    Doumo arigatougozaimasu ~

    1. @Layol

      Haha Banzai 2u2, Layol!
      That と is not a conditional と.
      is a very poetic expression but へと means “towards” and express some action or feelings goes to some direction.

  14. Sensei, another great lesson. Thank you very much.

    I’m trying to read a children’s version of Momotaro and hataorigumo’s tale and I found lots of sentence with this pattern: ~~~to~~~~verb in the past.
    Obaasan ga sentaku wo hajimeru to, ookina momo ga nagaretekite, bikkuri shimashita;
    Momotaro to, inu to, saru ga naomo aruite iru to, kondo wa kiji ni deaimashita.
    Yosaku-san wa hebi ni chikatzuku to, motte ita kuwa de, kore wo oiharaimashita;
    Yosaku ga hataori no koya wo musume ni miseru to, sassoku musume wa wata o tsukatte, hataoriki de orihajimemashita.

    According to your lesson, in which category those examples fit in?
    -What is likely to happen/what is supposed to happen if/when you do something;
    -Unexpected or unknown results.

    Sorry for my long question.

    1. @Rodrigo
      The conditional 〜と has the following pattern.

      Sentence A (providing certain condition) + Sentence B (predictable outcome, what is going to happen)
      Sentence A somehow causes the following event, action or feelings in Sentence B. (A is a condition for B)

      1)A おばあさんが洗濯を始めると(1) B 大きな桃が流れてきてびっくりしました。
      Obaasan ga sentaku wo hajimeru to, ookina momo ga nagaretekite, bikkuri shimashita;

      C : The old lady started to do the laundry but it is not the condition of the big peach

      2)A 桃太郎と犬と 猿がなおも歩いていると(2) B 今度は雉に出会いました。
      Momotaro to, inu to, saru ga naomo aruite iru to, kondo wa kiji ni deaimashita.

      3)A 与作さんは蛇に近づくと(3) B 持っていた鍬でこれを追い払いました。
      Yosaku-san wa hebi ni chikatzuku to, motte ita kuwa de, kore wo oiharaimashita;

      4)A 与作が機織りの小屋を娘に見せると(4) B さっそく娘は綿を使って機織り機で織り始めました。
      Yosaku ga hataori no koya wo musume ni miseru to, sassoku musume wa wata o tsukatte, hataoriki de orihajimemashita.

      When we see these sentences, Sentence A and Sentence B are not necessary related. In other word A is not the condition for B.
      4) can be categorized as an unexpected result but the と in 1)~3) is “when”/”as”/”and (then)” and it simply connect two actions or events.

      Ex. マギーは本を読む(A) とすぐに眠くなる(B)。(Conditional)
      Whenever Maggie reads a book, she gets sleepy.
      (A is the condition for B. Reading a book makes Maggie sleepy. )
      Ex. マギーは本を読むと眠りについた。(not conditional)
      Maggie read a book and fell in sleep.
      (Two continuous actions. Maggie read a book (action1) and then she slept (action2)

      1. 先生は質問を答えてくださって、本当にありがとうございます。

  15. Hi Maggie Sensei,

    Under the section where you explain ~ないと, you used 美味しい as an example. However, when you write 美味しくない you translate it as ‘not delicious’ but when you add と to it you translate it as ‘if not young.’ I was just wondering if this was a typo. If not, is that just a Japanese expression or something?

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