How to use ば ( = ba)


= 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!



= Minasan, hajimemashite! Papi desu.

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

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

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

 !star! How to form:


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


* 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


* 便利 = べんり = benri = convenient, useful

→ add ならば (= naraba)

便利なら = べんりなら=  benri naraba


→ 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


→ 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 a 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 every day, 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 discovers 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.)


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 been completed, or 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 to Japan won’t be the condition for your desire to eat ramen noodles.

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 a little unnatural if you use ( = ba ) with your wish with のに ( =noni) here because it sounds like it is someone else’s problem.

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) 

⭐️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.


= 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


= Papi Sensei, arigatou!

= Thank you Papi-sensei!


= 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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  1. Hi there,
    I searched about the word “motaneba / 持たねば”, but didn’t find what I was looking for. My question: is motaneba the construction of (motanakereba / 持たなければ)?
    And if this is the case, does it mean: (If you don’t have)?

    1. Hi Katsu
      Vねば is a literal expression of Vなければ
      Vなければいけない = have to/must do something
      Vねば (ならない/いけない)
      You sometimes drop ならない/いけない
      So 持たねば = have to have ~

      1. Sorry, I did a mistake. I meant: is motaneba the contraction (not construction) of motanakereba? any way,
        By the letter V beside the words, you mean “verb”?
        Also I thought (nakereba) is the form of negative and this is why I said (if you don’t have) because “eba” is used for conditional form, right?
        So in general, can we say (motaneba) also means (unless)?

        1. Yes, V means “verb”

          It is not contraction but as I said in my previous message もたねば(ならない)(motaneba (naranai)) is an literal/old way to say もたなければならない/いけない(motanakereba/ikenai)
          Ex.しなければいけない = shinakereba ikenai = have to do something →literal/old way せねばならない ( = seneba naranai)

          Originally this ば (=ba) is conditional. If you don’t do something, it is not good.
          So, you can interpret, unless you do something, it is not good. But it means “have to do something/must do something”

          Ex.もっとがんばらなくてはいけない →もっとがんばらなくては (I have to try harder)
          →(more literal) もっとがんばらねばならない→もっとがんばらねば

  2. こんにちは、

    1. こんにちは  Tarun
      (Note for you ない場合は→正しくない場合は)

  3. Hello Maggie,

    is 貸 a state verb態を表す動詞 or an action verb動きを表す動詞?

    1 – 車を貸してもらえれば、ドライブに行きたい。
    2 – 車を貸してもらえるとドライブに行きたい。

    1 is right and 2 is wrong, but why is 1 right? I think they should both be wrong because using an action verb, you cannot use ば or と and have volition of the speaker, and there is volition of the speaker here for both ば and と? (Unless 貸 is not an action verb is it a state verb?)

  4. Hello Maggie Sensei,
    a 着てみたほうがいい
    b 着てみたらいい
    c 着てみてよかった
    d 着てみればよかった
    I chose ‘a’ but it was wrong. Why is ‘d’ right and the others wrong? I cannot find the difference between たら and ば and  ほうがいい anywhere on your website. please make it.

    Thx in advance.

    1. Hi Mark

      昨日 is a key word
      着てみたほうがいい means “One should try it on/It will be bette to try it on”
      So this person bought a jacket (since it says この上着) so it should express one’s regret.
      ~ みればよかった

  5. Hi, Maggie sensei.
    Why is eba forma used here?
    This is from a song. Is there a lyrical meaning? Thanks

    1. Hello Bere,
      It is a conditional sentence so you use ば.
      How much it should rain to get back tomorrow.
      If it is hard to understand why it is a conditional sentence, let’s change the sentence a little.
      たくさん雨がふれば明日を取り戻すだろう If it rains a lot, I will get back tomorrow.

      And it is a very literal expression.

  6. 箸はペンを持つように持つと使いやすい。



    Please tell me sensee which one is correct and why

    1. Hi Laxmi,

      You say them both.
      The difference is:
      と when you do something, something usually (automatically) happens
      ば adds more hypothetical nuance “If you hold ~”

  7. What does it mean when you end a sentence with a verb in ば conditional form?

    An example situation I’ve heard it used in is someone handing someone else their umbrella and saying「使えば」.
    And I’m like “tsukaeba… nani?” To me, that sentence just means “if you use it.” If you use it… what? Unless it’s supposed to be short for 『使えばいい』, in which case the sentence would be “It’s fine if you use it” or “You can use it.”

    But this doesn’t even work for all instances. For example, there is a song lyric that goes
    And I’m pretty sure that’s the both the beginning and end of the sentence because the next line is 扉をノックした 後ろ振り返らずにね。And the line before it is おうまが時だけ、笑いだす。
    When I try to translate it I get “those (expletive) whispers, if you make a rumor,” which of course, makes no sense.

    Is there some grammatical structure at work here that I don’t know about?

    1. Hello あの女(Wow, that sounds very rude..but it’s your name so…)
      As I explained in this lesson, there are many usages of ば

      「使えば」 This ば is the usage I explained in this lesson
      3) giving someone a suggestion/ an advice. (Why don’t you do ~ ?/ I think you should do ~.)

      この傘を使えば? (Or この傘をつかったら?)= Why don’t you use this umbrella?

      噂をすれば is from an proverb
      噂をすれば影=speak of the devil So when you talk about someone, that person shows up (conditional)
      So I guess when the speaker was talking about someone, that person knocked the door so don’t turn around.

      1. I see, I must’ve missed that part about 使えば… I will reread the lesson!
        And thank you for explaining 噂をすれば: I never would’ve gotten it!!

      2. Hi Maggie,

        I hope you are well. I’m still reading every day to try and improve!

        I wanted to ask if you can use 3) to give yourself advice or suggest something to yourself, in a kind of “I should ~” way?

        The following sentence seems to say “I’m a little bit scared, but if Trina says she’s going to meet then I should go too”:


        Is that correct?

        Many thanks as always,

        1. Hello Peter,
          This ば is the usage 7) V negative form + ば ( = ba) + いけない ( = ikenai)/ ならない ( = naranai) = have to do / must to do ~

          自分も行かなければ(いけない) = I have to go too. / I should go too.
          You sometimes drop いけない

  8. 改めましてこんばんは。先にツイッターで質問しているAn Asian Polyglotです。先生と話した後、ちょっと忙しくなって、結局遅くなって、ごめんなさい。それでは、先の質問を複写します:

    1. こちらの方が、文字数気にしなくていいからいいですね。😉



      (1) 一つの理由は、

      (2) Vばいいのに
      Ex. マギー先生に聞けばいいのに。(マギー先生に聞いたらいいのに)

      Xさんがもっと金持ちであればいいのに。(他の人について話すときは使えないこともありませんが、一般的には” 金持ちなら・金持ちだったら” を使う方が多いと思います。)


      Ex. もっとお金があればいいのに。(お金があったらいいのに) 自分の状況
      Ex. うちがもっと金持ちであったらいいのに (金持ちだったらいいのに) 実際の主語は自分の家
      Ex. お金がすぐに貯まればいいのに。(貯金の状態)

      X (私が)行けばいいのに


      1. 要約すると、 「Vばいいのに」は願望などを表す構造で、
        ー Vの主語が自分ではないと一番自然であり、
        ー Vの主語が自分ならVが自分の状況を表す動詞(例えば可能形動詞;「である」は例外)であればまだ自然である、

        1. はい、そうです。😊

          1. はい。先生は他の例外を思いついたらまた書けばいいと思いますが、この説明ではもう普通の文章の場合には十分だと思います。😁 ありがとうございました!

  9. Hi Maggie,

    As usual when I got stuck on something, one of your lessons gave me the answer :)

    Just a quick question on it though:

    For the verb1 + ば + verb2 + ほど pattern, is verb1 always the same as verb2?
    Are there any examples where they might be different?

    Many thanks as always!

    1. Hello Peter,

      Welcome back!
      Yes, verb1 + ば + verb2 + ほど
      You use the same verb. (If it is suru-verb, 勉強する、料理する etc, you can just repeat する and as your example sentence, if the verb has くれる/あげる or other auxiliary verbs, etc, you can just repeat the dictionary form of くれる/あげる,etc. in verb 2)


  10. Hello Maggie sensei,

    Can I replace the following sentences with なら?

    1・ 安ければ買います。



    3/ 時間があれば*会いたいんだけど。
    = 時間があるなら、会いたいんだけど。


    Thanks my Lady.

  11. Hi Maggie-Sensei! I’ve been reading your posts for a long time (three years!) but this is the first time I’ve ever posted a comment ^^

    Anyway, I have a question concerning this ば form.
    So, when we have ない, it’s ば form is なければ. It’s pretty easy to understand, and I can say things like 「食べなければ、おなかがいたいよ!」to my younger sister meaning “If you don’t eat, your stomach will hurt.” Say my younger sister gets all fired up to eat now, and she turns to her friends she was playing with and says 「食べなければなりません」, expressing that she has to eat. I have heard that this なければなりません/なければいけません form can be shortened to just なきゃ or なくちゃ, so my sister could’ve just have easily said 「たべなきゃ」to her friends.

    Now this is where my question comes in:
    Is なきゃ/なくちゃ only used to express things that we have to do, or are they generally accepted as a short, casual form of なければ?
    For example, in Yonezu Kenshi’s song “Lemon,” he sings 「あなたがいなきゃえいえんに暗いまま。」At first I was translating it as “You have to be here, it will continue to be dark forever” but then realized that it would make more sense if it was “If you are not here, it will continue to be dark forever.” Am I correct to assume that his lyrics would mean the same thing if he’d said 「あなたがいなければ、えいえんに暗いまま」 or 「あなたがいなくちゃ永遠に暗いまま」?

    I apologize for this long-winded question and thank you for any answer you provide!

    1. Hi Sora

      Thank you for reading my lessons for three years!
      “If you don’t eat, your stomach will hurt.”
      Almost, you say 何か食べないとお腹が痛くなるよ(onakga ga igaku naruyo) 。The second part should be いたくなるよ instead of いたいよ。
      And if you want to use the casual contraction

      Yes, 〜なければ→なきゃ/なくちゃ
      あなたがいなきゃ =  If you are not here
      I have a lesson on なくちゃ/なきゃ where I explain all about the usage. Please go check it. :)

  12. Hello, today, I’ve listened a song and it says “気づけば I came too far”. What does this mean.

      1. Hello Kiw

        気づけば・気がつけが The literal translation is “when I realized”.
        気づけば〜〜 I did something before I knew it.
        So “I have come this far before I knew it.”

  13. Hello Maggie sensei,

    Me again :)

    After reading your lesson about と also.
    I have some questions and hope you will help me! Please !!!!

    ** Are these 3 sentences of me correct ?




    Thanks Maggie sensei!!!

    1. Hello again 😊


      Let change 涙が出ると to 泣くと which sounds more natural.(Especially when you are talking about someone else.)
      あなたが泣くと悲しくなるよ If you cry, I (naturally) feel sad.
      あなたが泣けば悲しくなる If you cry, I will feel sad. (hypothetical)

      Not natural

      Hmm I guess you could say
      涙が出たら or 私が泣いたらそばにいて拭いてよ。

  14. Hello Maggie sensei,

    Thank you for a great lesson, again!

    May I ask 1 question

    *** For the usage of ば in this sentence

    Is it OK if I use と?

    *** For expressing a hope in present or future, I remember that と is possible

    And is if OK for ば also?

    Thank you Maggie sensei in advance !

    1. Hello Frozenheart! 元気?

      Is it OK if I use と?
      Not natural.
      You can say そう言ってくれたらよかったのに

      嫌って言えるといいのに Thinking about the future
      嫌って言えばいいのに Referring either some event which happened in the past or is happening right now.

  15. Hello again,

    Sensei, can I say:



    Thanks sensei so much.

    1. Hi again,
      Sorry. I don’t have much time right now so I will make it short.
      They both don’t sound natural.
      病気になったら〜 is better for the same reason that I wrote (3) x 3時になればおやつを食べよう
      帰ります express one’s will.

      医者になったら〜 is better
      医者になれば you have to express what kind of outcomes you will have

  16. Hello Maggie sensei,

    So, when we want to ask for an advice, we can use both どうしたら いいですか,
    and どうすればいいですか ?

    Since the grammar has 4 similar points nara/to/ba/tara, so I want to confirm
    Do we have such saying?

    (a) どうするといいですか?
    (b) どうするならいいですか?
    Thanks Maggie sensei for always helping us.

  17. Maggie sensei,
    First of all thank you very much for your lessons, they are very helpful!
    I have a doubt when it comes to (not) using the ば in the past, you say you can`t use it unless is a regret or is not true but I read:
    ビールを3本飲めばよっぱらいました meaning something that always happens, as opposed to ビールを3本飲んだらよっぱらいました somenthing that only happened once.
    is it the first one incorrect?
    Thank you very much!

    1. I guess I didn’t cover the usage.
      True. There are cases that you use ば when you talk about one’s habit in past. Whenever ~ someone does/did something./ One used to do something.

      あの頃は彼と会えば(or 会うと)いつも喧嘩をしていた。
      We used to fight whenever we get together that time.

      As for the sentence “ビールを3本飲めばよっぱらいました”, it may work with more context. (Just that sentence may sound a little unnatural.)

      Ex.昔は/前は/若い頃は、ビールを3本飲めば酔っ払って騒いでいました。(but not anymore.)

      The basic pattern:
      〜ば〜していた/ 〜ば〜したものだった (the following verb describe the state. )

  18. While completing some exercises in a textbook, I got these two sentences wrong.
    1. 7時になれば帰ります!
    2. このドアが開けば入りませんか?
    I think I understand why you can you “ba” in these two sentences, but can you please explain why exactly these two sentences are wrong? I know you covered a lot of examples in your lesson, but I think i’m still not 100% sure I’m getting it when it comes to these two sentences.

    1. Hi James,

      1. 7時になれば(X) 帰ります (Y)→ 7時になったら帰ります。/7時に帰ります。
      7時になれば sounds like the person is waiting until it turns 7:00 to come home or not sure if it turns seven.

      In this case, you can use ば if the following sentence (Y) has a potential verb.

      7時になれば(or なったら)帰れます。 I can go home when it turns 7:00.

      2. このドアが開けば入りませんか?
      That means, they are in front of a closed door and they are not sure if the door will open or not. If it opens, he/she wants to go inside with the listener.
      If you are sure the door will open, you use 開いたら = When the door opens,

  19. Hello!Maggie先生,

    I would like to know this sentence is correct(or make sense)?

    1. Hi Kaminari,
      Do you want to say,
      “When I go on a picnic, I will take an umbrella.” or “Whenever I go on a picnic, I take an umbrella with me.”
      Then, you should say

      出かければ is used for more
      If I go on a picnic, + you expect something will happen. /Someone will do something.
      If I go on a picnic, he will be happy.

  20. Hey there Maggie,

    I just came back from doing a homestay while going to a language school in Tokyo. I have a question about something my family used to say a lot using the ba conjugation. They would say it like a “what if” statement. For example, one day we were talking about getting haircuts, and the mom asked (sorry I don’t have a Japanese keyboard downloaded on my PC) “Nihon de kami wo kireba?” Which I thought meant something like “What if you got your hair cut in Japan?” It sounded like it was a joke, because the family would laugh after they said it. Do you know of a use of ba like this? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi JD

      Hope you had a nice time in Japan.
      (Nihon de kami wo kireba?)
      That “ば” is
      3) giving someone a suggestion/ an advice. (Why don’t you do ~ ?/ I think you should do ~.)

      So it means “Why don’t you get your haircut in Japan?/ You should get your haircut in Japan.”

  21. Thank you very much for this really helpful lesson Maggie Sensei!

    I have a question about a sentence I read recently, which is:


    I kind of get the meaning of the sentence from context but cant seem to figure out how to correctly translate it.

    The construction looks like Interrogative + V(ば) + ですか but advice/suggestion translating to “should” doesnt really fit.

    1) How would you translate the sentence?

    2) Is there a reason to use や over と to mean “and” in this sentence?

    1. Hi カルミス

      1) 気がすむ means “to be satisfied” but in this case it is sarcastic.→ How much is enough for you to make you satisfied?
      どれだけ~ だ! shows the speaker feels angry.

      It could be translated in many ways but for example
      * Enough with making fun of him/her and me?
      * Are you satisfied looking down on her/him and me this much?

      2) AとB means “A and B”!
      AやB means “A and B and etc.”

  22. What usage of ば is being used in this sentence?

    1. It’s an idiomatic expression.

      こっちが+ 気を使っていれば when I concern about your feelings /下手にでれば when I behave modestly / 黙っていれば when I keep my mouth shut (condition) + いい気になって (you take an advantage/ get full of yourself/ behave arrogantly)

      1. Ah, much clearer now.
        I appreciate these lessons. Although I have no problem in the vocabulary department, I’ve too long neglected the grammatical quirks and nuances of the language; a lot is clicking into place now, reading your lessons.

  23. こんばんは先生!おつかれさまでした!i can feel the amount of effort and time you spend for this lesson to help us. I really appreciate it.

    I have the following questions please:

    1.”明日になれば*熱も下がりますよ.” In this sentnce what is “も” here?

    2.”明日になれば*熱も下がりますよ.” And”明日になったら*熱も下がりますよ.” No difference at all?

    3. When exactly we never use”-ば”? From the lesson, is it only when we express our wishes and past events we dont use-ば?what else? im very confused

    4. -ば and のに、which express regret and wish more?which is better? What situations we never use-ば instead of のに?

    Thank you so much in advance.

    1. Hi Kuroineko

      1. If you say 熱は下がりますよ, it implies other symptoms may remains but the fever will drop.
      So by using も, it implies the main concern, the fever, will also be gone with other problems.

      2. They mean the same.

      3. You mean compare to たら、と、なら?
      Hmm I think I covered some in the lesson. I will add it when I think of more.

      4. which express regret and wish more?which is better? What situations we never use-ば instead of のに?
      Sorry but I don’t quite get your question.
      For example if you are talking to someone,

      行けばいいのに You should go. (knowing that the person won’t be able to go)
      行ったらよかったのに You should have gone.
      They both express one’s wish (even if the speaker knows it won’t come true) and not regrets.

      Check my のに lesson.

  24. 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

      The more I buy, the less money I have.

    2. Thank you so much 先生!
      i understand now and i hope u can do my point 3 if u can think of more. I’d really appreciate it.

      I will try to check のに soon after i can fully understand -ba
      To be honest, Japanese language has so many (if) so many (must) so i feel so confused and when you want to talk to someone which one to use is difficult I think.

      1. Right. It is complicated. As I wrote, たら is less restricted so it should cover a lot of the situations.
        As for 3, yes, I will add more inf. when I think of more. :)

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