出会っていたかもしれない

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Pacerier

Senior Member
English / Chinese
Hi all, I've posted this question in another forum before but I couldn't really understand the explanation.

I read in a book that says when we use ~たら for a past tense clause, it means "when".


So for example 「喫茶店に行ったら、鈴木さんに出会った。」 means "When I went to the coffee shop, I saw Suzuki.


I'm curious why couldn't the sentence above mean "If I had went to the coffee shop, I would have seen Suzuki"?
 
  • Ocham

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    「喫茶店に行ったら、鈴木さんに出会った。」 means "When I went to the coffee shop, I saw Suzuki.
    "If I had went to the coffee shop, I would have seen Suzuki"?
    It simply depends on the form of the main clause. For examples:

    喫茶店に行ったら、鈴木さんに出会っていたかもしれない
    If I had gone to the coffee shop, I would have seen Suzuki.
    喫茶店に行ったら、鈴木さんに出会えたかもしれない
    If I had gone to the coffee shop, I could have seen Suzuki.
    喫茶店に行ったら、鈴木さんに出会えるかもしれない
    If I go to the coffee shop, I will be able to see Suzuki.
    If I went to the coffee shop, I might be able to see Suzuki.

    喫茶店に行ったら does not determine tense nor mood.
     
    Last edited:

    Pacerier

    Senior Member
    English / Chinese
    It simply depends on the form of the main clause. For examples:

    喫茶店に行ったら、鈴木さんに出会っていたかもしれない
    If I had gone to the coffee shop, I would have seen Suzuki.
    喫茶店に行ったら、鈴木さんに出会えたかもしれない
    If I had gone to the coffee shop, I could have seen Suzuki.
    喫茶店に行ったら、鈴木さんに出会えるかもしれない
    If I go to the coffee shop, I will be able to see Suzuki.
    If I went to the coffee shop, I might be able to see Suzuki.
    喫茶店に行ったら does not determine tense nor mood.
    By the way, in your first sentence, why did you use 出会っていた instead of 出会った?

    Is 「喫茶店に行ったら、鈴村さんに出会ったかもしれない。」 also grammatical and mean "If I had went to the coffee shop, I would have seen Suzuki."?
     

    Pacerier

    Senior Member
    English / Chinese
    This construction implies a guess-what feeling to the sentence: as I went to the cafeteria, guess what? I met Suzuki.
    Hmm, how do we say "When I went to the coffee shop, I saw Suzuki" without that guess-what ​feeling?
     

    Flaminius

    coclea mod
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    To my mind 出会っていた is more natural. Most Japanese verbs are regarded to take instant effects and 出会った in the context would mean the speaker sees Tanaka at the café and makes off the next moment. It may be Tanaka who goes away. The point is the conjugation suggests that the meeting did not last more than a second. As the intent of meeting someone is not just seeing their face for a second or two, you must use 出会っていた in order to delay the verb to complete its content action.
     
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