Difference between if clauses

Discussion in '日本語 (Japanese)' started by ihitokage, Jun 7, 2013.

  1. ihitokage

    ihitokage Senior Member

    I would like to ask you guys what is the difference between these sentences (I learned the if stuff but I learned more ways so just wanna know if it's the same or not):
    I hope it correct. I wanna say: If you come, I will laugh.



    あなたはこれば、 私は笑います。

    あなたは来る場合、 私は笑います。

    So are they the same? Or are there more way how to express if statement? And which one is the most common to use?
    どうも ありがとう
  2. jamesh625

    jamesh625 Senior Member

    Sydney, Australia
    English - Australia
    Not a native Japanese speaker, but for me I get the following impressions:
    1) なら adds emphasis to the condition. So if you come, I will laugh.
    2) たら adds emphasis to the result. So if you come, I will laugh.
    3) ば is the most neutral of all. It's like an "if... then..." statement in Maths.
    4) 場合 is like "in the case of" and is sort of formal. It seems to express some situation that will cause an effect.


  3. frequency

    frequency Senior Member

    Tokyo, Japan
    The fourth one is easiest; as jamesh625 said, 'In case of/that~'. In Japanese, this is good when you select one from two or more.
    'In case of using product A, (not B, C..)' 製品Aを使用する場合は・・


    They are all OK.

    I'll speak roughly..the first and the third ones are more hypothesis, 'a for-example-story'. なら and ば both work especially for hypothesis. You don't know if sb will come and you don't care about the possibility much.
    But the second one is different. This is when sb is more likely to come―becoming a reality more than the two. So this can be 'When you come~', too.

    Don't forget we often mix them breaking the wall of hypothesis vs likelihood. ば is often two-way.
  4. ihitokage

    ihitokage Senior Member

    Thank you very much. Both of you. ^^
    It is clear now.

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