と vs ば vs たら vs なら

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Jun 23, 2015 21:44 Japanese grammar
This is a rewrite of my past post.

[About the differences between "と" "ば" "たら" and "なら"]
The meaning of a particle changes depending on how it is used,
so I will try to explain each of them briefly, without going into all of the details.
However, it's still a bit long...


[About と]
"Xと、Y" means "Whenever X happens, Y is always the result."
It is often used to express/make a generalization.

For example:
お金持ちになると、人は傲慢になる。
When people become rich, they tend to become arrogant.


[About ば]
"Xば、Y" means "If X is possible, Y will be the result."
It implies that "If X is impossible, Y will not happen/occur/be the result".
If you work at a drugstore, you should use "ば" in advertisements, not "と" or "たら,"
because it suggests not only that a medicine will cure an illness, but that it is necessary to cure the illness.
This will urge people more strongly to buy it.

For example:
お金持ちになれば、働く必要はなくなる。
If you become rich, you don't need to work anymore.


[About たら]
"Xたら、Y" means "If X were to happen, then Y would also happen."
In this case, Y is a one-time event.

For example:
お金持ちになったら、おいしい物をたくさん食べたい。
If I were rich, I would eat a lot of delicious food.


[About なら]
"Xなら、Y" means "In the case of X, the result is Y."
It is often used in advice, a request, or a suggestion.
In the case of "と," "ば" and "たら," the result Y always occurs after the condition X.
This does not have to be true in the case of "なら."

For example:
お金持ちになるなら、たくさん努力する必要がある。
In order to become rich, it is necessary to work hard.


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If you feel that my explanation was insufficient or hard to understand,
please do not hesitate to leave a comment about it.
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