Image header
navigation menu
Japanese is Possible!
Week 24

Part 24

  • -TTARA : another Conditional form
  • Example Sentences
  • Useful Words

-Ttara : another Conditional form

A while ago, we learned the -EBA conditional form.

Here is a short review of the -EBA form: (taken from Lesson 11)

-eba is used to say "if" something were to happen. You would use it in sentences like:

If you eat that, you will die!
If you look for him, you'll find him!
If you become human, it's good.

How to use the -eba ending

First, remove the last "u" from the verb.
Examples -

taberu - taber
nusumu - nusum
korosu - koros

Next, add -eba and you're done!

Now let's translate those 3 example sentences!
(about 15 lines up)

sore o tabereba, shinu yo.
aitsu o sagaseba, mitsukeru yo.
ningen ni nareba, ii no desu.

-TTARA: another Conditional ending

Like the -EBA form, this form is called conditional because it says "if a certain condition occurs". Don't ever let fancy grammar terms scare you can call the form whatever you want. It could be called the "if" ending. This ending is often used with verbs, but it can be used with some kinds of adjectives as well. What kind of adjectives? The ones that end in -i that you can change to a -ku. To review different kinds of adjectives, see Lesson 11 and Lesson 14.

Here are some examples of how -TTARA is used in a sentence.

hayaku ittara ii n deshou. (iu = to say)
fast if you say good probably is.
(I think) You should say it quickly.

shinitaku nakattara, kaereba ii ja nai ka?
want to die if not, if you return good isn't it?
If you don't want to die, why don't you go back?

I'll explain that last sentence a bit. shinitai is the "want to" form of shinu, "to die". shinitaku nai is simply the -ku nai form. If you recall from our previous study of adjectives, adding -ku nai reverses the meaning.

shinitai = "(I) want to die"
shinitaku nai = "(I) don't want to die"

How to use -TTARA

Here comes the fun part -- telling you how you can use it in your own sentences! It's not all that difficult, which you can say about most Japanese grammar!

Step 1 - Find a Verb or Adjective

Any verb in the -tai or -taku nai form will do. For adjectives, you can only use "normal" adjectives that end in -i.

Examples of -TTARA capable verbs and adjectives:

tabetaku nai

Step 2 - Remove the last -i, and add -KA

tabetaku naka

Step 3 - Add -TTARA

tabetaku nakattara

And you're done! Here are the meanings of the phrases that you just built:

tabetakattara = "if you want to eat"
tabetaku nakattara = "if you don't want to eat"
shirokattara = "if it is white"
osokattara = "if it is slow"

Here are a few exceptions, that are used ALL the time!

X suru = X shitara (if X is done)
X ga kuru = X ga kitara (if X comes)
X ga aru = X ga attara (if X is there)
X desu = X dattara (if it is X)
X ni naru = X ni nattara (if it becomes X)

Example Sentences

Since you need to see -TTARA in action, this week's Example Sentences will feature -TTARA.

aitsu ga kitara, minna ga taberareru n desu!
he (subject) if comes, everyone (subject) be eaten !
If he shows up, we'll all be eaten!

omae no saigo dattara, ore mo shinu tokoro da.
you 's end if it is, I also death point is.
If it is the end of you, then I will die too.

mou sukoshi benkyou shitara, anta no kachi deshou.
more little if you were to study, you 's win probably is
If you studied a little more, you'd probably win.

mamono wo koroshitara, machi wa heiwa ni naru n deshou.
monster (who, what) if you were to kill, city (subject) peace (into) become probably.
If you were to kill the monster, the city would probably become peaceful.

okane ga attara, kanarazu kau zo!
money (subject) if there is, without fail buy (male ending)!
If I have the money, I'll definitely buy it!

boku wa onna ni nattara, saitei desu!
I (subject) woman (into) if became, the worst is!
If I became a woman, it would be the pits!

pikachu wa ningen ni nattara, omoshiroi da to omou yo!
pikachu (subject) human into if became, interesting is (and) think !
I think it would be interesting if Pikachu became a human.

pikachu ga kattara, ureshii desu!
pikachu (subject) if wins, happy is!
If Pikachu wins, I'll be happy!

Schuldich wa omi wo karakattara, Persia ga okoru n deshou!
Schuldich (subject) Omi (answers who or what) if teases, Persia (subject) mad probably!
If Schuldich teases Omi, Persia will probably be mad!

Ash wa jigglypuff ni nattara, taihen da to omowanai?
Ash (subject) Jigglypuff into if became, awful is (and) don't think?
Don't you think it would be awful if Ash became a Jigglypuff?

Useful Words


heiwa - peace
saitei - the worst, the pits


karakau - to tease
kau - to win

Copyright 2001 All Rights Reserved.

Image header