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Re: [Lingo] spaces in japanese writing
- Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2007 23:50:35 +0900
- From: "Josh Glover" <email@example.com>
- Subject: Re: [Lingo] spaces in japanese writing
- References: <468592FC.firstname.lastname@example.org> <email@example.com> <4685A7EE.firstname.lastname@example.org> <email@example.com> <firstname.lastname@example.org> <20070630082737.GM8338@inferi.kami.home> <46865E09.email@example.com>
On 30/06/07, steven smith <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
This week was spent going over a letter from a friend over there and trying (mostly in vain) to sort out the -ba form of a verb. More book-time...
The -ba form is a strong conditional. It conveys the same overall meaning as 「A たら B」 or 「A だと B」, but with the nuance that *unless* A, B is not possible. For example (例えば):
1. ビールを十杯飲んだら、酔っ払っちゃうよ。 2. ビールを十杯飲むと、酔っ払っちゃうよ。 3. ビールを十杯飲めば、酔っ払っちゃうよ。
The first two sentences mean almost exactly the same thing: "If I drink 10 beers, I get sooo drunk!" But the third conveys an IFF (if and only if) condition: "It takes 10 beers to get me drunk, man! (If I drink nine, I'm *fine*!)"
The difference really comes out in the negative:
1. 23:00の電車に乗ったら、間に合わない。 2. 23:00の電車に乗ると、間に合わない。 3. ？ 23:00の電車に乗れば、間に合わない。 ？
(1) means: "If you take the 23:00 train, you won't get there on time." (2) means the same, but conveys a more general meaning: "If one takes the 23:00 train, one will not get there on time." You basically cannot use (2) to speak about yourself (i.e. first-person is right out, but second- and third-person are OK).
But (3) is really odd, because it means, literally: "The only way you won't make it on time is if you take the 23:00 train." This sentence is grammatical, but it is pretty hard to imagine a context in which the one and only way to *not* accomplish B is to do A. e.g. what if the agent in (3) is hit by a bus on the way to the train station? Would he not then also be late? etc.
I hope this helps somewhat. It is something that is pretty easy to understand when you read a good textbook, but I can see how an 一般の日本人 might have a hard time explaining it.
-- Cheers, Josh
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