Grammar Question

Using Japanese conditionals?

I have always had a huge issue with ば、と、たら.

I understand that they all mean "if..." I understand that と is something natural like:

彼女は彼に会うといつも嬉しくなります。- She gets happy if/when she sees him.

Would ば be okay too?

彼女は彼に会えば、嬉しくなります。- If she sees him, she gets happy.

Along with なら I could say:

彼女は彼に会うなら嬉しくなります。- If she sees him, she gets happy.

Along with たら:

彼女は彼に会ったら嬉しくなります。- She gets happy if sees him.

I understand that they might be able to be used all like that but can someone explain their differences? Textbooks make it confusing and a lot of other sites do too :(


They are indeed tricky to explain well. However, I can totally recommend to you the set of three books on Japanese grammar by Makino and Tsutsui, the "Dictionary of Japanese Grammar" series. There are the basic, the intermediate and the advanced versions. ば、と、なら、たら are pretty clearly explained in the basic one, with notes explaining the subtle differences between each. It's actually too much to type them here :)

Here is a review:

Totally awesome books. Hands down.



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