831 - としたら

JLPT N3: としたら (if...)

Remember all of the conditional forms we looked at in our N4 lessons?

Or maybe you buried that away with all of the other traumatizing memories of your life to date.

In any case, reviewing just a few of them may be helpful:
[NDL #484] - JLPT N4: ~たら (if)
[NDL #736] - JLPT N4: ~ば
[NDL #742] - JLPT N4: と ([conditional] when; once)


In a cruel twist of fate, you are not free from Japanese conditionals just yet.

Almost. But not quite.

Yeah, in N4 we already covered: ~たら~ば、and .

...but in N3 we still need to cover: としたらとすれば、and とすると.

...all of which have slightly differing nuances.

 

We'll start with としたら.

としたら is used for hypothetical situations.

If X were true, then Y would result.

An example:
 
自転車で行くとしたら、3時間以上かかりますよ。
じてんしゃ で いく としたら、 さんじかん いじょう かかります よ。
If you go by bicycle, it'll take over three hours. // If you went by bicycle, it'd take over three hours.
Literally: “bicycle + で + go + としたら, + three hours + more than + takes + よ.”



My least favorite thing about Japanese conditionals is having to translate them into English.

There's a slight difference between the two English translations shown above, right? With "If you go... it'll take..." it sounds like there is a higher likelihood that the listener intends or intended to go by bicycle. This might not be the case at all with "If you went... it'd take..." 

In the Japanese sentence above, there is a possibility that the listener intends or intended to go by bicycle. From that perspective, maybe "If you go... it'll take..." is closer to the meaning of the Japanese. Maybe...

But that doesn't clear up all of our confusion. としたら can be used for hypothetical situations that have a low probability of occurring, too:

もし魔法が使えるとしたら、どんなことがしたいですか。
もし まほう が つかえる としたら、 どんな こと が したい です か。
If you could use magic, what kinds of things would you want to do?
Literally: “if + magic + が + can use + としたら, + what kind of + thing + が + want to do + です + か.”



The solution? Don't worry about it. At least not until you've read our upcoming N3 lessons on とすれば and とすると, also.

 



👷 Construction 👷

I wouldn't worry too much about this, either.

Just put a word in plain form before としたら.

When that word in plain form is a noun or na-adjective, be sure to insert along with it:

この絵が本物としたら、1億円以上の価値があるはずだ。
この え が ほんもの だ としたら、 いちおくえん いじょう の かち が ある はず だ。
If this painting is real, it should be worth over 100 million yen.
Literally: “this + painting / picture + が + real thing + だ + としたら, + 100 million yen + more than + の + value + が + has / there is + ought to / should (=はずだ).”


 



Last one, and then you'll be finished!

彼の主張が正しいとしたら、金持ちは幸せで貧乏は不幸、ということになる。
かれ の しゅちょう が ただしい としたら、 かねもち は しあわせ で びんぼう は ふこう、 という ことになる。
If what he's saying is correct, (it'd mean) rich people are happy, and poor people aren't.
Literally: “he + の + claim / insistence + が + correct / accurate + としたら, + rich (person) + は + happy + で + poor (person) + は + unhappy, + という + thing + に + becomes.”


 



You devour lessons like it's nothing! You're amazing!