837 - とすると

 JLPT N3: とすると (if...then; supposing)

とすると is a lot like としたら, which we saw in the last N3 lesson, and とすれば, which we'll see in the next lesson.

We use とすると when supposing what might happen if certain circumstances were true.

If X is/were true, then Y.
→ X とすると、Y.

Here's an example:

駅から歩いて30分もかかるとすると、電車じゃなくて車で行った方が良さそうだ。
えき から あるいて さんじゅっぷん も かかる とすると、 でんしゃ じゃなくて くるま で いった ほう が よさそうだ。
If it takes 30 minutes to walk there from the station, then it seems that going by car would be better than going by train.
Literally: “station + from + walk (and) + 30 minutes + も + takes + とすると, + train + not (and) + car + で + went + way / direction + が + looks good + だ.”



 



👷 Construction 👷

Like we saw with としたら, a word in plain form comes directly before とすると

動物性のものを一切食べないとすると、栄養は十分とれているのだろうか。
どうぶつせい の もの を いっさい たべない とすると、 えいよう は じゅうぶん とれている のだろう か。
If she doesn’t eat any animal products whatsoever, I wonder if she’s getting enough nutrients.
Literally: “animal (type) + の + thing + を + not at all + doesn’t eat + とすると, + nutrition / nourishment + は + enough + is getting / is being able to take + のだろうか (~I wonder).”



With NOUNS or na-adjectives, however, be sure to include :

犯人がとすると、なおさら動機が不明だ。
はんにん が おんな だ とすると、 なおさら どうき が ふめい だ。
If it was a woman that committed the crime, then the motives are even more unclear.
Literally: “criminal / offender + が + woman + だ + とすると, + even more + motive / incentive + が + unclear / obscure + だ.”


 



What's the difference between としたら and とすると

Is a question I've been dreading! (*_*)

They're very similar... which means that it's very difficult to explain the subtle ways in which they differ.

The cop-out answer to the above question is to say that you should go back to our lessons on conditionals (~たら、~ば、なら、etc.) and see how the conditional forms differ. This is the answer I see most Japanese people giving in online discussions about the differences between としたらとすると、and とすれば. If you want to go down that route, I'd start by reviewing these lessons:

- [NDL #484] - JLPT N4: ~たら (if)
[NDL #736] - JLPT N4: ~ば 
[NDL #742] - JLPT N4: と ([conditional] when; once)


I'd like to try something else, though. What I've written below is my impression of the difference between としたら and とすると, in particular. In other words, I cannot say without a doubt that the explanation below will be true in all cases. However, the explanation below is helpful to me personally when deciding whether I'd like to use としたら or とすると in my own Japanese sentences.

So please equip your Suspicion Goggles before proceeding...



OK. Let's go...

At first, I was tempted to say that the circumstances appearing before とすると have a higher probability of being true than the circumstances appearing before としたら. But "probability" isn't the right word. Instead, the important thing is the speaker's view of those circumstances.

When the speaker uses とすると, he or she is imagining that a certain set of circumstances is true (the first half of the sentence)... and then wondering what that would mean (the second half of the sentence).

Using an example will make this easier. We saw this sentence in the lesson on としたら

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.”



In the sentence above, the speaker is clearly not imagining what would it would mean if the listener (or someone else) had magic powers. Instead, he or she is asking the listener to consider a set of circumstances that is clearly not true. Because of this, it would sound strange to use とすると in this sentence:

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


However, とすると would not sound unnatural in a sentence like this:

魔法が使えるとすると、俺等には手に負えない。
まほう が つかえる とすると、 おれら に は て に おえない。
If she can use magic, then we're no match for her.
Literally: “magic + が + can use + とすると, + we + に + は + unmanageable.”
Note: For example, "we" might be talking about some "enemy" of ours that apparently might possess magic powers.


 



The best way to learn the difference between としたら and とするとLong-term exposure to Japanese!

↑ By now, you should be expecting me to say that. It's all I ever say!

 

One last example, and then we'll be finished...

これだけ探してもないとすると、さっきのカフェに置いてきたに違いない。
これだけ さがしても ない とすると、 さっき の カフェ に おいてきた に ちがいない。
If I still can’t find it after searching this much, then I must have left it at the café earlier.
Literally: “so much / this much + even if (I) look for + there isn’t / don’t have + とすると, + earlier + の + café + に + set / placed / left (and) + came + must have / no doubt.”



Done! Congrats, fellow student.