838 - とすれば

JLPT N3: とすれば (if... then [logical conclusion/result]; supposing)

In the last lesson, we suffered through my feeble attempts to explain the difference between とすると and としたら, which we saw in the N3 lesson before that.

As you likely guessed, とすれば is also very similar to とすると and としたら.

One difference: The second half of a sentence coming after とすれば often contains a logical conclusion or result based on the hypothetical situation stated before とすれば.


↑ That's a mouthful. Maybe this is easier:

hypothetical situation / circumstances とすれば + (logical) conclusion or result


Since we use とすれば in this way, it makes sense that it is used when explaining mathematical equations:

5x=yで、yが15とすれば、xは3である。
ご エックス イコール ワイ で、 ワイ が じゅうご だ とすれば、 エックス は さん である。
If 5x=y, and y is 15, then x is 3.
Literally: “5x=y + で, + y + が + 15 + だ + とすれば, + x + は + 3 + である (=is).”


 



👷 Construction 👷

No surprises here. Put a word in plain form before とすれば

このデータが正しいとすれば、日本人男性の3人に1人は糖尿病予備軍ということになる。
この データ が ただしい とすれば、 にほんじん だんせい の さんにん に ひとり は とうにょうびょう よびぐん という ことになる。
Supposing that this data is accurate, it would mean that one in three Japanese males are at risk of diabetes.
Literally: “this + data + が + correct / accurate + とすれば, + Japanese (person) + male + の + three people + に + one person + は + diabetes + potential members of a group / people at risk (e.g. of a medical condition) (=reserve troops/army) + という + thing + に + becomes.”



And don't forget that, like we saw in our first example, when there is a NOUN or na-adjective before とすれば, the pattern is「NOUN / na-adjective + とすれば」:

5x=yで、yが15とすれば、xは3である。
ご エックス イコール ワイ で、 ワイ が じゅうご だ とすれば、 エックス は さん である。
If 5x=y, and y is 15, then x is 3.
Literally: “5x=y + で, + y + が + 15 + だ + とすれば, + x + は + 3 + である (=is).”


 



I'll save us all from some unpleasantness by not talking about the subtle differences between としたらとすると、and とすれば anymore.

We can get a sense for the differences between these phrases as we get exposed to massive volumes of Japanese being used by native speakers.

There are some situations in which these phrases are interchangeable (though the resulting sentences may different slightly in nuance), and there are some situations in which it would sound strange to substitute these phrases for each other (like we saw in the last lesson).

 

Two more examples, and you can stop worrying conditional phrases for quite some time...

暴力に正当な理由があるとすれば、自分や誰かを危険から守るためだけだ。
ぼうりょく に せいとうな りゆう が ある とすれば、 じぶん や だれか を きけん から まもる ため だけ だ。
If there is a justifiable reason for violence, it is only that it was to protect yourself or someone else from harm. // The only justifiable excuse for violence is to protect yourself or someone else from harm.
Literally: “violence + に + just / justifiable + reason + が + has / there is + とすれば, + oneself + や + someone + を + danger + from + protect + sake / purpose + only + だ.”



このまま吹雪が続くとすれば、東京はパニックに陥るかもしれない。
このまま ふぶき が つづく とすれば、 とうきょう は パニック に おちいる かもしれない。
If the snowstorm continues like this, then Tokyo may fall into a state of panic.
Literally: “as things are / as it is + snowstorm / blizzard + が + continues + とすれば, + Tokyo + は + panic + に + fall + might.”


 



Finished!

お疲れさまでした。