567 - ～ばいい (hope)
Great student that you are, you already reviewed the following lessons 48 times each and committed all of them to memory, right?
Well that's a shame because we're studying yet another nearly identical grammar point:
JLPT N4: ～ばいい (hope that; would be nice if)
As we've seen in the lessons linked to above, we can say "hopefully," "I hope that," "it would be nice if," etc. by attaching the word いい, "good," to the end of conditional phrases (i.e. "if" phrases).
As ～ば is also a conditional conjugation pattern (which we haven't covered yet because of my poor organizational skills), we can do the same thing with ～ばいい as we do with ～といい and ～たらいい.
Since we haven't gone over how to conjugate verbs and adjectives into ～ば form just yet, maybe don't worry about the conjugation patterns too much just yet. Instead, just note that we have words ending in ～ば followed by いい in phrases that mean "hopefully...," "I hope that..." and so on.
Here's an example:
どようび、 あめ が ふらなければいい ね。
Hopefully it doesn’t rain on Saturday.
Literally: “Saturday, + rain + が + if it doesn’t fall + good + ね.”
うん、 いい てんきならいい ね。
Yeah, hopefully the weather’s nice.
Literally: “yeah, + good + weather + if it is + good + ね.”
Wait, wait, wait. Slow down.
What's the deal with that なら in the second sentence there?
なら is essentially the same thing as ～ば, but ～ば is a conjugation pattern used for verbs and i-adjectives, while なら comes after nouns and na-adjectives.
In my early studies, I found that it was very helpful to think of the term なら as meaning "if it is the case that," which should give you a good sense of what the nuance of this "if" is.
We'll go over all of this in depth in another lesson, so don't fret about it too much at the moment.
Important things to know about ～ばいい (that are all the same as ～たらいい and ～といい):
1) We often end these sentences with な or なあ, the "ね of longing" or "inward ね," as I sometimes like to call it.
2) Ending phrases with things that mean "but" or "although" like けど and のに give the sentence the nuance that the thing hoped for is less likely to happen, which means the English will often be "it would be nice if," "I wish that," etc. (instead of "hopefully" or "I hope that.").
3) You should not use ～ばいい when describing situations that you can control. You must use it for situations and actions that you cannot control on your own.
This is the third time we're seeing all three of these rules, so I'm not going to point out exactly where they are appearing. Instead, I invite you to play grammar detective with the example sentences listed below...
この せかい から、 あらそい が なくなればいい のに。
I wish conflicts would just disappear from the world.
Literally: “this + world + from, + conflict / strife + が + if they went away + good + のに (=although).”
あした の しごと も、 これくらい らくならいい です ね。
Hopefully work is this easy tomorrow, too, huh?
Literally: “tomorrow + の + work / job + も (=also), + this much + easy / comfortable + if it is + good + ですね.”
げんかん が もう すこし ひろければいい んだけど な。
It would be nice if the entryway was a little bigger.
Literally: “(Japanese) entryway + が + a little more + if it were big + good + んだけど + な.”
× しゅうまつ に は たいいん すればいい なあ。
× I hope that I leave the hospital this weekend.
× Literally: “weekend + には + leaving the hospital + if I do + good + なあ.”
○ しゅうまつ に は たいいん できればいい なあ。
○ I hope I can get out of the hospital this weekend.
○ Literally: “weekend + には + leaving the hospital + If I can do + good + なあ.”
Sorry again about not having the low-down on ～ば conjugations in this lesson. I'll be sure to cover that in one of our upcoming N4 lessons.
Noticed any typos we've missed or other issues?
Report them here at this link.
Have questions about something in this lesson? Something not quite clicking yet? Join our discord community and discuss any questions / comments with us and fellow students.
You can join by heading to this link.