749 - ~たらいい (should)

JLPT N4: ~たらいい ([you] should; why don't [you]?)

We have already seen that ~たら is used in conditional sentences: [NDL #484] - JLPT N4: ~たら (if).

And we've already seen that ~たらいい is used to express one's hope or wishes: [NDL #561] - JLPT N4: ~たらいい (hope).

In this lesson, we're exploring how ~たらいい can also be used when recommending a certain course of action.

We'll often translate sentences containing this usage of ~たらいい using phrases like "(you) should" or "why don't (you)?"

An example:


この服全部捨てるんですか。もったいないから、古着屋で売っらいいですよ。
この ふく ぜんぶ すてる んです か。 もったいない から、 ふるぎ や で うったらいい です よ。
You’re going to throw away all of these clothes? That would be such a waste. So you should sell them to a used clothing store.
Literally: “this + clothes + all + throw away + んです + か. + wasteful / a waste + because, + used clothing store + で + should sell (=if [you] sell + good) + です + よ.”

Let's zoom in on the bit with ~たらいい

古着屋で売っらいいですよ。
ふるぎ や で うったらいい です よ。
You should sell them to a used clothing store.
Literally: “used clothing store + で + should sell (=if [you] sell + good) + です + よ.”

See what our verb is doing in this clause?

売る(うる // to sell
↓ ↓ ↓
売ったうった // sold
↓ ↓ ↓
売ったら(うったら // if [you] sold
↓ ↓ ↓
売っらいい(うったらいい // [you] should sell)


In upcoming lessons, we will also see ~といい and ~ばいい, which can have essentially the same usage and meaning that we see with ~たらいい in this lesson... though there is a slight difference in nuance, as ~ばいい sounds a bit less friendly. More on that in the ~ばいい lesson, though!

As I'm sure you've figured out by now, the tricky thing about Japanese conditionals is knowing which one to use at which time. It might make you feel better (or worse) to know that I still have trouble with this in certain situations, too. In future lessons, we'll try to figure all of this out together. ^_^


👷 Construction 👷

I'm not sure if this needs to be mentioned, but all we're doing is putting いいafter Vたら.

And we form Vたら by first conjugating a verb into plain past tense, then adding .

Vいい
(you) should VERB; why don't (you) VERB?


Another example:


一人暮らしが寂しいなら、ペットを飼っらいいじゃないか。
ひとりぐらし が さみしい なら、 ペット を かったらいい じゃないか。
If you feel lonely living by yourself, why don’t you get a pet?
Literally: “living alone + が + lonely + if (it’s the case that), + pet + を + should have/keep (=if [you] keep [a pet] + good) + isn’t it?”




And another:


嘘がばれたら、すっとぼけらいいんですよ。
うそ が ばれたら、 すっとぼけたらいい んです よ。
If someone finds out you've lied, (you should) just play dumb.
Literally: “lie + が + if (it’s) exposed, + should play dumb (=if [you] pretend to know nothing + good) + んです + よ.”


The verb とぼける is interesting. It means "to play dumb" or "to pretend to not know about."

When we attach すっ to the front of it, it sounds more emphatic, almost as if the meaning changes to "to pretend to know nothing about." すっとぼける.

We actually saw the verb とぼける way back in this lesson: [NDL #34] - Big Fat Liars.

Specifically, we saw it in an excerpt from the manga HUNTER X HUNTER:

とぼけてんなら 大した嘘つきだわ
とぼけてん なら  たいした うそつき だ わ
If he's just playing dumb, he's a hell of a liar.
Literally: “is pretending not to know + if (it’s the case that) + great + liar + だ + わ.”
Note: とぼけてんなら is a colloquial abbreviation of とぼけているのなら.


Last of all, note that ~たらいい can be used when asking for advice about something, as we see in this sentence:


海外でパスポートを失くしたら、まずは何をしらいいんですか。
かいがい で パスポート を なくしたら、 まず は なに を したらいい んです か。
What’s the first thing I should do if I lose my passport in a foreign country?
Literally: “overseas + で + passport + を + if (I) lost, + first + は + what + を + should do (=if [I] do + good) + んです + か.”




Finished!

Look forward to two very similar lessons on ~といい and ~ばいい. ^_^





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