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Lately, I've been wondering what's the meaning of past tense verb connected to 上で, like in the 3 examples below:

両親とよく相談した上で、留学することにした。

家を買う場合は、十分調べた上で、決めた方がいい。

よく考えた上で、返事をするつもりだ。

As always, thanks in advance for explanation. Have a good day and take care!

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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

It means "after doing 〜". Almost like 〜てから.

  • 両親とよく相談した上で、留学することにした。 → After discussing it with my parents, I decided that I'll study abroad.
  • 家を買う場合は、十分調べた上で、決めた方がいい。 → When you buy a house, you should choose (it) after doing sufficient research.
  • よく考えた上で、返事をするつもりだ。 → I intend to reply after careful consideration.


There is some other nuance I believe, but I'll have to look it up later. The nuance to it is that the second action is performed based on the result of the first action (as @TokyoNagoya mentioned). With 〜てから, no such relationship is required, meaning that it simply indicates temporal order. For example

○ 昼食を食べてから銀行に行く → "I'll go to the bank after I eat lunch" → Going to the bank doesn't depend on me eating lunch; simply states the order of what I'm doing.
?/× 昼食を食べた上で銀行に行く → It introduces a dependency for going to the bank on eating lunch. Almost like "As a result of eating lunch, I'll go to the bank." Doesn't make much sense.

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5  
The nuance is, as the word 「上」 might suggest, that Action B should be performed "based upon" the result of Action A. –  l'électeur Apr 1 at 22:37

This is just a supplement to the above answer & comment.

Your question was specific to ~た上で (so I won't expand unless you expand the question) but FYI there are other different uses of 〜上. I found the following sentence (from one the Soumatome-goi series) helpful to remember:

地図の上では近いのに  

行ってみると 

遠い上に、ひどい道だった  

よく調べた上で行けばよかった。

On the map it looked close, but

when I actually went there,

it was far and the roads were bad.

I should have checked before I went.

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