So I have this sentence:


and I've been trying to puzzle what 来てさえいれば means. I know いれば is the conditional form of いる and きて is the te form of くる but what does さえ mean? If it's a verb then what's its dictionary form?

Also what's the purpose of られたのに? I only know なのに, what's られた for? Also the sentence translates to "If you came for Christmas, you could have eaten the cake" but if られたのに is related to なのに, then it should mean "even though". Why is "even though" not in the translation?

2 Answers 2


さえ is particle "even".

In that sentence, さえ is part of construction VERB-て + さえ + いれば, which as a whole means "if only ..., as long as ...".

Your segmentation of tabe raretanoni is incorrect. It should be: taberareta no ni.

Suffix -(r)are- has 4 functions: spontaneous action, passive voice, potential, honorific.

Form of this suffix with initial r is used with vowel-stem verbs, and this suffix itself is vowel-stem auxiliary verb.

This suffix would be followed by other suffixes, e.g. suffix -ru of vowel-stem Conclusive or suffix -ta of Perfective ("past tense").

kak- = "to write" (Conclusive: 書{か}く)

kak-are- = "to be written, to be able to write, ..." (Conclusive: 書{か}かれる)

tabe- = "to eat" (Conclusive: 食{た}べる)

tabe-rare- = "to be eaten, to be able to eat, ..." (Conclusive: 食{た}べられる)

no ni often means "even though, although", but in this case it generally means disappointment.


You will find a fuller explanation of the usage of さえ in my answer to a similar question 雨さえなければ - meaning, but in short, here さえ is focusing 来て where it is adding the nuance of '(if) just', so 'if [he] had just been here at Christmas, he could have eaten the cake'. I assume the passive form of 食べる is being used as respect, an adversative passive would be odd here I think. のに is signalling a hypothetical condition, 'if he had come.., he could have eaten...[but he didn't in fact come]'.

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