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There is a word-order exercise from Nihongo So-matome:

さっき頼んだこと、すぐじゃなくてもいいからやっておいてください。

As far as I understand, it means "There is no rush, but please do what I asked you to do".

Why is から used here? Does this usage have an entry in a grammar reference like DOJG?

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    You've got the gist of it. You've expressed the idea in idiomatic English. But, Japanese is not as direct as English; Japanese prefers to give explanations. Try to translate it literally. It should still make sense in English, just a little bit less idiomatic.
    – A.Ellett
    Oct 22, 2023 at 15:53
  • As a vague analogy, English uses since for reasons as well.
    – sundowner
    Oct 22, 2023 at 22:52

1 Answer 1

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The most basic meaning of から is "because", but 明鏡国語辞典 explains this から as a separate definition.

❷《「…で(も)いいから」「…て(も)いいから」の形で》後に続く事柄が成立するための、許容できる(最低限の)根拠を表す。
「死球でいいから塁に出たい」「高くてもいいから売ってください」

使い方 自然のなりゆきで成立する、希望・命令などの根拠を表す「から」を使うのが標準的。説得・説明する気持ちで理由を述べる「ので」を用いるのは標準的でない。「× 誰でもいいので連れて来い」「△ 一日でいいので、つきあってください」

It's difficult to understand how to use it just by looking at this explanation, but this いいから is essentially like "I don't mind (if) ~, so...".

  • 死球でいいから塁に出たい。
    Even if it's a hit by pitch, I just want to get on base.
  • 高くてもいいから売ってください。
    I don't mind if it's expensive, please sell it to me.
  • 誰でもいいから連れて来い。
    Anyone will do, so bring someone.
  • すぐじゃなくてもいいからやっておいてください。
    I don't mind if it's not immediate, please do it for me.

Sometimes, いいから can be used in isolation, in which case it's like "Anyway", "Forget it", "Stop quibbling", "Come on", "Don't worry", etc.

  • いいから売ってください。
    Come on, please just sell it to me!
  • いいから正直に言いなさい。
    It doesn't matter / Stop quibbling, just tell me the truth.

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