For now, I think するとしても implies that even if you do... or will do (the actions have not been performed yet) and したとしても implies even if you did... (actions that already occurred and something in the past)

たとえ才能がなかったとしても、粘り強さと努力によって目標を達成することができる。(Actually, I thought the latter clause should be 粘り強さと努力によって目標を達成することができた to make whole sentence into a past from)

If I change this sentence into


what is the difference ?

same as these sentences. 

あのチームに負けるのは仕方がないことだとしても、今日の試合はひどすぎだった。(I also thought that the first clause should be あのチームに負けるのは仕方がないことだったとしても)

結果的に問題は起きなかったとしたって、その計画はあまりよくない。(Is the reason the speaker said その計画はあまりよくない but not その計画はあまりよくなかった is that he still thinks that plan is still not good since then until now. If he said その計画はあまりよくなかった, it'd mean he thought it was not good but just implies the past situation only)

Anyway, please explain it to me. (Easy English will be much appreciated)

Edit : Does 飲み会に参加するとしても、残業があるから少し遅れてしまいます mean even if I'm gonna/will join that party, I'll be late because of OT.

while 飲み会に参加したとしても、残業があるから少し遅れてしまいます is strange because 飲み会に参加したとしても means Even I've joined/I already joined/I'm already in the party, it doesn't relate with being late. The latter clause should be something like 飲み会に参加したとしても、私は酒を飲まない。

Am I understanding it right ?

  • 1
    Maybe related ~ば vs ~ていれば in counterfactual conditionals
    – sundowner
    Commented Jan 17 at 4:48
  • 1
    The recurring theme in those examples is that when a sentence clause applies not just to a certain point in the past, but is also generally applicable, the present tense is used for that clause instead. (But to write that as answer, I'd like to find corroborating references first though...)
    – Will
    Commented Jan 17 at 4:57
  • @sundowner Thanks. But I think としても can mean both Irrealis and hypothetical (based on a situation that is not real, but that “might happen”) Is using た+としても with a present tense in the latter clause means irrealis ? (たとえ才能がなかったとしても、粘り強さと努力によって目標を達成することができる。The speaker thinks that someone surely have the talent but the speaker just says that If that guy did not have the talent (Irrealis) ? And たとえ才能がなかいとしても、粘り強さと努力によって目標を達成することができる = The speaker thinks someone doesn’t have the talent but the speaker uses a hypothetical sentence to make it softer or just gives an advice to someone to work hard ?
    – Kyuu
    Commented Jan 17 at 9:36
  • @sundowner But in あのチームに負けるのは仕方がないことだとしても、今日の試合はひどすぎだった。 I have no idea. From the context, I think the sentence is about a past event. But why is it not あのチームに”負けた”のは仕方がないこと”だった”としても to just make it clear it is a past event
    – Kyuu
    Commented Jan 17 at 9:36
  • @sundowner 結果的に問題は起きなかったとしたって、その計画はあまりよくない。 Does this sentence tell us that (irrealis) there’s problems in the end but even If there were no problem (now), it would still be not good (now)?
    – Kyuu
    Commented Jan 17 at 9:37

1 Answer 1


Similar to ~ば in the question I linked, I suppose both するとしても and したとしても work without making a lot of difference in most cases.

た is more an aspect marker than a tense marker in this construction at least, and したとしても suggests consider a state where such and such is true, which is not too different from if such and such happened=するとしても.

So a simple answer would be "don't worry about it". But there are cases where it makes difference. The rest is about particular instances which I hope give you some idea of when you need to worry. (I don't have a clear explanation for when - or like anything else to do with aspect, I don't think there is a clear explanation.)

  • たとえ才能がなかったとしても、粘り強さと努力によって目標を達成することができる。
  • たとえ才能がないとしても、粘り強さと努力によって目標を達成することができる

These are the same to me as long as it is understood as a general statement. Incidentally it corresponds to if one had no talents and without talents in English (where the one is tenseless and the other uses the past tense as well).

  • あのチームに負けるのは仕方がないことだとしても、今日の試合はひどすぎだった。
  • あのチームに負けるのは仕方がないことだったとしても、...
  • あのチームに負けるのは仕方がなかったとしても

These are again the same. 今日の試合はひどすぎだった makes clear that the team has lost. On the other hand,

  • あのチームに負けるのは仕方がないことだとしても、最善を尽くさなければならない

In this sentence suggesting that the match is not yet played, ないことだった or なかった would make the sentence unnatural.

I guess だ already indicates a state and た in だった is purely a tense marker. That is, だった clearly indicates a past whereas なかったとしても above does NOT mean a past (completely).

  • 結果的に問題は起きなかったとしたって、その計画はあまりよくない

This is not completely natural since 結果的に問題は起きなかった suggests 結果 is already known and the 計画 is complete, which makes よくない odd (it should be よくなかった).

  • 結果的に問題は起きないとしたって、その計画はあまりよくない

This implies the project is not finished.

I think what makes the use of 起きなかった unnatural is more the function of 結果的に than the た itself.

  • 飲み会に参加するとしても、残業があるから少し遅れてしまいます
  • ? 飲み会に参加したとしても、残業があるから少し遅れてしまいます

You are right the second one is odd (but note that it is not impossible (as is). For another example, 飲み会に参加したとしても、二次会からになります works perfectly to me.)

When you include an explicit phrase indicating a past, you would need to use た:

  • 昨日これを聞いたとしても、何もかわらない
  • ?? 昨日これを聞くとしても、何もかわらない

Words meaning future do not have this restriction.

  • 明日これが終わったとしても、まだやることがたくさんある
  • 明日これが終わるとしても、まだやることがたくさんある

Both work and mean the same.

  • I understand that 1st sentence and 2nd,3rd sentence are a bit different in tense(time order). Is it right ? あのチームに負けるのは仕方がないことだとしても、今日の試合はひどすぎだった。 = even if we never stand a chance(in every match at the present moment or just that match) instantanious event of losing あのチームに負けるのは仕方がないことだったとしても、... = even if we never stood a chance(in every match in the past or just that match) instantanious event of losing あのチームに負けるのは仕方がなかったとしても = even if we never stood a chance(in every match in the past or just that match) instantanious event of losing
    – Kyuu
    Commented Jan 18 at 4:41
  • あのチームに負けたのは = state of already being lost あのチームに負けるのは = when such happens(it can mean we usually lose to them or we are meant to lose to them in that match) so it makes not much difference as you said ?
    – Kyuu
    Commented Jan 18 at 4:41
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    @Kyuu Re あのチームに負ける/負けた etc., your understanding should be fine, but again I don't see much point in distinguishing them. Re なかったとしても, I mean it is mostly marking the perfect aspect rather than the past tense. I suppose these two are not completely distinguishable either. Or like in English conditional, you can think the た is marking conditional/counterfactual mood and not tense. Anyway Japanese does not have distinctive forms for moods, so you cannot get a clear cut answer for those sentences.
    – sundowner
    Commented Jan 18 at 10:04
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    The basic rule should be: you can generally use the tense in accordance with the time of the event that is described (負けた after the match / 負ける before the match), but you just don't have to care about the tense in many cases.
    – sundowner
    Commented Jan 18 at 10:07
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    Or do you mean "あのチームに負けるのは仕方がなかったとしても、最善を尽くさなければならない” is natural but "あのチームに負けるのは仕方がなかった(ない)ことだったとしても、最善を尽くさなければならない” is unnatural ?
    – Kyuu
    Commented Feb 11 at 19:26

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