I understood that I have to use 普通体 before としても, however I can't understand the difference in using the past or the present.

For example in the sentence 大事な試験だから、熱が高かったとしても、必ず受けに行きたい we are talking about a future hypothesis so why using 高かったとしても instead of 熱が高いとしても ??

Or here 今回不合格になったとしても、あきらめずにまた受験つもりです if we are talking about an exam that I still have to take, why do we have to use the past?

Thank you so much for your help! (sorry for any english mistakes but it is not my mother tongue)


1 Answer 1


The "past" here isn't the past. It's indicating the established state of being at the time you would be taking the exam (in the future): having a fever, having failed. To use the non-past, would indicate that you wouldn't yet running a fever at the future time when your exam was scheduled, (in the other scenario: that you hadn't yet failed at the future projected time).

The condition is contingent upon whether you already have a fever at the time of the test or that you will still take the exam if you've already failed.

Essentially, it's the past in the future kind of notion. Whether you're running a fever or not in the future is unknown. But by the time of the exam, whether you have a fever or know will be something already established. Hence the use of the past form of the verb.

  • OK so if I use 熱が高かったとしても it means that at the time of speaking I have a fever and I am making an assumption like 'even if I had a high fever (in the sense that I continue to have it) I would go for the examination. Whereas if I use 熱が高いとしても it would mean that at the time of speaking I do not have a fever and I am making a random assumption. Did I understand correctly or did I just get more confused than before ahaha?
    – Nyhiko
    Apr 19 at 14:44
  • @Nyhiko There is no requirement that you have a fever at the time of speaking. For the conditional sentence, you are projecting yourself into the future to the time of the test, and from that point of view getting a high fever is a thing that happened in the past. The state at the time of speaking makes no difference.
    – YKa
    Apr 19 at 14:50
  • @YonKuma ahhhhhh ok ok understood! It's like if the time relationship of "A としても B" is "A→B. Gotcha! Thank you so much
    – Nyhiko
    Apr 19 at 15:07

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .