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




What's the meaning of 過去形の動詞+上で ?

2 Answers 2


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.

  • 7
    The nuance is, as the word 「上」 might suggest, that Action B should be performed "based upon" the result of Action A.
    – user4032
    Commented Apr 1, 2014 at 22:37
  • 1
    There's even the English construction, "upon doing X..." of roughly the same meaning. This requires the -ing form of the verb so the past tense would be "upon having done X...". Commented Feb 24, 2016 at 0:32

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:





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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