I came across a sentence using もあれば where there wasn't a conditional. あれば got translated as sometimes:

Sometimes a verb is derived from a noun and sometimes it is the other way around.

Looking for more examples, I saw some more sentences with this "sometimes this, sometimes that" pattern. I basically understand how to construct a sentence with this pattern, but I also found some where I couldn't' tell what もあれば was doing:

Kyoto is about 3 hours distance from Mt. Koya

It only takes me 10 minutes to get ready

What is もあれば's function in the last two examples?

1 Answer 1


is conditional just as in the first example. in these cases means something like 'as less as'. The literal translations are respectively (Don't expect that they are grammatical or natural in English):

(The distance) from Kyoto to Koyasan is such that, if you have as less as three hours, you can get there.

If I have as less as ten minutes, I can get ready.

By the way, although I know that it is not only the responsibility of the English speaking people, I feel it unnatural when people write something like Mt. Koyasan. It is as strange as saying Mt. Mont Blanc, salsa sauce, Volkswagen car, etc.

  • Ah, thank you. I see now that all of the examples have a conditional. I was relying too heavily on the translations. Jul 6, 2011 at 23:47
  • 1
    Or "chai tea". Damn that pisses me off when I hear it.
    – istrasci
    Aug 4, 2011 at 19:00

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