I think I get the differences between the 4 conditionals. But in order to get used to speaking faster, I want to set hard rules for myself regarding when to use each, and not just rely on intuition or feeling it, at least for now. Now I know my way of dividing the usages, is not the only way to divide them, as long as it's one possible way that is not wrong, that's enough for me.
So the way I classified them is like so:
- If x then y, where y is naturally or inevitably comes 'with' x → ｘとｙ
- If x then y, where y does not happen after x, or for counter-factual statements , or for past habitual actions → ば
- If/When x then y, where y happens after x, also when y is one of the following: Suggestion, Invitation, Request, Command, Volitional → たら
- If/If it's true that x then y, or y does not happen after x and y is one of the following: opinion, judgement, suggestion, request, command, volition → なら
If I decide in my mind to choose my conditional according to these conditions, will I be wrong? If so, what tweaks do I need to make in order to achieve correct usage? Again, I imagine that native speakers do not use such a scheme, and there may be more than one correct way of deciding which conditional to use when. I'm just trying to come up with a simple way of starting to speak NOT-wrong while avoiding overwhelming myself with the amount of rules for those 4 conditionals as laid out in 'A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar'.
Thank you very much for your help!