If we compare the following two sentences:



Is the meaning the same? How do they differ? Could someone explain it?


The ~得る construction already implies possibility, so でき得る sounds redundant to me, like "if it's possible to be possible" (unless you were using できる to mean that something is finished, but your examples aren't).

Another possibility would be ~ものなら to indicate that achieving what you want might be difficult.

  • できれば、独立して事業を始めたい。 → Just a regular "if I can"
  • できるものなら、…… → "If I really could (but I think it would improbable), ..."
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    Your answer is on the right track. What you are trying to say is indicative conditional vs. counterfactual conditional. – user458 Aug 17 '11 at 4:48
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    でき得る sounds redundant... unless you were using できる to mean that something is finished でも、辞書にはこんな例が。「 できうるかぎりの努力」(デジタル大辞泉) – Chocolate Aug 23 '16 at 0:16

はい。同じ意味です。でも、"できれば、独立して事業を始めたい" はもっといいと思います。

  • Yeah the meanings are same, and I also think the latter is more common and natural. The former sounds a bit too formal, and gives an impression that there is a lesser hope or the speaker is just humble. – whitetiger2016 Aug 23 '16 at 16:29

Almost same meaning but でき得るものならば one shows lower chance, close 0, of achieving the goal. So I think でき得るものならば frequently used with past tence, for example, でき得るものならば、独立して事業を始めたかった. So in this way, he wanted to start his own business but it is too late.

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