5

I agree that ~たら is one practical tool that could express lots of meanings. but sometimes it became one problem for students of japanese.

If I say:

  • 日本に行ったら、友達を訪ねます。

it's : If I go to Japan, I will visit my friend.(?)
or: When I get to Japan, I will visit my friend.(?)

  • 卒業したら、旅行したいと思います。

it's : If I graduate (it's a possibility), I want to travel.
or: After graduating (it's certain), I'm think of traveling.

.

Does the meaning depend on the context? or Is there a better way to say that sentences?

2

These examples sound more like "when" to me. If you wanted to emphasize an "if", you could add もし to the beginning.

  • もし日本に行ったら、...
  • もし卒業したら、...

However, "when" may also carry a bit of uncertainty to it, so it's a little ambiguous. "When I go to Japan..." You might be certain that you're going and it's just in the future at this point, or you may be speculating, as in "If I ever go."

You could also use a different construct to force this. Refer to this important post for more options and their rules.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.