# Difference between using -ba or -ra form and と for conditionals?

Is there some nuance between using each one?

For example:

Could I use と in place of -ba form in

or in place of -ra form in

like this:

?

• With these examples, they are not particularly different. If at all, …たら's version sounds as if you don't expect that one would actually turn off the light. Sep 22 '15 at 7:14

This is not meant as a rigorous translation template, but just a simplified illustration of the conceptual differences in your example:

1. P すれば Q　→　If P, Q will happen
2. P したら Q　→　When P, Q will happen
3. P すると Q　→　P, and Q happens

### 電気を消す → 暗くなる

1. 電気を消せば〜 (If I turn off the light, it will get dark)
2. 電気を消したら〜 (When I turn off the light, it will get dark)
3. 電気を消すと〜 (I turn off the light, and it gets dark)

### お店に行く → ポスターをもらえる

1. お店に行けば〜 (If I go to the store, I will receive a poster)
2. お店に行ったら〜 (When I go to the store, I will receive a poster)
3. お店に行くと〜 (I go to the store, and I receive a poster)

### 食事をする → 元気になる

1. 食事をすれば〜 (If I eat, I will recover)
2. 食事をしたら〜 (When I eat, I will recover)
3. 食事をすると〜 (I eat, and I recover)

In other words, (1) feels more strictly conditional, and (2) feels more temporal. In (3), your conviction in the inevitability between P and Q feels weaker, almost like you’re not really sure why or how P is causing Q. (This often resembles inductive reasoning, where you only know that “P results in Q” because of prior experiences.)

I guess the short answer is, sometimes they can be switched without a major shift in meaning, and sometimes not. Depends on what you're trying to convey.

To answer your question, No you can not use と in the first 2 sentences. To explain further, in Japanese, there are total 4 forms to explain the condition and its corresponding outcome. They are generally classified as follows:

• Used to state natural consequences. In above example, getting dark is a natural consequence.

• なら
Used to explain the contextual conditions. In short, it gives an answer to the question "What you will do if this context occurs?"

• ～ば
Same as なら, but in formal way.

• ～たら
Used to explain past conditions, as past tense ends with たら/ったら。