I've noticed some dictionaries give two different results for the polite form of the conditional form, I'll use the verb 戦う for example.

I am familiar with 戦いませば but not with 戦いますれば.

Some dictionaries give just one, others give both.

Is there a difference in these two in anyway?

Are both frequently used?

  • 1
    Are both frequently used? >> No, not in modern Japanese. They sound archaic. We'd rather use 戦いましたら
    – chocolate
    Commented Mar 30, 2016 at 5:13
  • Koden, are you an advanced learner who is dealing with classic/archaic Japanese? If not, I'm sure you have mistyped or misread something.
    – naruto
    Commented Mar 30, 2016 at 6:22
  • these are the polite present form conditional conjugations that some dictionaries give いませば is very common
    – Koden
    Commented Mar 30, 2016 at 6:39
  • 2
    Koden, what dictionaries are you using? Commented Mar 30, 2016 at 6:44
  • いませば is the most common form of the polite present conditional conjugation in all of the dictionaries I check but I actually found the answer after looking for several hours so this question should be deleted or closed
    – Koden
    Commented Mar 30, 2016 at 8:08

1 Answer 1


Neither is common. In fact, 戦いませば and 戦いますれば are almost never used in modern Japanese. You have to use 戦いましたら.

  • I sometimes hear stereotyped samurai in samurai dramas say 戦いますれば. It's indeed "if (someone) fights" said in a polite way. It's "stereotyped samurai-ish speech", but I don't know whether old people actually talked like this. People never use it today except as a joke.
  • いませば is occasionally found in archaic Japanese documents, Bible translations, hymn books, and so on. But actually it's 在【いま】す followed by ば.
  • 戦いませば, ございませば, ありませば, etc. should be extremely rare, and I would say it's nearly wrong (but apparently a few people seem to use ございませば...). If used, it would leave a very literary, archaic, and/or odd impression.
  • when I said "common" I didnt mean common in speech or usage, I meant dictionaries will show that conjugation frequently
    – Koden
    Commented Mar 31, 2016 at 0:43
  • Okay, ます seems to be the 仮定形 of ます (according to this). I personally don't remember seeing this except in clearly 文語調/武士言葉 documents, but one answer here in this question says ~ますれば was not too rare until 30 years ago.
    – naruto
    Commented Mar 31, 2016 at 1:19

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