Other uses of the particle と: トンネルを抜けると雪国であった

  1. 「国境の長いトンネルを抜けると雪国であった」

    抜ける looks like present (but we know it's past) -- What is the usual explantion for this ?

  1. 「国境の長いトンネルを抜けたら雪国であった」 <--- Here 抜けたら looks like past, but this must be an illusion, because ...

    「もう10分くらいして、国境の長いトンネルを抜けたら窓を開けましょうね。」 <-- Here 抜けたら is talking about the future. Or is this "past" from the future vantage point?

相対テンス https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relative_and_absolute_tense

If there is a super-clear, concise explanation, i'd like to see it. (preferably in Jp).



152 :名無し象は鼻がウナギだ!:2011 >>150 日本語の時制は相対テンスなので、複文では、従属節が主節に対して前の出来事か後の出来事かで 従属節の動詞を過去にしたり非過去にしたりする。(英語は絶対テンスなので、現在から見て前か後かで時制を使い分ける)

https://japanese.stackexchange.com/a/39644/16344 [ the difference between 行く and 行った in Japanese is not a difference of "tense"(時制), it is a difference of "aspect"(相).] <<<----- That's kind-of an eye-opening statement. Is that well-explained in a past Jp.SE post, or in a convenient Web page ? (I prefer a Jp Web page)

  • 国境の長いトンネルを抜けたら窓を開けましょうね means Once we have... Sep 22, 2016 at 15:27
  • Today, I saw three tense question. Oct 4, 2016 at 7:54

2 Answers 2


The expression of 日本へ行く前に has all possiblities of past, present and future.





抜けたら has nothing to do with past tense.

According to "A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar", page 452:
"たら is a subordinate conjunction which indicates that the action/state expressed by the main clause in a sentence takes place after the action/state expressed by the subordinate clause."

If Mr. Yamada comes, I will go home.

In the example above, 来たら is not past tense, it is talking about the future.

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