First of all thanks to everyone helping me out here, i'm already feeling some progress on the learning process, of course there’s a lot of room to improve, but sure it is nice to feel some progress every now and then ^^.

Now to my question, I was going to make a sentence to ask a friend of mine about a grammar point “The difference between using なんです or just です at the end of a sentence” so I came up with this sentence(which brought me another grammar doubt about the conditional form):

“If someone ask me ‘Felipe, where are you going?’ so, I said ‘I am going to work’ or ‘I am going to work’(don’t know how to express なんです in English). What’s the difference between these sentences?”


My question is on the first part, If the first part was ending with 「問います」I know for sure that I would use 「ので」instead of 「なので]

but if I had endend with 「問いたい」I’d need to end it with 「なので」because it understood as an i-adjective.

What about the 「問えば」 ending, do I treat it as a verb or a noun/na-adjective? Therefore should I use 「なので」or 「ので」?

I’m sorry for the really long question, I hope I was clear enough, if you could help me in any mistakes on the sentence overall, I’d be grateful!

Thanks a Lot!

  • 1
    While I refrain from posting an answer, I'll offer a few suggestions to the Japanese in your question: 'to ask' -> 'kiku'; 'to answer' -> 'kotaeru'; -eba followed by 'na no de' is ungrammatical (-tara would fit better here); nanka desu ka -> nan desu ka
    – oals
    Nov 28, 2016 at 22:18
  • Yeah, I thought it could be the case though. Is there any case where potential (eba) could be followed by dakara, nanode, dakedo? Is it grammatical to end a portion of a sentece with potential (eba) instead of Tara? Nov 28, 2016 at 22:57
  • 1
    Oh, I just realised that we have a terminology problem here. The -eba form is not a potential form in common parlance (You may be thinking in terms of your own language here). The potential form in Japanese is e.g. 食べる→食べられる、飲む→飲める and means "to be able to do".
    – oals
    Nov 29, 2016 at 7:14
  • My bad, I corrected it now, it was just a confusion with the names, I do understand both forms. Thanks for pointing out! Nov 29, 2016 at 13:36

1 Answer 1


I'll try to limit my answer to your question about what to do with「~ば」and 「ので・なので」

  • 問{と}う as I'm sure you know, means "to ask a question" (like on a test)

  • 問えば means "(if) a question were asked" (The 仮定形 of 問う is 問え and then you add the 助詞「ば」to indicate something like, "if it were the case that...")

  • ので・なので generally mean "because" or "as a result" in English.

The problem is that 「ば」is a conjunction (接続助詞) and「ので・なので」is also a conjunction. This means that they can't be used next to one another grammatically.

Your original example sentence has a similar problem with the English grammar. I remember you said a while ago that English isn't your native language so I'm not trying to criticize you at all, you've obviously worked hard to use English so well :)

If someone asked/asks me "Felipe, where are you going?", so I said "I am going to work" or "I am going to work". What’s the difference between these sentences?”

You can make this clause using "if" or using "so", but you can't use both in the same clause this way.

So, the following are OK in English:

  • If someone asks me "Felipe, where are you going?", and I say "I am going to work" (then) ...
  • Someone asked me "Felipe, where are you going?", so I said "I am going to work".

Likewise, the following are OK in Japanese:

  • 生年月日を問われれ… "If I were asked my birth date, ..."
  • 生年月日を問われたので… "I was asked my birth date, so..."

But you can't use these two words together like in the OP example sentence.

  • Thanks for taking the time to answer this, it's definitely a messy question, I'm sorry Nov 29, 2016 at 1:39
  • I just have one more doubt, about the potential form, is ok to end a sentence with it? Let's say two people are talking 「大丈夫ですか?」「ちょっと眠れば」. Can I keep it this simple or should I do the full 「ちょっと眠れば、大丈夫になります」?Thanks!!! Nov 29, 2016 at 1:47
  • 1
    「ちょっと寝れたら」might sound more natural, but I don't see any problem grammatically.
    – sazarando
    Nov 29, 2016 at 1:51
  • 2
    @FelipeOliveira 「ちょっと眠ったら/眠れば/寝たら/寝れば(+大丈夫です/大丈夫だと思います)。」 sounds more natural to me. 眠ったら、眠れば、寝たら、寝れば (= "If I sleep") are not potential. Their potential forms are [眠]{ねむ}れたら、眠れれば、[寝]{ね}られたら、寝られれば (= "If I can sleep"), respectively
    – chocolate
    Nov 29, 2016 at 7:39
  • Hi chocolate, I messed up a little I meant conditional, not potential, too many terms to remember x.x . I am going to edit the question, thanks a lot Nov 29, 2016 at 13:34

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