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I'm having a bad time with this expression:

何と言えばいいのかわからない

I kind of know what it means after a long time spent searching on the Internet, but I just can't grasp how this expression works on a grammar point of view.

Why the conditional? Does the literal translation is something around the lines of "If I say something, is it OK? I don't know..." meaning "I don't know what to say"? Or is it something like "What is something good to say? I don't know..." but if that's the case, why 言えば and not 言う?

I mean, I just can't make sense of all of the structure and it's kind of a problem for me, can someone explain to me the literal translation of this by explaining each of its grammatical point? That would be nice.

Thanks!

Edit: is it something like: 言えば : if i say... 何といいのか : what is good? (If I say) わからない: I don't know...

Even if it's correct can somebody confirm it? (Or denies)

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言えばいいのか can be translated into a part of "I don't know what would be good to say"

would be good to say '=. 言えばいいのか

Difference between ENG and JPN is ENG puts conditional statement on "state" while JPN puts conditional statement on "motion".

  • Could you (or anyone) please elaborate on what you mean by "...conditional statement on motion."? – G-Cam Dec 27 '16 at 15:32

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