I'm having a bad time with this expression:


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.


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)


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

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.