I've come across this phrase


and I think it translates to something like: "if you had taken that attack obediently, you would have died in peace", but I can't really understand that 死ねた: is it potential? a past of some sort? I can't really tell. And, moreover, isn't ておけば the ておく form + conditional (the if clause), so it's probably wrong my translation in the past. Or is it some kind of future in the past? in the context she did just dodge an attack. I'm quite confused.

  • Why do you doubt that it's potential form? "If only you had taken the blow obediently you could have died in comfort" Jan 9, 2017 at 20:27
  • Is it? I can't understand the purpose of that たnear the potential.
    – user18767
    Jan 9, 2017 at 20:34
  • 死ぬ will die -> 死ねる can die -> 死ねた could die. It's just past tense of potential form. Unless I'm missing something. Jan 9, 2017 at 20:38
  • thank you, that's probably it ( makes sense in that context)
    – user18767
    Jan 9, 2017 at 20:40

1 Answer 1



This sentence is in a conversational/informal form of the English "If ~~ had ~~, ~~ would/could have ~~". That is why the tenses might look loose to someone who has studied with textbooks.

This person has not died yet.

「死ねた」 here means 「死ねたはずだった」、「死ねたであろう」 = "would/could have died"

"Had he received that one blow with no protection, he would have been able to die without pain."

  • thank you and yes, I'm studying from textbooks. Did you understood 死ねたはずだった thanks to exercise or is there some rules I'm missing. sorry to disturb yet again.
    – user18767
    Jan 10, 2017 at 9:03

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