• When "dekireba" or "dekitara" is placed at the beginning of a sentence, is the subject always "you" as in "if you can/if possible", or can it be "I" as in "if I can/if I have the permission to do"?

  • How can I say in Japanese:

If I can, I would like to ask you a question

  • Have you tried using the search tool to see if someone has already asked/answered your question? related: japanese.stackexchange.com/q/393/1328
    – Chris
    Jul 18, 2012 at 20:58
  • 3
    @gibbon, the question seems clear enough to me. Maybe you should make it clearer what you find ill formed?
    – dainichi
    Jul 18, 2012 at 23:59
  • 1
    @dainichi it has been edited now, yes. Completely rewritten, even.
    – gibbon
    Jul 19, 2012 at 6:58

2 Answers 2


In principle (syntactically), there in no restriction to the subject, but at the beginning of a sentence, they tend to mean that the subject of the conditional clause is the second person as you mention. In this context, it is better to use よろしければ "if it is okay with you", お邪魔でなければ "if it does not bother you", 問題なければ "if it is not a problem", etc.

  • Excuse me for ill formed question. You have perfectly understood it, and your answer is really useful for me.
    – roby
    Jul 19, 2012 at 5:29
  • roby Thanks. @Flaw I think it does not make difference.
    – user458
    Jul 19, 2012 at 6:25

Three sample uses, that show the differences.

できればやってくさい: if you can do it, do it for me.

できたら、教えてください: when you're done with it, tell me.

よければ、一緒に行きましょう: if possible, let's go together.

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