I read the following sentence while learning about ~ものを:


Which I would translate into (probably not perfectly natural English, but something like that):

Though it would have been alright had I been immediately to the hospital, I didn't go and so things got worse.

What I'm wondering is, why is it 行けばいい and not 行けばよかった? The past tense 悪化させてしまった clearly suggests that the speaker did not go to the hospital in time, which caused their condition to get worse. I learnt that in such a case, the clause after the verb in conditional can be conjugated in the past tense to indicate that the action did not actually take place.

Is 行けばいい, with いい in a present tense, even correct? Or am I wrong in my understanding of the conditional + past structure?

1 Answer 1


In Japanese, tense agreement is not like English. It depends on the context.

It could be interpreted as past or present perfect with the auxiliary verb of "".

「行かないで悪化させてしまった。」 can imply it has gotten worse or it got worse.


Though I should/would have gone to the hospital immediately, I did not go there and it has gotten/got worse.

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