I often found sentences with 見れば, and of course the translation will depend on the context of the sentence itself.

I learned that ば is a conditional particle, and I personally sensed that 見れば is often being used as a conclusive statement.

One of the meaning of 見る is to judge, so I thought of 見れば can be translated to "Judging from..." in a conclusive statement.

For example:


Romanjidesu.com gave examples as follow: in a manner of speaking; as it were; so to speak; if you like; per se

I think it can also be translated as: "Judging from what you said".

Please kindly correct me if I was wrong, thank you.


2 Answers 2


The みれば in 言ってみれば is a subsidiary verb (補助動詞), adding the meaning of "try ~~ing".

言ってみれば is the conditional form of 言ってみる.

言ってみる consists of the te-form of 言う + subsidiary verb みる, meaning "try saying".

So 言ってみれば literally means "If I/you try saying..." → "If I may say so", "So to speak".


I think you often hear that as part of a ~てみれば construct, which would be the conditional form of ~てみる. In this case, the ~てみれば part alters the verb to mean If one tried to ~.

Some phrases are rather common and feel like fixed expressions, such as 考えてみれば (if you think about it), which explains you can come across them quite often. An example stolen from ejje.weblio.jp since I have no imagination:


Come to think of it, I haven't eaten anything yet.

As for 言ってみれば, weblio also references it, with the meaning of "put differently, in other words, that is to say" etc. I think you can think of it as if one tried to express it.

As a side note, I'm note sure whether 見る is at the origin of the ~てみる construct, but regardless it's never written in kanji.

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