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Lately, I'm reading Japanese light novels. For the following sentence, I can't get the meaning behind it.

解放感もなければ、次の職を探さなければという焦りもなかった。何を思えばよいのかが、よくわからなかった。

The character said that after leaving his workplace for the last time. He also has not any job offer where he can continue to work. He wasn't even trying to get a new job.

For me, it makes no sense when I try to translate it using the conditional form. Can someone help me out, please?

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Both of the two なければ's are conditional in form, but in actual effect neither really expresses any condition.

In constructions of such a form as「AもBれば、CもD」, 「れば」 can work more like a coordinating conjunction, like the examples below.

「彼女は顔も良ければ、頭も良い。」 "She is good-looking, and smart too."

「数学ができる人もいれば、そうでない人もいる。」 "Some people are good at math, (and) other people are not."

「僕にはお金もなければ、才能もない。」 "I don't have money, nor talent."

The second one is the short form of 「なけらればならない」, which indicates the modality of obligation, like English modals must and have to.

So the translation of the sentence is something along the lines of:

Neither was there any sense of liberation, nor was there the impatient feeling of having to look for the next job.

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  • First of all, thank you for your answer. But I have one more question regarding the grammar 「AもBれば、CもD」. The first time I learned the grammar I thought it can be translated as 「数学ができる人もいれば、そうでない人もいる。」If there are people good at math, there are also people who are bad at it. (common sense) But this is completely wrong, I guess. But what is the difference/nuance between 「数学ができる人もいれば、そうでない人もいる。」 and 「数学ができる人もいるし、そうでない人もいる。」? Maybe 書き言葉? – takeru Jan 11 at 9:51
  • @takeru they are synonyms, and yes, し is the more colloquial of the two. – Fireheart251 Jan 11 at 14:41
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    @takeru If the reader can see that the English sentence is a common-sense statement that there are people who are good at math and those who are not, then it's a good translation. If it's a statement that the latter is conditional on the former, then it's wrong. As for the last question, I think the former is neither particularly formal nor informal, while the latter tends to be used more in informal speech/writing. I can't tell any difference in meaning or connotations. – goldbrick Jan 11 at 23:58
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    The same grammatical form can and often does have multiple uses, and the label for that form (in this case, the "conditional form" ) might not reflect the multiplicity of usage. – goldbrick Jan 11 at 23:58
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「解放感{かいほうかん}もなければ、次{つぎ}の職{しょく}を探{さが}さなければという焦{あせ}りもなかった。何{なに}を思{おも}えばよいのかが、よくわからなかった。」

makes perfect sense.

Perhaps you have confused yourself by mistakenly thinking that the 「解放感なければ」 corresponded with「次の職を探さなければ」. It actually corresponds with 「焦りなかった」 in the double-も construct discussed in this Q&A.

Thus, this person had/felt neither A nor B.

A: 解放感

B: 『次の職を探さなければ』という焦り

"(Someone) had neither a feeling of release nor that of impatience regarding having to look for the next job. (Someone) could not understand well (even) what to think."

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