In a manga I came across this line:


Which I think translates to: "the more you know the better witch you can become."

My question is about the form: 知っていればいるほど

Is this the standard way to use ば~ほど if you have the form ている

Or am I entirely wrong?

  • I think it works out grammatically, but rewording it as 知れば知るほど looks more natural at first glance I think. Jan 11 '21 at 16:00
  • 1
    I'm guessing you expected a full repetition of the verb in the ~ば~ほど construction, like 知っていれば知っているほど, but only いる was repeated and hence the question?
    – goldbrick
    Jan 11 '21 at 21:02
  • @goldbrick Correct. When I was checking grammar sites I could not find an example like this with ば~ほど Jan 12 '21 at 11:21

I don't often come across the form but it makes sense and it has a bit different nuance from the standard form.

For example, when 知っていればいるほど is compared with 知れば知るほど in your example, 知っていればいるほど is more natural than 知れば知るほど. 知っている means 'you have already known about that and have the knowledge of that", so your example can be translated as "The more you have the knowledge the more you receive recognition as a witch."

On the other hand. 知れば知るほど doesn't have the nuance. It has a nuance like "even if you haven't known about that right now, but if you know that". For example. 日本語は、知れば知るほど難しく感じる. I feel that 日本語は、知っていれば知っているほど難しく感じる is a bit unnatural.

In addition, I noticed that I misunderstood your question from reading your comment. I answered the difference between 知っていれば知っているほど(ている form) and 知れば知るほど(standard form). As for the suru verbs and ている form, you can omit the stem of the second verb and the meaning doesn't change.

  • So can this sentence be alternatively parsed as 「知って、いればいるほど」? Or is not not a valid way to read it?
    – Shurim
    Jan 11 '21 at 18:47
  • @Shurim No, the sentence is not parsed like that. Jan 12 '21 at 3:50
  • Thanks for your clarification. Jan 12 '21 at 8:35

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