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I'm wondering if this ~ては is a command or a suggestion. And I'm trying to determine how strong it is in this expression.

This site lists one meaning of ~ては as another way to express ~たら. In that case, is this ては equivalent to たらどうですか, a kind of semi-polite sarcastic suggestion? Or is it a replacement for ~て, expressing a stronger imperative?

世界がどう見ているか顧みては。Perhaps you should reflect on how the world sees (your actions).

世界がどう見ているか顧みては。Consider how the world sees (your actions)!

Any other suggestions?

EDIT: The context is here. The story is about Kim Jon Un's sister criticizing the South Korean prime minister.

1 Answer 1


According to [日本国語大辞典]{にほんこくごだいじてん}:

  • 接続助詞「て」に係助詞「は」が付いたもの。上に来る語によって「では」とも。現在では「て(で)わ」と読んでいる) 「て」および「は」の用法に応じて、いろいろな意となる。

There are many ways to complete this sentence, but since it's a suggestion "about" the theme,「ては」gives the possibility to the reader/listener to interpret it according to context.

  • 世界がどう見ているか顧みては「どうですか・いいんじゃないでしょうか・いかがでしょうか」。

Also, if it's an alert to not do something, 「ならない・いけません」can complete the sentence.

  • 1
    Sorry but this doesn't answer my question.
    – kandyman
    Mar 31, 2021 at 8:54
  • In this case you can interpret 「ては」 as 「たらどうですか」, because「ては」is doing the same job as "how about". "How about reflect on how the world sees". Also, by removing 「は」and adding「ください」to the end, you can complete the sentence and ask directly.「世界がどう見ているか顧みてください。」
    – Joao VKN
    Mar 31, 2021 at 12:12

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