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I was reading something and I found this thing attached to a verb. The sentence was this one:

ふと脇を見て、そこに洗濯物がたたんであったりしたら。

What meaning does it have?

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  • Do you know 〜たり〜たり for listing examples? – aguijonazo May 7 at 11:05
  • Yes, but I don't get that ~たら at the end – Alejandro Núñez Valdés May 7 at 11:16
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    I would suggest you make that point clearer in your post. And are you sure the sentence ends there? – aguijonazo May 7 at 11:24
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Closest English counterpart I can think of is, "what if" or "just imagine if"

ふと脇を見て、そこに洗濯物がたたんであったりしたら。 What if, I looked to my side, and all the landries were nicely folded right there. (how convenient would that be!)

It is a form of ommission, unique to Japanese. Imagine the full sentence being like:

ふと脇を見て、そこに洗濯物がたたんであったりしたら、すごくありがたい。 What if I looked to my side and all the laundries were nicely folded....that'd be handy!

or

ふと脇を見て、そこに洗濯物がたたんであったりしたら、こわいぞ!

What if I looked to my side and all the laundries were nicely folded....that'd be spooky! (assuming you are the only one in the house)

I have to see the context, so I can't give you the 100% translation - but I'd hazard a guess that - it's either someone lamenting how much laundry there is yet to be folded, or, cracking a joke about kind ghost that'd fold laundry for you.

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したら is a conditional expression. This is a sentence (or a sentence fragment) that consists only of a long "if-clause". The corresponding main clause has been left out.

たり has two different roles:

  1. Lists multiple actions

    休みの日は本を読んだりしています。
    On my days off, I read books or do something like this.

  2. Indicates the marked verb is a rare/surprising possibility

The correct translation would depend on the broader context, but this たり is probably used in the latter sense. It probably implies that 洗濯物がたたんである in this situation is a surprising (either positively or negatively) event to the speaker.

ふと脇を見て、そこに洗濯物がたたんであったりしたら。
(I know this is unlikely but) In case [I/you/etc] happen to find the laundry folded in there...

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