First, I know that they all can be used with the "speaking of" meaning, and that といえば can't be used with questions/confirmations while というと can.

My questions are as follows:

  1. Are there any other nuances between them for the "speaking of" meaning? (assume I am also asking about the nuances in the later question)
  2. Can といったら be used for confirmation?
  3. Can the other two substitute といえば the pattern XといえばYがZ, where it means "Given X, you would think Y, but its actually Z."
  4. Can the other two substitute といえば in the XといえばYかもしれない pattern where Y is a counter to/restriction on X.
  5. Can the other two substitute といえば in the XといえばYぐらのことだ pattern?
  6. Can the other two substitute といったら in といったらない (and といったらありはしない)

Edit: Examples for each (other than 1, which is just asking for nuance for the "basic" meaning):

  1. というと、まだ何か起こるんですか?
  2. おっとりしているといえば、聞こえがいいが、彼女は何をするものろい
  3. この作品が時代の流れを変えるといえば、あまりにおおげさかもしれないが、実際に見ればその素晴らしさがわかるだろう。
  4. わたしの得意なことといえば、ビールの早飲みぐらいのことだ。
  5. 花嫁衣装を着た彼女の美しさといったらなかった。

1 Answer 1

  1. Considering the phrases by themselves, it is hard (for me) to tell any definitely different nuances.

  2. Probably you have というと? in mind. That is the only phrase to mean What do you mean? / Can you elaborate? The other two can be used as a one phrase sentence to ask for something that is naturally associated with the topic in the preceding conversation. E.g. Person 1 talks about 桜. Person 2 asks といえば/といったら?, urging Person 1 to give something that obviously pops up in mind by 桜 (expecting 吉野 for example).

  3. I think 3 and 4 are mostly the same structure: Xといえば, Y(だ)が where が means but. Both といったら and というと can replace といえば.

  4. Same as 3.

  5. Both といったら and というと can replace と言えば. It might depend on contexts.

  6. Neither といえば / というと can replace といったら.

You can include some examples if the above sounds inconsistent with what you have in mind.


Other といえば constructions:

Xといえば YがZした

A topic X is mentioned in a conversation, which reminds the speaker that Y did/was Z, where Y or Z is related to X. E.g. 結婚と言えば花子が最近婚約したって : Speaking of marriage, I heard that Hanako recently was engaged. というと is not acceptable, といったら is possible but slightly strange.


It express reservations on admitting the subject is X. E.g. このテレビはいいといえばいいが, : You can say that this TV is good, but ...(there are things the speaker is not satisfied with). In this construction というと cannot replace といえば; といったら can, but should be less common.

  • For 3, I was referring to が being used in the "but" meaning. The phrase is listed specially by 日本語文型辞典. An example is: おっとりしているといえば、聞こえがいいが、彼女は何をするものろい。
    – MegaZeroX
    Aug 11, 2021 at 11:38
  • 1
    Actually I was misreading 4 as XといえばX, can you give an example for 4 as well?
    – sundowner
    Aug 11, 2021 at 12:45
  • Again I'm stealing from 日本語文型辞典 (which is really the origin of this question). I should have been clearer in that The first example of it is 彼らはビートルズの再来だといえば、ほめすぎかもしれない。Basically it was explained as a set way of giving a qualifier to what is marked by といえば. It also mentioned that it is often followed by a statement countering that though, like in この作品が時代の流れを変えるといえば、あまりにおおげさかもしれないが、実際に見ればその素晴らしさがわかるだろう。 Where its a kind of tone like "Saying X is very Y is maybe too much, but X really is at least somewhat Y"
    – MegaZeroX
    Aug 11, 2021 at 13:21

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