I encountered this sentence:

困ったら 食べれば 何とかなるって わかった

I figured out eating solves all my problems!

Since nested if" is not used much in English, I wonder if this sentence sounds natural in a conversation, or would people use some other way to express this idea?

Also, can たら and ば be switched, like this?

困れば 食べたら 何とかなるって わかった

  • Generally れば and たら are interchangeable with some exceptions. This or this seems to contain some information though these may not address your question directly.
    – sundowner
    Commented Apr 9, 2022 at 0:00

1 Answer 1


The first sentence sounds natural enough in everyday conversation.


The second not so much.


The reason is that the first part with 困る supposes a specific one-time change of state where the speaker has gotten into trouble, and this is expressed better with たら.

The second part with 食べる, on the other hand, refers to the act of eating in general, as opposed to the alternative of not eating, and this goes well with ば. (As a native speaker of a Western dialect in which たら is more liberally used than in standard Japanese, I personally wouldn’t mind the sequence of 困ったら食べたら too much, though.)

You can avoid nested conditions like this by rephrasing the first part using 時.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .