Conditional sentence structures in English:

  1. If I had X'd, I would(n't) have Y'd;
  2. If I X'd, I would(n't) Y;
  3. If I X, I will/won't Y.

Possible structures in Japanese (I got most of these from Google):

  1. Xしたら、Yすることはあった/なかっただろう;
  2. Xしたら、Yした/しなかっただろう;
  3. Xしたら、Yする/しないだろう;
  4. Xしたら、Yする/しない。

Are these 4 correct? How do they differ, and how do they line up with the English ones?

If I wanted a "bare conditional" like "I would X" or "I would have X'd", could I take 1-2-3 and suppress the -tara part?

  • 1
    Why are the Japanese sentences all in the negative?
    – aguijonazo
    Jul 28, 2022 at 8:47
  • @aguijonazo Because this question was born out of a song that starts with もしも君に巡り会えたら 二度と君の手を離さない :). Let me fix that… FIXED
    – MickG
    Jul 28, 2022 at 9:33

1 Answer 1


1 Xしていたら、Yすることはあった/なかった かもしれない
This is similar to "could have"

2 Xしていたら、Yした/しなかった だろう;
Similar to "would have"

3 Xしたら、Yする/しない だろう;
Similar to "will" and the subject of the verb is a third party

4 Xしたら、Yする/しない。
Similar to "will" and the subject of the verb is the speaker

  • So 1. «If I had done X I could have done Y», 2. «If I had done X I could have done Y», 3. «If I do X someone will do Y», 4. «If I do X I will do Y»?
    – MickG
    Jul 28, 2022 at 22:09
  • Can you go into any more detail? It's not clear from your post what's going on grammatically. If you could label with terms (optative, potential, future) that would be helpful too.
    – cmw
    Apr 26 at 22:10

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