All of us have hopes and dreams, and don’t we want to express them? In our Season 4 Episode 8 of the Nihongo Master Podcast, we looked at how to say “I hope…” or “it’ll be good if…” in Japanese.

When I first started learning Japanese, I realised that this is one of the ways to level up my language skills fast and easy. So I thought it would be good to share it with all of you. This article is a recap of what we covered in the podcast episode. But don’t worry, you will get the full information you need here, too. 

The only thing you’ll be missing is the roleplaying scenarios. You would have to tune in to the podcast for that! 

Image Credit: Picpedia

Grammar Point 

The thing to note about this grammar point is that half of it has already been covered in Season 3 Episode 13. This covers the conditional form “if”. There are a lot of ways to express conditional. There are a total of four, and today, we’re going to use all four of them. Check the full episode out, or our recap article here. To summarise:

The first way is using とto express constant results and actual conditions: 

Verb (plain) / i-adjective +と 

Noun / na-adjective + だと

The second way is using ば to express a hypothetical condition, and is one of the more general forms:

Verb (with the last う sound changed toえ) + ば

i-adjective (the い sound changes toえ) + ば

noun / na-adjective + あれば

The Third way is たら. It is similar to “ba” as it’s also the other general conditional form, but it’s more for one-time results:

Past tense of any word + たら

Last but not least, the fourth way is なら, and it is for contextual conditions:

Plain form of any word + なら

Conditional + いい

Once you know how to conjugate to the conditional form, it becomes easy after that. To express hope using “i hope” or “it’ll be good if”, you add いい to the conditional form:

Conditional と + いい

Conditional ば + いい

Conditional たら + いい

Conditional なら + いい

From what I know, the differences between them are very slight, and very much based on the context. I’d say it’s similar to how you’d use the conditional forms. I always stick to tara ii and ba ii as I hear them being used the most.

Let’s have an example sentence: “I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow.” The first step is getting the conditional sentence first, which gets you “ashita ha ame ga furanai to” (明日は雨が降らないと). This is using the first type of conditional. Then add the “ii” afterwards to make the sentence: “ashita ha ame ga furanai to ii” (明日は雨が降らないといい). This translates more better to “If it doesn’t rain tomorrow, it’ll be good”.

To say “it’ll be good if it rains”, you can say it as: ame ga fureba ii (雨が降ればいい). I personally have no problem saying it as “ame ga futtara ii” (雨が降ったらいい) either. So to me, they all are more or less interchangeable.

Using it as a question

If you want to use it as a question, like “is it good if I…”, or in other words, “should I…”, I don’t think all conditional forms work. I would suggest sticking with tara ii and ba ii. 

The best example is: “what should I do?” You can change “dou suru” (どうする) which means “what to do” to either of the two conditional forms and have the same meaning: “dou sureba ii?” (どうすればいい?) or “dou shitara ii?” (どうしたらいい?)

Vocab Recap

In the podcast episode, we use a lot of new vocabulary words. Here’s a list for you to refer back to: 

Ame ga furu (雨が降る) — to rain

Jikan (時間) — time

Hontoni (本当に) — really

Hareru (晴れる) — to clear up

Warui (悪い) — bad

Asatte (明後日) — the day after tomorrow 

Mirareru (見られる) — to be able to see 

Kawari ni (代わりに) — instead

Ryouhou (両方) — both

Tonikaku (とにかく) — anyway

Konya (今夜) — tonight

Kaimono (買い物) — shopping

Komu (混む) — to be crowded 

Nipponshoku (日本食品) — Japanese food 

Takai () — expensive or high 

Onaka tsuita (お腹ついた) — to be hungry

Shinpai (心肺) — worry

Tenki yohou (天気予報) — weather report 

Tanoshimi ni (楽しみに) — looking forward to

What are you hoping for?

So, what are you hoping for? It can be as small as hoping for a sunny day to hoping for a holiday to Japan. I’ll let you figure that one out, now that you’re a pro at expressing hope in Japanese. Check out the full episode to have more examples of this grammar point in our roleplaying scenarios, as well as other everyday grammar points. 

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