Japanese Grammar: Subjunctive Mood Explained By Example

Written byIchika Yamamoto

Definition: The subjunctive is a mood because it doesn't deal with factual reality that isn't concrete what someone wants to happen or what might happen but with opinions, wishing, feelings, supposed, doubted, dreams and speculation.

In Japanese language there is not subjuntive form but, some languages will use a form they call "subjunctive" to show that something is contrary to the fact.


  • If I were a millionaire I would buy a car.

There are 5 ways to express "IF" in Japanese Laguage, which are:

Conditional form in Japan
to----->ba------->nara-----> ならtara---> たらtewa--->てわ

TO: It may also be translated as "when" in English,


  • I don't understand when it's not Spanish.
  • そ れ は ス ペ イ ン 語 で は な い と き 、 私 は 理 解 し て い な い
  • Sore wa supein-go de wanai toki, watashi wa rikai shite inai .

BA: It is the most similar to "if" in English.


  • You'll learn a lot if you ask the teacher.
  • あ な た が 先 生 に 言 わ せ れ ば あ な た は 多 く の こ と を 学 び ま す
  • Anata ga sensei ni iwa sereba anata wa oku no koto o manabimasu.

NARA: It places an assumption of truth on the first clause.


  • If (it's true) you're going to come, hurry up please!
  • あ な た は 、 し て く だ さ い 急 い で 、 来 る つ も り な ら !
  • Anata wa, shite kudasai isoide, kuru tsumorinara!

TARA: It shows a condition that the second clause hinges on.


  • If our mother comes be sure to greet her.
  • 私 た ち の 母 親 が 来 た 場 合 、 彼 女 に 挨 拶 す る よ う に し て く だ さ い 。
  • Watashi-tachi no hahaoya ga kita baai, kanojo ni aisatsu suru yo ni shite kudasai.
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