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Differences 
16th-Feb-2014 06:45 pm
Drawing// Kurumi!
So, on my essay the other day I wrote:
"もし、私が日本へ来なかったら,アメリカにいる人達と同じようなことができたかもしれません。”

My teacher changed it to...
”もし、私が日本へ来なければ、~~~~~~~~~~”

And my ex-coworker who is a teacher changed it to..
"もし、私が日本へ来ていなかったら、~~~~~~~~~~~”

Also 良いニュースを聞いて、うれしいです。 VS   良いニュースを聞いて、うれしく思います

I basically understand the grammar forms and way to form it, but the subtle difference of the meaning is lost on me.   For example, if you were to translate them to English how would they be?  Thanks :3!  
Comments 
16th-Feb-2014 10:38 am (UTC)
The difference between yours and your ex-coworker's is the use of the continuous form of 来る.

「日本に来た。」I came to Japan.
「日本に来ていた。」I came to Japan and I am still here.
I'm assuming that you were/are in Japan for a while so it's not just the coming to Japan, but also the staying in Japan that means you couldn't do the same things as people in America.

「もし、私が日本へ来なければ」The ば form sounds more hypothetical.

「良いニュースを聞いて、うれしいです。」
「良いニュースを聞いて、うれしく思います。」
I'm pretty sure the meaning of these are the same, 嬉しく思う is just a bit more fancy.
16th-Feb-2014 10:47 am (UTC)
Soo... it would be like "If I didn't come to Japan" vs "If I didn't come to Japan (and be here)"? Just that in English we don't need to make the distinction between coming and coming and remaining in the state of having come?

With 来なければ sounding more hypothetical, what would be a good English translation?

Second part - ahh :D thank you. My teacher basically fixed grammatical mistakes while co-worker tried to fancy-fy the paper so that could be.
16th-Feb-2014 03:01 pm (UTC)
Soo... it would be like "If I didn't come to Japan" vs "If I didn't come to Japan (and be here)"? Just that in English we don't need to make the distinction between coming and coming and remaining in the state of having come?
Yeah, pretty much. Also I made a mistake in my previous comment (sorry!) It should have been 「日本に来ている。」 not 「日本に来ていた。」 because if you are still currently in Japan then is it present tense, not past tense.

With 来なければ sounding more hypothetical, what would be a good English translation?
Maybe "Were I to have not come to Japan..."? Although it sounds very convoluted and not really like something someone might say in conversation...
17th-Feb-2014 01:04 am (UTC)
Another way of explaining 来なければ vs 来ていなかったら is when the hypothetical situation branches off from reality.

If it branches in the past, you have to use 〜えば because the others only handle possibilities from the present through the future. (The fancy way of saying this is that えば is the only "counterfactual" conditional, the one that's allowed to suppose the world as different than it's known to be.)

日本へ来なかったら can only be "If I were to not come to Japan", about some decision to come or not, branching in the future.

日本へ来なければ is the simple "If I hadn't come to Japan". It branches in the past.

日本へ来ていなかったら is literally "If I were to be not in the state of having come to Japan". "If I were to be..." branches in the present, technically, even though the distinguishing event is a past one.


* In the interest of completeness I'll note that 〜えば can be either past or future branching, depending on what the next part of the sentence is talking about.
17th-Feb-2014 05:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you -- this is the best explanation of 〜えば vs. 〜たら I've ever seen.
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