Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 10: 14/18

たらどう

Why don't you...?, What if you did...?

It can be further contracted to たら by itself in very casual conversations.

Structure

Verb[たら]+ どう + (だ)?
Verb[たら]+ どう + ()?
Verb[たら]

Details

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    Standard

  • 使用域

    一般

About たらどう

When the conjunction particle たら is used before the adverb どう, it primarily presents a situation, then asks a question about it potentially happening. This construction can be translated as 'why don't you (A)?', or 'what if you did (A)?'. Realistically, it just means 'when (A), how about that?'. It is often used for giving advice.
To use this expression, convert the verb that you want to use into its たら form, and then add どう.
  • ()(りょう)()らしたらどう
    Why don't you reduce the amount you eat?
  • テレビつかないの?(たた)てみたらどう
    Your TV doesn't turn on? Why don't you try hitting it?
Sometimes たら is used by itself, with a tone that implies that it is a question (or simply by adding a question mark in written language). This is an abbreviation of たらどう, and carries the same nuance.
  • (ひま)なら(そと)()たら
    If you are bored, why don't you go outside?
or may be added to the end of たらどう, to emphasize the 'question' even further. However, they are not required.
  • 警察(けいさつ)電話(でんわ)してみたらどう
    Why don't you try calling the police?
  • (にが)なら砂糖(さとう)()たらどう
    If it is bitter, why don't you add some sugar?
Caution
Despite being used for giving advice, たらどう may be interpreted as criticism. Due to this, care will need to be taken with your tone of voice.
  • たま(あたま)使(つか)たらどう
    Why don't you use your head occasionally? (You should try thinking for once)

Examples

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  • 公園(こうえん)(あそ)()たらどうです

    Why don't you go to play in the park?

    • あそこゴミ(ひろ)たらどうです

      Why don't you go pick up that garbage over there?

      • ダイエットてみたらどう

        Why don't you try dieting?

        Unlike in English ダイエット in Japanese is not strictly limited to caloric intake, but also includes exercise.

        • そんなに(かれ)()だったら()()たらどう

          If you like him that much, why don't you go out with him?

          • 日本(にほん)()(さび)しいならアメリカ(かえ)たらどう

            If you feel lonely in Japan, why don't you go back to America?

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            たらどう – Grammar Discussion

            Most Recent Replies (16 in total)

            • sergimas

              sergimas

              Sorry, i know It’s been asked before in this thread but I have not seen it answered, can we use the ば conditional with this construction or the nuance would be different?

              Thanks!

            • EbonyMidget

              EbonyMidget

            • sergimas

              sergimas

              Thanks for the link!

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