Grammar Info

N1 Lesson 10: 4/22

ものなら ②

If you were to do, If you try to, If … happens, Should there be


Verb[volitional] + ものなら/もんなら + Phrase


  • Register


  • 使用域


Rare Kanji

About ものなら②

ものなら is a combination of the noun もの ‘thing’, and the hypothetical form of the auxiliary verb だ, なら ‘if’. Common translations include ‘If you were to (A), (B)’, of ‘if (A) happens, (B)’. In this particular use of ものなら, (A) will be a verb in its volitional form, and (B) will be some sort of negative result that would come about from that. Let’s have a look at a few examples.
  • 彼女(かのじょ)誕生日(たんじょうび)(わす)れようものなら一日中(いちにちじゅう)機嫌(きげん)(わる)くなる。
    If you were to forget her birthday, she would be in a bad mood all day.
  • このレポートを()(わす)れようものなら(いま)までの努力(どりょく)(みず)(あわ)だ。
    All of our efforts would be worth nothing, if I happen to forget to submit this paper.
  • 以前(いぜん)(おな)じようなことで炎上(えんじょう)したから、また()たようなことで炎上(えんじょう)しようものならこの業界(ぎょうかい)から()されるに(ちが)いない。
    Since we went under fire with something similar before, if we go under fire for something similar again, I am sure we would be sidelined from this industry.
Keeping in mind that the volitional form can mean to approach an action with reckless abandon, it can be thought of as being similar to the English ‘to go and do (A)’, where the ‘to go and’ just indicates proceeding ahead without carefully considering the outcome.
Fun Fact
なら is often translated as ‘if’ in many textbooks and online resources, but knowing that it is just a conjugation of だ ‘is’, the more literal translation is ‘were’. This ‘were’ behaves exactly the same way in English in hypothetical situations, so may potentially be better if you would like to avoid confusion between other ‘if’ grammar patterns like ば, と, and たら. An example of this can be seen in sentences like ‘were it to rain tomorrow, then I would need an umbrella’. Because of this, it is recommended to memorize なら purely as ‘were’, rather than the ‘if’ interpretation that is usually attached to it.




    Shinobu is completely terrified of blood. If she were to see even one drop of it by chance, she would faint for sure.


    If I were to run into Brad Pitt, I would die.


    If you happen to tell her a secret, she will quickly spill it to others.


    If this project were to fail, we'd be finished.


    If you were to go and eat his sweets, you would be scolded for sure.

  • Get more example sentences!

    Premium users get access to 12 example sentences on all Grammar Points.

Self-Study Sentences

Study your own way!

Add sentences and study them alongside Bunpro sentences.

  • Online

    There are no Online resources listed for 「ものなら②」.

    You can . Resources are constantly updated, come back later to see new additions!

  • Offline

    • A Dictionary of Advanced Japanese Grammar

      Page 728

  • Track Resources!

    Bunpro tracks all of the resources you’ve visited, and offers relevant bookmarks of physical books to help with offline tracking.

ものなら② – Grammar Discussion

    There's currently no discussion for ものなら②
    Ask questions and learn together with other Bunpro users!