641 - とあれば

JLPT N1: とあれば (if for...; would...)

The good news: This is a very short lesson.

The bad news: The example sentences were pretty hard to translate into English.

The irrelevant news: I had a homemade granola bar for breakfast this morning.

In this lesson, we're looking at とあれば.

とあれば is used in somewhat dramatic phrases when you want to say that some kind of (extreme) action is acceptable or necessary.

For example:


大好きな彼女のためとあれば、僕は何だって出来ます。
だいすきな かのじょ の ため とあれば、 ぼく は なんだって できます。
I would do anything if it were for the sake of my beloved girlfriend.
Literally: “very liked / loved + girlfriend + の + sake / benefit + とあれば, + I + は + anything + can do.”
Note: Putting "would" sounded more natural to me than "could," which is the literal translation.

Like in that first example, you'll see that とあれば often comes right after ため.

A のためとあれば, [thing I would do].
I would do [thing] for the sake of A.

Another example:


子供のためとあれば、どんな犠牲もいとわない、という親は多い。
こども の ため とあれば、 どんな ぎせい も いとわない、 と いう おや は おおい。
There are a lot of parents that would sacrifice anything for the sake of their children.
Literally: “children + の + sake / benefit + とあれば, + what kind of + sacrifice + も + do not shun / do not grudge (doing), + という + parent + は + many.”

While the idiomatic phrase ためとあれば is how you'll most likely hear this phrase, technically we just need a NOUN right before とあれば.

For example, we could say:


可愛い孫の頼みとあれば、たとえ火の中水の中....。
かわいい まご の たのみ とあれば、 たとえ ひ の なか みず の なか....。
I would go through fire and water to help my cute grandchild.
Literally: “cute + grandchild + の + request + とあれば, + even if + fire + の + inside + water + の + inside....”


Will you hear people using とあれば?

I'd say that it's pretty rare.

Maybe you'll hear a news commentator saying it (e.g. like in our second example), but in everyday life I doubt you'll come across it much, if ever... like a lot of our N1 grammar...

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