Wild Nihongo!
といえば / といったら / ときたら / ったら

といえば / といったら / ときたら / ったら

といえば / といったら / ときたら / ったら Japanese Grammar Lesson

Grammar Type: Phrase

Essential Meaning: Speaking of X

Construction: 

  • Noun + といえば
    • E.g. 東京とうきょうといえば [Speaking of Tokyo]
  • Sentence + といえば
    • E.g. やすむといえば [Speaking of being absent]

Notes:

  • といえば corresponds to the English expression “Speaking of….“. It is used to apply an item that is currently under discussion as the topic of a new discussion. As an example, imagine the following discussion: A: “I saw a turtle today. It was cute!” B: “Speaking of turtles, let’s get some turtle soup for dinner.” In this example, Person A brings up the fact that he saw a turtle today, and Speaker B applies turtles as the topic of a separate discussion regarding dinner plans. In Japanese, this conversation can be conveyed using といえば.
    • E.g. A: 今日きょうはカメを可愛かわいかった。 B: カメといえば、こんばんカメスープをべましょう。[A: I saw a turtle today. It was cute! B: Speaking of turtles, let’s get some turtle soup for dinner.]
  • といえば typically follows noun phrases, but it can be used with any part of speech。
    • E.g. A: 小西こにしくんはよくやすむねえ。B: よくやすむといえば、山本やまもとくんも最近さいきんませんね。[A: Konishi-kun is often absent, isn’t he? B: Speaking of often being absent, I haven’t seen Yamamoto-kun much lately either.] In this example, といえば follows a verb.
  • The informal version of といえば is っていえば.
    • E.g. よくやすむっていえば、山本やまもとくんも最近さいきんませんね。[Speaking of often being absent, I haven’t seen Yamamoto-kun much lately either.]
  • ときたら and といったら are related expressions that serve basically the same function as といえば. However, one important difference is that ときたら and といったら are used specifically with noun phrases. They can both be abbreviated as ったら in order to present a noun phrase as a topic in casual conversation. ったら is more emphatic than the normal topic marking particle and can be thought of as meaning “When it comes to….” or “In the case of…“.
    • E.g. クリスったらわたしにはなにわないのよ。[When it comes to Chris, she didn’t tell me anything.]
  • Another way to casually introduce topics is って (the abbreviation of という or というのは). It roughly translates to “When you say X….” or “What you call X….“. って is often used to seek clarification about something a conversational partner has just said. As with といえば, って can be used with any part of speech.
    • E.g. A: シービーをいましたよ。B:シービーって? [A: I bought A CB. B: When you say CB…(i.e What’s a CB?)]
    • E.g A: 来週らいしゅうから英語えいごおしえるんです。B: 英語えいごおしえるって、だれに? [A: From next week I’ll be teaching English. B: When you say you’ll be speaking English…To whom?]

Example Sentences:

A: このほん田中たなかさんにりたんです。B: 田中たなかさんとえばもう病気びょうきなおったのかしら。[I borrowed this book from Tanaka-san. B: Speaking of Tanaka-san, I wonder if he has recovered from his illness?]

A: 小西こにしくんはよくやすむねえ。B: よくやすむといえば、山本やまもとくんも最近さいきんませんね。[A: Konishi-kun is often absent, isn’t he? B: Speaking of often being absent, I haven’t seen Yamamoto-kun much lately either.]

A: つぎ日曜日にちようび京都きょうとくつもりだ。B: 京都きょうとえば、春子はるこ京都きょうと大学だいがく入学にゅうがく試験しけんとおったそうだ。[A: I plan to go to Kyoto next Sunday. B: Speaking of Kyoto, I heard that Haruko passed the entrance exam for Kyoto University.]

WILD Examples:

Listen to this line from 0:33: ちゃといえば千利休せんのりきゅう [Speaking of tea ceremonies, it’s Sen No Rikyuu]
Listen to this line from 1:11: はなすことといえば、ゴルフとぜに出世しゅっせばなし [Speaking of the things we talked about, it was golf, money, and success in life]
Listen to this line from 0:52: あのバカ息子むすこたらもう不器用ぶきよう化膿かのうしちゃってて [When it comes to that dumb son, his clumsiness had already come to a head]
Listen to this line from 1:47:きといったら、そのおとこはいかんと[Speaking of liking, that man will not do]

***YouTube videos may be region-locked depending on your country of origin. If you experience issues, please try using a VPN set to a United States IP address.***