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Japanese Hiragana kyokashotai BA.png
U+3070, ば
Composition: [U+306F] + ◌゙ [U+3099]



Stroke order
5 strokes

Etymology 1[edit]

The hiragana character (ha) with a dakuten ().



(romaji ba)

  1. The hiragana syllable (ba). Its equivalent in katakana is (ba).
See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Old Japanese. Appears in the Man'yōshū, completed 759 CE.[1]

Originally an extension of the topic particle (wa),[2] for which the Old Japanese pronunciation is reconstructed as */pa/. The pa changes to ba as an instance of rendaku (連濁).


  • IPA(key): [ba̠]
  • In Tokyo dialect, the pitch accent of the verb construction depends on the verb or adjective it attaches to:[3]
    • When attached to an accented verb, the accent is unmodified: [tsùkúꜜrù]れば [tsùkúꜜrèbà].
    • When attached to an unaccented verb, an accent is added on the mora before ba: そぶ [àsóbú]そべ [àsóbéꜜbà].



  1. In Modern Japanese, attaches to the kateikei, and in Classical Japanese, attaches to the mizenkei, to express the hypothetical condition: if
    Ame ga fureba ensoku o chūshi suru.
    If it rains, we will suspend our trip.
    (いそ)(まわ)isogaba mawareIf you rush, you'll go round → more haste, less speed
  2. In Modern Japanese, attaches to the kateikei, and in Classical Japanese, attaches to the izenkei, to express the precondition for something to happen: if; when
    Ame ga fureba michi ga nureru.
    The road gets wet when it rains.
    • c. late 9th–mid-10th century, Taketori Monogatari
      Sore o mireba, sansun bakari naru hito ito utsukushūte itari.
      When he looked at it, there sat a very lovely human being about three sun long.
    • 2007, yura (lyrics), 神前暁 (music), “キラメキラリ”, in THE IDOLM@STER MASTER ARTIST 02 高槻やよい:
      uchū kara mireba chikyū mo nagareboshi
      If you see from the universe the earth is also a shooting star
  3. In the form …ば…ほど (… ba … hodo): the more …, the more
    Manabeba manabu hodo, nani mo shiranakatta koto ni kizuku
    The more I learned, the more I felt I didn't know anything.
  4. In the form …ば… (… mo … ba … mo), links items in parallel:and
    nihongo mo dekireba eigo mo dekiru
    to be able to speak both Japanese and English
  5. (archaic) In the form mizenkei + (ba) + meireikei on the same verb: it doesn't matter if …; may as well
    ()()shinaba shineI might as well die.
  6. (archaic) In Modern Japanese, attaches to the kateikei, and in Classical Japanese, attaches to the izenkei, to express the reason or cause: because; as
    Ame fureba undōkai wa chūshi seri.
    The sports meeting is suspended due to rain.
    • 1901, 慶應義塾, 修身要領
      kekkon wa jinsei no jūdaiji nareba haigū no sentaku wa motto mo shinchō narazaru bekarazu
      Since marriage is a major event in life, the choice of a spouse has to be the most cautious.
    • 1904, 芳賀矢一, 中等教科明治文典:
      Dairoku katsuyōkei no “shine” wa meirei o iu toki ni mochiiru katachi nareba meireikei to iu.
      The sixth conjugated form shine is the form used when expressing a command, so it's called the imperative form.
Usage notes[edit]
  • Modern conjugation:
  • This word is morphologically an inflectional suffix. It is classified as 助詞 (jodōshi, auxiliary word; particle) in traditional Japanese grammar.

Etymology 3[edit]

For pronunciation and definitions of – see the following entry at .
[noun]a place
[noun](physics) a field
[counter]acts, sections of a play
(This term, , is a hiragana spelling of .)

Etymology 4[edit]

For pronunciation and definitions of – see the following entries.
[affix]old woman, crone
[affix]Used in Sanskrit transliterations
[affix]abuse; insult
(This term, , is the hiragana spelling of several Sino-Japanese terms.)
For a list of all kanji with on'yomi , not just those used in Sino-Japanese terms, see Category:Japanese kanji with on reading ば.


  1. ^ 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
  2. ^ 1995, 大辞泉 (Daijisen) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan, →ISBN
  3. ^ Online Japanese Accent Dictionary (OJAD)