ようとしたが・ようとしたけれど・ようとしたら - Grammar Discussion

English translation:
tried to ~ but ~
was about to ~ but ~
was going to ~ but ~

Structure:
Verb[ volitional ] + としたが + Result
Verb[ volitional ] + としたけれど + Result
Verb[ volitional ] + としたら + Result

Explanation:
[An action/attempt that requires effort or targets direct goals ・ suggests failure or lack of knowledge about the result.]

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I wonder why としたら can be used here since this would be translated as “…if” rather than “…but”
?

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Hey :grin:
It comes from another meaning of “たら”, - “when/then”.

So literal translation is “I attempted to/tried to/was about to do X when…”

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Is ようとしても another form that means the same thing, as in:
media playerで音楽を聞こうとしてもエラーが出てファイルを再生できません。
“I was just about to listen to music, but an error occured…”

Or is it more like “even if I want to listen to music, there’s an error…” ?

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Hey :grinning:

“even if I want to listen to music, there’s an error…” :+1:

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So yes, I could use a more formal “but”, but why would I? Wouldn’t it be best to just use けど since the sentence ends with an informal verb conjugation?

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Yeah I’m kinda wondering too. All the sentences use the formal forms けれど or が except one.

Is this just a common way of using the phrasing or would it sound unnatural to use these in a friendly conversation?

They are all acceptable. It’s just that they’re mostly used with formal variants so its better to make it a habit to use the ‘fully formal’ variants rather than the informal. (Which is why we mark it as a hint and not a mistake.)

In the case of たら, there’s no informal way to state what たら states, that’s why its unchanged.

Hope this helps!