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ば-Form X + Xほど + Y as “the more X, the more Y”

ば-Form X + Xほど + Y as “the more X, the more Y”

This grammar pattern is usd to express that the more something, X, happens, the more something else, Y, happens as well. In this grammar patterns construction, X, the thing that happens, is repeated, first appearing in its ば-Form and then secondly appearing in its Dictionary-Form followed by the word ほど, which translates to “degree, extent, approximately, etc.” The thing that happens alongside X’s own happening, Y, follows afterwards.


Ano hi o kangaereba kangaeru hodo kokoro ga itai.
(The more I think about that day, the more my heart hurts.)

Hayakereba hayai hodo ii.
(The sooner, the better.)

多ければ多いほど い い。
Ookereba ooi hodo ii.
(The more, the merrier.)

*Edit: 多ければ多いほど楽しい。(Ookereba ooi hodo tanoshii.) is probably a better way of saying, “The more the merrier.”

*When a verbal noun is used as X in this grammar pattern, the second instance of the verbal noun (but not the する that is to follow directly after it) is usually omitted. The same applies for な-Adjectives and Noun being used with である, in which the second instance of the な-Adjective or Noun plus the particle で can be omitted, simply leaving the Dictionary-Form of ある.

Nihongo wa benkyou sureba suru hodo, jyouzu ni naru.
(With Japanese, the more you study, the better you get.)

Yuumei na gakkou de areba (yuumei na gakkou de) aru hodo hairuno ga muzukashii.
(The more famous the university is, the harder it is to get accepted.)

Shizuka de areba (shizuka de) aru ii.
(The quieter it is, the better.)

*Sometimes なら, another conditional form alongside the ば-Form, can be used.

Shizuka nara shizuka na hodo ii.
(The quieter it is, the better.)