”When it Comes to…” III:と{きたら・きては・くると・きた日には・きている(ものだ)・くれば}

第298課: ”When it Comes to…” III: と{きたら・きては・くると・きた日には・きている(ものだ)・くれば}

This lesson is a continuation of the last lesson but with a twist. It just so happens that the verb 来る is not as easy as it has been made out to be. At this point, we know that it is not always used in the literal sense of “coming” to a location. For instance, we know it can be used in idiomatic expressions such as 頭にくる (to get mad).

One usage that the verb has had for a very long time in Japanese history but which has been in decline in recent decades is using it to mean いう. This has been done so in Japanese to bring about extremely emphatic commentary about things that are deemed sensitive/of importance to the speaker.

So far, this sounds like random commentary out of context, but remember how といったら・いえば were used in the last lesson. These phrases are both used to conjure up some topic to emphatically make a statement about it. The phrases in this lesson are more or less synonymous to this degree, but the nuances implied, of course, are not 100% the same.  

くる ≒ いう


The purpose of ときたら is to bring up into conversation a very specific circumstance/event/matter/topic of some significance to the speaker in an emphatic manner, which is then followed by commentary true in the eyes of the speaker for the situation mentioned. This commentary is usually negative in connotation; however, regardless of whether the sentence is positive or negative in nuance, it always brings about some sense of astonishment/amazement. After all, you can be astounded by how awesome or how horrible something is.

Basic Translation: “When it comes to…”; “Regarding…”

As the basic translations suggest, you can view this phrase to be a very emphatic variation of phrases like といえば and に関しては.

1. 中国ちゅうごくでの生活せいかつときたら、本当ほんとう散々さんざんだった。
As far as my livelihood in China went, it was truly miserable.

2. あのまわらない寿司屋すしやときたら、利益率りえきりつたかそうだな。
When it comes to sushi restaurants that aren’t conveyor ones, it seems that the profit ratio is high, you know.

3. このくるまときたら、なつはエンジンの熱気ねっき外気がいきよりあついくせにふゆ隙間風すきまかぜそとよりさむい。
Regarding this car, despite it being hotter than the outside due to the heat of the engine in the summer, it’s colder than the outside due to draft in the winter.

4. メキシコの天気てんきときたら、ひどあつさだ。
When it comes to the weather in Mexico, the heat is awful.

5. 世界せかいではひど事件じけん頻発ひんぱつしてるのに、日本にほん警察けいさつときたらこんなことを・・・
Even though horrible incidents are frequently happening in the world, to think that the Japanese police of all things would…

6. あの先生せんせいときたら、授業中じゅぎょうちゅう冗談じょうだんばかりで、こまるなあ。
When it comes to that teacher, he’s always joking in class, which is really bothersome.

7. このパソコンときたら、ったばかりなのに、もうこわはじめてて、こまってるよ。
When it comes to this PC, even though I’ve just bought it, it’s already beginning to break, which is causing me a great bit of trouble.

8. まったく、最近さいきん若者わかものときたら、なっとらん!
Ugh, young people these days, they just won’t cut it.

9. このチェーン居酒屋いざかやときたら、従業員じゅうぎょういん最低さいていだよ。
When it comes to this chain izakaya, the employees are the worst.

10. おっとときたら、わたし片時かたときとも一人ひとりにしてくれないのです。
When it comes to my husband, he won’t even let me have a moment alone by myself.

11. あいつときたら、いっつもうそくんだ。
When it comes to that guy, he always lies.

12. あいつときたら、毎朝まいあさ30さんじゅっぷん分以上遅刻ぷんいじょうちこくしてくるんだよ。
When it comes to that guy, he always shows up 30 minutes or more late every morning.

13. となりいえいぬときたら、いつもえてばかりでこまってます。
When it comes to my neighbor’s dog, it’s always barking, and it’s bothering me.

14. うちのつまときたら、またもや出張中しゅっちょうちゅうだ。
Concerning my wife, she’s on a business trip again.

と言ったら is used in two kinds of situations. It either calls out/talks to a listener, or it talks about a certain situation. In both situations, commentary follows. The entire situation implies familiarity with the person/situation at hand. The commentary/critique/outburst can have a variety of emotions packed into it: anxiety, worry, rebuke, jealousy, pride, resignation, etc. Regardless of the emotion, all this holds together.

ときたら, on the other hand, brings up some topic as a prerequisite for a comment that follows. The comment that follows is deemed to be obvious/natural/absolutely certain. This ‘opinion’ is deeply felt by the speaker, demonstrating that the topic is of some significance to the speaker.  Although と言ったら can be used to give positive or negative feedback in a familial tone, the same cannot be said of ときたら. The difference is that ときたら does not guarantee a tone of familiarity. In fact, the more negative the statement, the more visceral, cold line of sight you feel from the speaker. It is very easy to belittle someone by using ときたら whereas と言ったら doesn’t go beyond jokingly chastising someone.


ときては is a variation of ときたら which only differs in the fact that it brings into mind a cause-effect relationship. We know that the basic understand of ときたら is “With A being a prerequisite, B is only natural.” With ときては, you more explicitly state this on the lines of “Since A is so, B is only natural (as an effect).” Although very subjective, there is a very “as a matter of fact” tone to this pattern.

15. おなじ、使つかわれかたおなじ、薬効やっこうまでおなじときては混同こんどうするのも無理むりはないでしょう。
When it comes down to their appearance, how they’re used, and even to their efficacy being the same, it would not be reasonable to also confuse them.

16. 残業代ざんぎょうだい満額まんがくでないときては、納得なっとくできないひとおおい。
There are many people who cannot accept it when their overtime pay is not the full amount.

17. この雑誌ざっしときては、半分以上はんぶんいじょう宣伝広告せんでんこうこくだよ。
Regarding this magazine, over half of it is advertisements.

18. おまけに殺人さつじんときてはわらうにわらえぬはなしだ。
What’s more is that this story is one that not even murders are able to laugh at.

19. しかも商売しょうばいにならないほどの安値やすねときてはどうにも消費しょうひしきれないだろう。
Moreover, especially when it’s at such a low price it won’t even turn into business, you can’t possibly go through all of it.

20. おまけにハンサムときてはみなねたみをっている。
What’s more, his handsomeness makes everyone envious.

21. 自らであさからばんまで苦労くろうして食事しょくじ用意よういをしても「てんにましますお父さま、今日きょう食事しょくじ感謝かんしゃします」ときては、神様かみさまこまってしまうだろう。
When you still pray, “Father who art in heaven, we thank you for this meal,” despite having worked on your own from morning to night and prepare the meal, God will be surely troubled as well.


This variation is the most objective form, and this is because of the use of と rather than the other conditional particles. As an effect, it doesn’t get used at scolding statements directed at others. It is essentially the same as と言うと with the only difference being that it is not near as common. This is simply due to the fact that the use of くる to stand for いう is in decline overall.

22. さけとくると、からっきし駄目だめだ。
When it comes to alcohol, I’m absolutely hopeless.

23. 音楽おんがくとくると、やはりモーツァルトですね。
When it comes to music, Mozart is definitely where it’s at, you know.


The compound particle には, in either dialectical and/or old-fashioned speech, can be contracted as にゃ(あ). Putting this aside, ときた日{には・にゃ(あ)} is simply a somewhat old-fashioned variant of ときたら. The 日 in this phrase is equivalent to 場合. Many speakers do not even know what this phrase is anymore, but it does appear in literature as well as in Early Modern Japanese. Meaning, if you like reading things from Natsume Sōseki (夏目漱石), you will find it.

24. うちの人とにゃ、大変たいへんなヤキモチやきでね。
When it comes to my partner, he/she is extremely jealous, you see.

25. うちの息子むすこには、さきおもいやられる。
When it comes to my son, I have no idea what is going to happen.

26. 松尾芭蕉まつおばしょうにゃあ、大馬鹿おおばかじゃ。
When it comes to Basho Matsuo, he is an utter fool.

27. ったのは男性だんせい高校生こうこうせい、ついでに美少年びしょうねんときたにゃあ、よるねむれない。
Who I met is a guy in high school, and incidentally he’s a handsome guy; I can’t even sleep at night.

28. 大人おとなになるときたにゃ、まったくしょうがない。
When it comes to becoming an adult, it absolutely can’t be helped.


When ときたら is paraphrased to come at the end of a sentence, you get ときている(ものだ). The use of {もの・もん}だ is there to simply imply that the statement is common sense, but the principles in understanding the phrase at large mentioned above still apply. Typically, the phrase is partnered with phrases that equate to “in addition to,” “what’s more,” etc. These phrases include ~うえに, ~に加えて, おまけに~, etc. The best way to translate this, although translation is not always necessary to reflect its meaning, is “to boot.”

31. 彼氏かれし金遣かねづかいがあらいのにくわえて、ままときている。
In addition to his use of money being wasteful, my boyfriend is selfish to boot.

Sentence Note: The prerequisite for the boyfriend’s selfishness would be the person’s inherent nature which not only doesn’t stop at wasting money but which also leads to being selfish as a natural effect.

32. かしこうえに、性格せいかくもいいときてるもんだから、こまってます。
On top of being wise, since (his/her) personality is also nice to boot, which is what I’m grappling with.

33. サラリーマンは気楽きらく家業かぎょうときたもんだ。
Salary-men have a carefree line of work to boot.

Sentence Note: The prerequisite of the “carefree nature” indicative of a salary-man have would be based on the nature of their work. In today’s Japan, this statement would not be true, but in the past, this was a very prominent critique of the leisure many saw in their lifestyles.

34. とんだタイミングときたもんだ。
What unthinkable timing.

Sentence Note: Although the prerequisite is not mentioned, one can imagine that the situation with the “horribly unthinkable timing” was a domino effect of bad circumstances.  

35. 水も滴るいい男ときたもんだわ。
What a breathtakingly beautiful, nice guy he is!

36. この浴衣ゆかたったら綺麗きれいうえやすいときている。
Talking about this yukata, on top of it being so pretty, it’s cheap to boot.

37. 全然美味ぜんぜんおいしくないときたもんだ。
It’s absolutely disgusting to boot. (taste)

38. どちらもしっかり1いち人前にんまえで、おまけに900きゅうひゃくえんときたもんだ。
Both are full portions, and what’s more is that they’re 900 yen!

39. あのひとは、 なにをするかからないうえに、物覚ものおぼえがわるい。おまけにコーヒーのあじでさえ毎日違まいにちちがうときたもんです。
On top of not knowing what he’s doing, that person has a terrible memory. To make matters worse, the taste of the coffee (he makes) is different each day.  

40. あいつは、いつも自分じぶんのことしかかんがえてないのにこまったときだけたすけてくれときたもんだ。
Even though this guy is always thinking just about himself, what’s more is that he only cries for help only when he’s in trouble.

41. 女王蜂じょおうばち過酷かこく家業かぎょうときたものだ。
Queen bees have a cruel occupation to boot.

42. おまけに勉強べんきょう出来でき運動うんどうもそこそこときてるもんだ。
What’s more, I’ve been able to study as well as reasonably exercise.


We know that with the use of the particle ば, you can create a conditional phrase that is subjective, relating to present/future situation, and that also leads to a desire of the speaker. As such, this is never used in a negative connotation. This, as you can imagine, is a more emphatic version of と言えば.

44. うみとくれば、海水浴かいすいよくだ。
When it comes to the ocean, you think of sea bathing.

45. 大阪おおさかとくれば、やっぱりたこきが一番いちばんおもかびますね。
When it comes to Ōsaka, takoyaki definitely first comes to mind.

46. 前回は99点とくれば、次は100点が取れそうだね。
With it being that I got a 99 last time, it seems that I will get a 100 next time, huh.

47. クエン酸とくれば疲労回復!
When it comes to citric acid, think recovery from fatigue!