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Eki ni chikakereba chikai hodo yachin ga takaku narimasu.

(The closer it is to the station, the higher the rent.)

Situation 1: Mr. Tien heads to a real estate agency.

ティエン: ここのアパートはそのアパートより便利そうですけど、家賃が高いですね。

不動産屋: 駅に近ければ近いほど家賃が高くなります。

Tien: Koko no apāto wa sono apāto yori benri sō desu kedo, yachin ga takai desu ne.

Fudōsan’ya: Eki ni chikakereba chikai hodo yachin ga takaku narimasu.

Tien: The apartments here seem more convenient than those ones, but the rent is high.

Estate agent: The closer it is to the station, the higher the rent.

 

The structure XばXほどY conveys an idea similar to the English pattern “the more…, the more,” expressing that the degree of “Y” increases or decreases in proportion to a change in “X.”

The first “X” and the second “X” are the same words, but the former is a verb or i-adjective in its conditional form, ~ば, while the latter is in the affirmative plain form. Additionally, “Y” tends to express a change, such as the real estate agent’s explanation in Situation 1 that the rent will become higher.

山(やま)では、上(うえ)に行(い)けば行くほど気温(きおん)が下(さ)がる。

(On a mountain, the higher you go up, the lower the temperature becomes.)

パソコンは値段(ねだん)が高(たか)ければ高いほど性能(せいのう)がよくなる。

(The higher the price of a computer is, the better its performance is.)

When “X” is a na-adjective, the ~ば~ほど pattern changes to

XならXなほどY or XであればXであるほどY. Additionally, the initial “X” is often omitted:

観光地(かんこうち)は、有名(ゆうめい)なほど観光客(かんこうきゃく)も多(おお)い。

(As for tourist spots, the more famous, the more tourists [there are].)

 

Situation 2: Mr. Mita and Mr. Sere discuss another company.

三田: あの会社、コロナで経営が悪化して、希望退職を募集しているんだって。

セレ: そうか。でも、そういうときは、優秀な人ほど早く辞めてしまうものだよね。

Mita: Ano kaisha, korona de keiei ga akka shite, kibō-taishoku o boshū shite-iru-n datte.

Sere: Sō ka. Demo, sō iu toki wa, yūshūna hito hodo hayaku yamete-shimau mono da yo ne.

Mita: That company, I heard that due to the coronavirus the management has gotten worse and they’re taking applications for voluntary retirement.

Sere: Is that so? But in such cases, the better people totally quit sooner.

The pattern XばXほどY, can also be written XほどY when “X” is a noun. In this case, the noun has the meaning of a degree:

一流(いちりゅう)のアスリートほど体調(たいちょう)の管理(かんり)に気(き)を使(つか)っている。

(The more of a first-class athlete you are, the more you’ll care about managing your physical condition.)

 

Bonus Dialogue: Mitsuo is talking to his school friend Kenta.

光男(みつお): 試験(しけん)のことを考(かんが)えれば考えるほど、心配(しんぱい)になってくる。

健太(けんた): どうしたんだ、のんきな光男がそんなことを言(い)うなんて。

光男: こんど試験の点数(てんすう)が悪(わる)かったら、ゲームが禁止(きんし)になっちゃうんだよ。

健太: そりゃ、大変(たいへん)だ。勉強(べんきょう)しなくちゃ。

光男: でも、教科書(きょうかしょ)や参考書(さんこうしょ)を読(よ)めば読むほどわからなくなるんだ。

健太: うーん、それは塾(じゅく)で基礎(きそ)からやり直(なお)したほうがいいよ。

光男: 親(おや)には、塾に行けば ? って言われたけど、おれは行かないって、言ったんだ。

健太: でも、やり直すなら、早(はや)ければ早いほどいいよ。いろんなタイプの塾があって、その人(ひと)に合(あ)ったクラスで勉強できるんだ。

光男: そうか。じゃ、相談(そうだん)してみようかな。塾に行けばゲーム禁止の話(はなし)はなかったことにしてもらえるかもしれない。

健太: うーん、それはわからないけど。

Mitsuo: The more I think about the exam, the more worried (I get).

Kenta: What’s wrong, Mitsuo, the carefree guy, saying stuff like that?

Mitsuo: If I don’t get a good test score this time, I’ll totally be banned from playing video games.

Kenta: That’s tough. You’ve gotta study.

Mitsuo: But, the more I read the textbook and reference guides, the less I understand them.

Kenta: Well, then it’s better to start over from the basics at a cram school.

Mitsuo: My parents said I could go to a cram school, but I said I wouldn’t go.

Kenta: But if you want to start over, the sooner, the better. There are various types of cram schools, and you can study in a class that suits you.

Mitsuo: Is that so? Well, I’ll try discussing it with them. If I go to a cram school, they’ll probably get rid of my video game ban.

Kenta: Well, I don’t know about that.

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