~tara vs ~ba

~tara and ~ba are interchangeable. But there is an important point to consider when to use ~tara or ~ba.

~tara is used when you set a condition for a particular event to happen, ie. it will happen only once.

国へ帰ったら、すぐ手紙を書いてください。

Since his returning to his country will happen once (in this context), ~tara is used.
If we construct this sentence using ~ba (conditional form of the verb), we will get:

国へ帰れば、すぐ手紙を書いてください。

But this construction is incorrect.

Another example is:

雨が降ったら、パーチーに行きません。

The above sentence means [I] will not go to [this  particular] party if it rains.

Ack! I dont know if i explained it well. Anyway, just remember, if the event is to occur once, ~tara is used.

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