時制. Questions relating to that property of verbs which allows them to refer to events in the past, present, or future.

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2
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75 views

~か ~かどうか 相対テンスの質問

僕は任務を完成したかどうかを確認しました。 I checked if you had finished the mission. 僕は任務を完成するかどうかを確認しました。 I checked if you would finish the mission. 僕は沖縄さんがドーナツを食べるかどうかを確認しました。 I checked if 沖縄さん ...
2
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2answers
97 views

Is it possible to change です to でした in ~んです grammar?

Is it possible to change このネックレスは買ったんですか。 to このネックレスは買うんでしたか。 without changing the meaning?
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2answers
124 views

Having troubles understanding aspect in Japanese (unclear word choice in this sentence written by native)

I'm reading the Genki books and there was this story about an old man who was poor so he went to the market to sell some hats he had made. He didn't manage to sell any and is now returning home, which ...
3
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1answer
118 views

呼んでいたのが and 呼んでいるのが which is right?

There are two conversations: A:李さんが呼んでいたのが聞こえましたか。 B:いいえ、聞こえませんでした。 And: A:李さんが呼んでいるのが聞こえましたか。 B:いいえ、聞こえませんでした。 The only difference is た and る. If I want to ask "have you heard Li's ...
3
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2answers
130 views

Still confused with tenses

Which is the correct one? テレビが壊れているから、見られないんです。 テレビが壊れているから、見られていないんです。 テレビが壊れるから、見られないんです。 テレビが壊れるから、見られていないんです。 テレビが壊れたから、見られないんです。 テレビが壊れたから、見られていないんです。 When do we have to use either ...
1
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2answers
76 views

Can the tense of a subordinate clause be non-relative?

To my understanding, the tense of subordinate clauses is relative: 私は泣いている人に会った。 I met a person, who, at the time, was crying. 私は泣いていた人に会った。 I met a person, who, sometime before our ...
7
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2answers
177 views

(When) can you use dictionary form with 間? / 辞書形と「間」は(どんな時に)一緒に使えますか?

I've just learned 間・間に, as in: 私はビーンにいる間、写真をたくさん取りたいですよ。 ジョンは出かけている間、ビールを飲みました。 All the examples on my grammar sheet use present-continuous form (~ている) or いる. (These are my own examples, ...
2
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1answer
121 views

The 普通形 of a verb in Japanese - future and habitual interpretations [duplicate]

According to my grammar book, the 普通形 of a verb in Japanese usually has two functions: it shows a regular common action and the action that the subject is going to do in the future. For instance: ...
1
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1answer
319 views

Explaining Tense in Japanese

I find that Japanese is a weird language for its learners, especially for those who've already learned English. In English one usually uses two tenses: present and past, however in Japanese there are ...
2
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3answers
234 views

How would I say “when [x] happened”?

First off, I understand the use of ~の時 (when). However, with my current knowledge, this doesn't make sense if I try to use it with verbs in phrases such as "when I woke up". It's probably quite ...
2
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2answers
163 views

Meaning of “生まれし” [duplicate]

I wanted to ask this question because it is the first time I have honestly been unable to find any information on a given form. I know it involves the verb "to be born," but I've never seen a stem+し ...
3
votes
1answer
71 views

Conditional counter-factual, main verb past vs nonpast?

I'm seeing sentences using a conditional counter-factual statement, using both the past and nonpast in sentences. Examples: 安ければ買います According to the Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar ...
4
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2answers
150 views

Why did the author briefly jump to present tense in this article?

The first sentence of the second paragraph of the article titled モンテ、ナビスコ初戦快勝 in Yomiuri Shinbun is written in the present tense (or possibly the future tense I guess): 序盤、何度も相手ゴールに迫るが、得点に結びつかない。 ...
5
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2answers
114 views

Can the Japanese present tense indicate a continuous acton?

I was watching Shirobako episode 16. and at 2:31 the witch says "落ちる!" as she falls out of a plane. The subs translated it as "We're falling!" but I'm confused on why that is so. I'm not sure if ...
3
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2answers
225 views

Meaning of, Transitive verb in “te form” + iru vs Intransitive verb in “te form” + iru

When I learnt Japanese I was taught that a transitive verb in its "te form" followed by the verb "iru" represents a continuous action. However, this is not the case with intransitive verbs which ...
3
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1answer
166 views

The usage of 侮れなかった

This question is a mix between the usage of 侮れない and the usage of なかった instead of ない in the sentence 意外と、うちのカノジョも侮れなかった The usage of 侮れない like in the example below seems to refer to one who you ...
9
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2answers
333 views

好き【すき】でした。付き【つき】合って【あって】ください。

I found many people say 好きでした when they actually mean 好きです. I think it is short for ずっと好きでした. I know ずっと~していた and ずっと~している can well mean the same, but I still do not know the nuance between 好きでした and ...
2
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1answer
151 views

What is the difference between ~たとき vs ~るとき

電車に乗るときは、白線の内側でお待ちください。 電車に乗ったときは、白線の内側でお待ちください What is the difference between ~たとき and ~るとき? In particular, what is ungrammatical about the second sentence with ~た? I felt that this ...
3
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1answer
2k views

How do you say “I have been […]”?

How would I say “I have been [...]” as in “I have been studying Japanese.” or “I have been working at an office”? If I remember correctly it is a particular verb conjugation and this would be ...
0
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0answers
47 views

Only 〜ます in ending verb vs. 〜ませんでした [duplicate]

As I understand, 〜ます should only be used in the ending verb while others inside the sentence should be in basic form. How come, then, that the polite past negative tense is made using 〜ませんでした, which ...
0
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2answers
286 views

How do you say “What are the differences between car and motorcycle ”?

I have just learned about "WH question" in japanese. Now I'm learning about "What is" and since the examples are so simple, only "What's your name". I'm curious how to say "What are the differences ...
9
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1answer
482 views

How should we understand the plain form when used in novels set in the past?

I am trying to understand how the plain form is used in novels set in the past through the explanations in the paper referenced below. I wonder if someone could explain how we should understand the ...
2
votes
1answer
110 views

How can this sentence using 次 be in the past tense?

In my JLPT practise book, the following exchange between a man and a woman is part of a longer exchange in a listening section: 女{おんな}:先日{せんじつ}は町内{ちょうない}集会{しゅうかい}、お疲{つか}れさまでした。 ...
8
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2answers
2k views

Is 「たくなった」 a typo or a grammatical structure that is different than I think it is?

I have this sentence in my JLPT exercise book: 彼{かれ}は有名人{ゆうめいじん}ゆえの不自由{ふじゆう}さから逃{に}げたくなった。 The translation offered is: He wanted to get away from the difficulties of being a celebrity. ...
7
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2answers
299 views

How to write about something in the future where something will have happened

How could I write about something in the future where something will have happened? That is, I'm writing from the perspective of the current time, about a perspective in the future where something has ...
4
votes
1answer
256 views

How 聞いてた differs from 聞いた in this context?

I think ていた/ている is often used in the following context. A:Bla Bla Bla A:話、聞いてた? B:ごめん。聞いてなかった。ちょっと、ボーッとしてた Another context A said something to B before he left, but B didn't hear it. ...
3
votes
1answer
164 views

can あいだ / あいだに be used with non-past tenses

Last week I learned to use あいだ and あいだに to express things that happen at the same time (are parallel) or things that happen while other are occurring. But I noticed that all the examples on the book ...
4
votes
4answers
819 views

What's the difference between ~てある and ~た (past form)?

As I understand it てある is rather different to ている in that it refers to a resultant state rather than an ongoing action. However I wonder, what then is the practical difference between a resultant ...
5
votes
1answer
398 views

Attributive form in Japanese narration

I have recently started reading novels as a means to improve my Japanese after reaching a comfortable enough level to do so. I am familiar with the use of the non-past form (dictionary form) in ...
4
votes
2answers
412 views

What is the difference between ことにする and ことにした?

みんなの日本語 中級I - Lesson 3 says that V (dictionary form) ことにする is used to express the decision to do something. If I say 私は日本へ行くことにしました。 this can be translated as “I decided to go to Japan”. This is ...
5
votes
1answer
133 views

This PSA was written in the past tense. When is it correct to do this?

While riding a train, I read a public service announcement that said: たばこを持つ手は、子供の顔の高さだった。 Underneath, the English translation said: A lit cigarette is carried at the height of a child's ...
8
votes
1answer
391 views

Present vs. past tense with certain verbs?

~ことにする vs ~ことにした  ~と思う vs ~と思った What sort of context would you use either of these? Does the past tense imply that you've changed your decisions or thoughts?
3
votes
2answers
318 views

What is なく・ない and why is it used?

This question showed the following: 言わない (negative) 言わなく・ない (negative+negative) 言わなく・なかった (negative+negative+past) I've never seen this conjugation before. Why would you have a negative + ...
4
votes
3answers
587 views

What's the difference between “plain form + とき” and “ta-form + とき“?

According to the book I'm reading, both of these sentences translate to: “I bought a bag when I went back to my country”. 国へ帰るとき、かばんを買いました。 国へ帰ったとき、かばんを買いました。 Now the nuance, if I understand ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

“How did you know?” and “how do you know?” in Japanese

As explained in this question on the English site, there is a distinction in English between saying "How did you know?" and "How do you know?" When someone makes an assertion, the distinction ...
1
vote
1answer
625 views

What suffix do you add to a verb to make it perfective or imperfective?

What suffix would be added to the end of a verb to make as it is being done (I'm eating), or that it has been done (I have eaten, I've ate). For example 私は食べる, or I eat, 食べる would be converted into ...
4
votes
4answers
4k views

How do I say “before” or “used to” in Japanese?

朝、作文を書いた時、疑問に思いました。 How can I say something like: I didn't used to like this band.  Before, I didn't like this band.
3
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1answer
143 views

Tense of どういうつもりだ…

The full sentence is: 反撃の機会は幾度もあった… どういうつもりだ… "There were many chances to counter attack... what is your intention". But the event took place in the past so why is it not どういうつもりだった… "What was ...
6
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2answers
816 views

い-Adjective Conjugation: かったです vs でした

When we first studied adjective conjugation in my Japanese class, I kept making the same mistake habitually; I would conjugate the past tense of い-adjectives with でした at the end instead of dropping ...
9
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1answer
457 views

Usage of 忘れる, 忘れた, 忘れている, 忘れていた

Consider this sentence: それは三十年前のことだから、もう[fill in the blank]。 The answer given by the workbook is 忘れた. Choices are: 忘れる (forget) 忘れた (forgot) 忘れている (continued state of forgetting) 忘れていた (had ...
18
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3answers
884 views

How do I express sentences like: He is dying?

For instance, "He is eating" is "Kare wa tabete iru". However, "He is dying" is not "Kare wa shinde iru". Another example is "He is going to Japan" is not "Kare wa nihon ni itte iru". So if I can't ...
15
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1answer
414 views

Why does the narrator switch tenses here?

I'm currently reading The Tale of Peter Rabbit in Japanese, but the opening to the story is confusing me a bit. The actual text reads: ...
5
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1answer
275 views

“きのう、何をしていた。” vs. “きのう、何をした。”

What is the difference in nuance between きのう、何をしていた。 vs きのう、何をした。? To be fair, I can't really tell the difference between these two english sentences: What were you doing yesterday ? What did you do ...
2
votes
1answer
206 views

Help with tense/aspect (past vs. non-past in Verb and Verbている)

I'm having difficulty with this sentence: Tense appears inconsistent to me. I need help understanding the correct use of verb forms. 冬休みにずっと九州に [Fill in the blank] おばあさんのうちにいました(past) 住む ...
6
votes
3answers
397 views

What is the significance of the “の” in the sentence “誰が盗んだのか、誰か知りませんか。”

In another forum, someone said the difference between 誰が盗んだのか、誰か知りませんか。 and 誰が盗んだか、誰か知りませんか。 is that the former has more emphasis on the verb 盗む. Another person said that that's not the ...
9
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2answers
408 views

How do I decide when to use plain or past verb form?

In (1) 明日、家へ帰って、母が作ったおいしい料理を食べます。 why is it 作った when it’s a future event? If I wanted to create a clause meaning 'delicious food my mother makes', it would be 母が作るおいしい料理. Does changing 作った in ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Would the plain form of a verb usually be translated as future tense?

In a recent question I asked, this example sentence was offered: 映画を見る。 (I will watch a movie.) What struck me about this was that the translated version was the future tense. However, I always ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

what is the past tense of お腹が空いた?

if お腹が空いた means "I'm hungry", then what would be the past tense of お腹が空いた since (i think) it's already in the past tense?
7
votes
2answers
897 views

Difference between 行ったから and 行ってから and 行くから

What is the difference in usage between 行ったから and 行ってから and 行くから? Is there a sense of sequence implied in one and not the other? In the following examples where would i be buying the book and where ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

ありがとうございます vs. ありがとうございました

When thanking someone, what is the rule for using ありがとうございます vs. ありがとうございました? My sensei taught us to use ありがとうございました when the action you're thanking someone for occurred in the past, but I've heard ...