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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

4
votes
1answer
167 views

「時間」「約束」「用事」の修飾 (Noun modification for these 3 nouns)

日本語 動詞で修{しゅう}飾{しょく}するときには、「た」や「ない」などの形の動詞が使えるでしょう。 ミラーさんが 住んで いた うちに ねこが いました。 でも「みんなの日本語」(第22課)によると、「時間」や「約束」や「用事」の場合はいつも辞書形の動詞で修飾します。 朝ごはんを 食べる 時間 映画を 見る 約束 市役所へ 行く 用事 ...
3
votes
1answer
127 views

とでたしか。。。出してられます: particle and tense question

From Haruki Murakami's preface to Yume de Aimashō: ときどき「糸井さんと村上さんとでたしか『夢で会いましょう』という対談集出してられますね」と言われることがあるけれど、それは明らかなマチガイです。 I'm guessing that it parses as to de tashika, right? If so, questions: ...
5
votes
1answer
157 views

Strange question/answer pattern

The other day I overheard a question/reply pattern that confused me a bit. This is the scenario: something weird just happened in the street, and person A came up to a police officer. It went ...
4
votes
1answer
92 views

Verb tenses in hypothetical situations

I'm wondering how Japanese tenses work for hypothetical situations that may happen or could have happened. More specifically, are the verb tenses in the below sentences correct? We probably would ...
2
votes
2answers
96 views

Past negative tense じゃなかったでした

We can use じゃなかったです for past tense, but can we replace the です with でした so that it becomes じゃなかったでした? Why or why not?
3
votes
2answers
769 views

How to say “I will have arrived home by 6 pm.”

I've just started Japanese, so please go easy on the grammar! I see from this website that ~madeni means "by that time," but I'm not sure if you just append that to the time you want to specify ...
4
votes
2answers
92 views

面白かった Vs. 有名だった

So, I'm relatively new to Japanese and I'm learning. And I notice that some words are paired with かった or だった, even though they're both for referencing past. So, my question is: When is it appropriate ...
6
votes
1answer
79 views

Why does native speakers rather say 言う通り not 言った通り?

I was watching a drama (無痛 ep.3) when a short sentence baffled me. The main actor's wife was taking her last breaths, thanking her husband, who himself a doctor, told her, that it would be best to die ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

The use of present and past tenses in ~時 sentences

In Genki II textbook (second edition page 114 and 115) you are tasked with creating sentences using ~時. The problem is their answers seem to contradict what is written in "A dictionary of basic ...
3
votes
1answer
150 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
123 views

るとき or たとき with たい?

My understanding of A たとき B is that it is used when B happens after A; A るとき B is used when B happens before A. (Related question: What is the difference between ~たとき vs ~るとき) However, my ...
3
votes
1answer
96 views

た or ていた? Is “turned right” a state or an action?

In this link, Past Unreal Conditional, user l'électeur has given an answer pointing to the tense issues in the original sentence given in the question, stating that ていた needs to be used instead of た: ...
3
votes
2answers
99 views

Past tense of i-adjective + past tense of verb

Can the past tense of an i-adjective and the past tense of a verb be in the same sentence? For example: "I bought a book that was heavy." 重かった本を買いました。 Does it sound unnatural?
4
votes
1answer
97 views

Different nuances in meaning for なら sentences

I've looked at previous posts made on conditionals but still have a bit of trouble with なら. I was hoping someone could tell me the differences in meaning/nuance between the following sentences. The ...
5
votes
1answer
183 views

ている/ていた時 understanding

I understand how 時 works with plain present/plain past (e.g. 食べる/食べた時) but I'm a little unsure of ている/ていた時. Also what's the difference between these two sentences: 私がお風呂に入っている時電話が鳴った。 ...
2
votes
1answer
107 views

Connective だって and use of せっかく

It's hard to tell where the following breaks up as it's in one bubble. まあまあ せっかくだから[買]{か}いに[行]{い}ったらどうだ [山田]{やまだ}だって[必要]{ひつよう}だろ Anyway. My attempt at (somewhat literal) translation here ...
2
votes
1answer
105 views

When to use って or 言った

I'm having trouble knowing when to use って or 言った when I want to say someone said something (past tense). Naturally, since it is past tense, I always want to use 言った. But having watched many j-drama ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

Infinitive form + た or た form

兄ちゃんも行きたいって言ってたし。 I'm pretty sure it's 言. The only difference is the top mark is horizontal. Every time time I analyze it, though, I wind up with 言. Anyway, my question regards the 行きた. ...
3
votes
1answer
115 views

だったら as an interjection

だったらさ! だった is the completed tense of だ, ら is a rough indicator, and さ is an assertion. The completed existential verb with the rough indicator would seem to say something like "Things having ...
8
votes
1answer
227 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
94 views

飲食店が入る雑居ビル vs 飲食店が入った雑居ビル

A news program announced: 〇〇店が入る雑居ビルが全焼した。 I was expecting 〇〇店が入った雑居ビルが全焼した。 as in 「水が入ったグラス」. The former seems like it's saying that the shop was going to be set up in the building ...
2
votes
1answer
307 views

How does present tense work in Japanese narration?

Novels in English are generally completely written in past tense, but Japanese narration is quite confusing because they constantly switch between past and present tense. For example, take this ...
19
votes
2answers
775 views

“太ってる猫” vs “太った猫”

I saw this sentence and its translation in a textbook 彼女は太った猫が好きじゃない。 She doesn't like fat cats I was under the impression that 「太ってる猫」 means something like “cat that is in the state of ...
8
votes
2answers
123 views

Is た形 required when using 自動詞 as an adjective?

From the grammar book I learned that when 自動詞 is being used as an adjective, it should change its form to the た形, for example: 優れ{すぐれ}た学生 拗れ{こじれ}た話し But can I say 優れる学生 or 拗れる話し? Why?
3
votes
1answer
288 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
120 views

Confused in choosing でした or です in のは~だ grammar

Which one is the correct one between the following 2 sentences? Are my English translations correct? A: 昨日食べたのは肉まんです。 A': It is nikuman (steamed meat bun) that I ate yesterday. B: ...
5
votes
4answers
380 views

Meaning of a long dash “――”, and use of past tense in the present

I have this following sentence:   横線――HPバーの名で呼ばれる青いそれは、俺の生命の残量を可視化したものだ。 There are a few questions I came up with about this sentence: The first part of the sentence is: 横線―――HPバーの名で呼ばれる青いそれ, ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

Is a sentence like 彼がやったんだ past or present tense?

For example, in an a situation like 誰がやった? 彼がやったんだ Would the latter sentence be considered past or present tense? Is んだ a combination of の and だ with だ as a copula, or is it a different ...
-1
votes
1answer
207 views

Mapping 16 English tenses to Japanese tenses [closed]

I am really confused in digesting Japanese tenses while referring to English tenses in mind. Is there a list mapping each English tense to Japanese one? Please kindly also provide us with some ...
4
votes
1answer
153 views

The meaning and tense of できるはず in this passage

A and B were involved in negotiations. A was in a superior position, but there was one and new unfavourable condition that if B knew about, would put A in a huge disadvantage. This was kept secret and ...
8
votes
1answer
191 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
238 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
209 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
votes
2answers
106 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?
2
votes
2answers
157 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
148 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
vote
2answers
98 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
371 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
345 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
176 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: ...
2
votes
3answers
382 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
136 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
votes
2answers
172 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
votes
2answers
127 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
406 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
536 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
643 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
607 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...