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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19
votes
2answers
771 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 ...
18
votes
3answers
976 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 ...
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 ...
16
votes
1answer
461 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: ...
14
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 ...
10
votes
2answers
456 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
402 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
505 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
528 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 ...
8
votes
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. ...
8
votes
2answers
340 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
121 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?
8
votes
1answer
453 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?
8
votes
1answer
226 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
206 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, ...
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
1k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
427 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
189 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
989 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
636 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
78 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
93 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 ...
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, ...
5
votes
1answer
286 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
150 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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
504 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
314 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. ...
5
votes
4answers
6k 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.
5
votes
1answer
170 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。 ...
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
119 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: ...
4
votes
2answers
363 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
1answer
4k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
91 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
131 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
4answers
997 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
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
151 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
171 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。 ...
4
votes
2answers
590 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
93 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
236 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
98 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?
3
votes
2answers
714 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
124 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: ...
3
votes
1answer
279 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
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 ...
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 ...