New answers tagged tense
The key here is the word order. The neutral order is “昨日肉まんを食べました”. By saying it in the order “昨日食べたのは肉まん[です/でした]”, you are already conveying a contrastive nuance. That is to say, you ate 肉まん and not something else. です/でした tends to have implications on this contrastive nuance: 昨日食べたのは肉まんです。ラーメンではなくて。 It was nikuman that I ate yesterday. Not ramen. ...
As Toshihiko wrote, both A and B are correct sentences in Japanese. However, they are not always interchangeable. For example, suppose that you ate nikuman yesterday, but today your coworker asked you: 昨日カレーまんを食べていましたよね。どこで買ったんですか? You were eating karēman (curry-flavored pork bun) yesterday. Where did you buy it? You can say (A) いいえ、昨日食べたのは肉まんです in ...
Both A and B in Japanese are correct, the same fact as A' in English. B' is incorrect English. Do you want to know about English?
Both is past tense. The former is a question the latter is an answer (he did it). This topic is similar to this question: のだから vs のだ (んだから vs んだ）
"Is there a list mapping each English tense to Japanese one?" There is a simple answer to this question: No. Unrelated languages, like English (or any other Indo-European language) and Japanese do not have corresponding sets of grammar functions, so it is not possible in any meaningful way to map one to the other. It may sound hard, but you have to ...
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