It's a sentence from Tae Kim's grammar guide:

崇君{たかしくん}は漫画{まんが}ばっかり読{よ}んでさ。 かっこ悪{わる}い。

The 「て」 that appears after the te-form of 「読む」 and before 「さ」, what is it and what effect does it give? Possibly a colloquial-only thing?

I appreciate the help.

1 Answer 1


「読んで」 is the very common colloquial contraction of 「読んでいて」. This elision of 「い」 happens all the time when we are speaking.

Contrary to what seems to me a popular belief among J-learners, we use 「~~て/でいる」 verb form to describe a habitual action. (I have seen/heard many J-learners use the dictionary form instead for this purpose.)

「マンガばっかり読んで(い)る」← Natural

「マンガばっかり読む」← Not natural

  • Ah, it makes total sense! Thanks for the answer. I've seen 「読んでる」 many times, but for some reason I never would've associated it with 「読んでて」. Also, you've nailed it, it seems I'm not yet fully used to the "habitual action" characteristic of て/でいる.
    – user10725
    Jul 30, 2015 at 6:01
  • The translation Tae Kim gives to the sentence is "Takashi-kun is reading nothing but comic books... He's so uncool.". Would it rather be "Takashi-kun reads [...]"?
    – user10725
    Jul 30, 2015 at 14:45

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