Im learning the use of 時 and it's a wee bit confusing.

I get the difference between

  • 食べる時、お酒を飲む
  • 食べた時、お酒を飲む

But the difference between

  • 食べる時、お酒を飲む
  • 食べている時、お酒を飲む

eludes me. Are they the different ways of saying the same thing? I drink alcohol when eating/when I eat?


食べる時お酒を飲む can mean, as you say, you habitually drink alcohol in eating, and besides that, you drink it just before eating. That part is the difference between 食べている時お酒を飲む, which means you drink it in the course of eating.

  • 1
    This answer is correct. I'm a little unsure of '食べた時お酒を飲む' though. The two tenses here do not go well together. Can you show me where you saw that?
    – yorksensei
    Jul 30 '15 at 13:52
  • I made that one up, but a similar one from my textbook would be 風を引いた時、薬を飲む
    – Daniel
    Jul 30 '15 at 19:36
  • @Daniel 食べた時お酒を飲む is perfectly fine.
    – oldergod
    Jul 31 '15 at 0:05

食べる時、お酒を飲む。 In the moment of "eat", (I) drink alcohol.

This first one indicates that when the "time to eat" comes, you drink alcohol (maybe a dose of vodka before lunch, or maybe you just skip the meal altogether and drink instead).

食べている時、お酒を飲む。 In the moment of "eating", (I) drink alcohol.

This second one indicates that you drink alcohol during the span of time you're eating, as a habit possibly.

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