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So, I've been told by a native Japanese that the following sentence sounds weird:

  • LA VITA E'BELLAを見{み}る[時]{とき}、[感動]{かんどう}しました。

In her own words, 'because watching that video is a one time thing and not your habit, so we usually use the past tense.'

But in my book, it says that in a A時、B sentence, we use the present short form when A happens after or at the time of B. And I want to say that I got emotional when I watched that film (at the same time, not after the film). So, could anybody explain to me in more detail whether the sentence is correct or not, and why?

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  • That's a good movie!
    – istrasci
    Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 15:10

1 Answer 1

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When you are moved by a movie, you have already watched the movie. You remember the scenes, music, and the story.

LA VITA E'BELLAを見る時

implies when you were moved, LA VITA E'BELLA hadn't finished yet. So it sounds like you were moved by something else (such as equipment of the theater or behavior of the audience) during the movie or just before it started.

LA VITA E'BELLAを見た時

This means that you had watched LA VITA E'BELLA when you were moved, that is, you were moved probably by the movie itself.

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