In this sentence:


I had to kill time in the park until my parents came home.

Why does 時間をつぶす need to be in the progressive form? Why can I not write ...時間をつぶさなければいけなかった。

I'm assuming 時間をつぶしている is progressive here. It certainly isn't habitual and I can't see how it would work as change of state. Thanks.

  • 1
    I've checked that my original sentence is as written in the book. I'm afraid you misunderstand. I have no intention of omitting いけない. I'm asking about the difference between 時間をつぶしていなければいけなかった and 時間をつぶしなければいけなかった. Aug 30, 2015 at 16:31
  • Do you mean つぶなければ by つぶなければ? Aug 30, 2015 at 17:17
  • @broccoli forest Apologies. I've corrected it now. Aug 30, 2015 at 17:28

1 Answer 1


It doesn't need to be progressive, つぶさなければ works as well.

There's not really big difference between つぶしていなければ and つぶさなければ here. I think it's parallel to "had to be killing time" and "had to kill time".

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