I saw this being said in a drama, when A said to B, 嘘ついてたんだ and the translation was "So you lied!".

My question is, why is it 嘘ついてたんだ and not 嘘ついたんだ? Thanks.

Edit: How to tell the difference between the two?

2 Answers 2


When someone says 「[嘘]{うそ}ついたんだ。」, s/he is talking about the act which is saying something untrue.

When someone says 「嘘ついたんだ。」, s/he is talking about the acts which are saying something untrue and keeping it secret for a period of time.

In many cases, 嘘ついたんだ sounds more guilty than 嘘ついたんだ, although it depends on the context.

  • Thanks for differentiating between the two, while one is an act and the other are acts over a period of time. That sure erased away my confusion.
    – Himawari
    Dec 6, 2015 at 23:08

嘘をついてたんだ is short for 嘘をついていたんだ. They're using the ている-form which is used for verbs in progress, similar to the english -ing though not exactly the same. Instead of "you lied" (嘘をついた) the meaning becomes "you were lying" or "you've been lying" (all this time)(嘘をついてた).

  • 3
    Not that simple. It is more like "had been lying" or "had lied" vs. a plain "lied". Tenses do not match up very nicely between the two languages.
    – user4032
    Dec 5, 2015 at 23:19
  • I'll try to nuance it a bit. thanx :)
    – Aniva
    Dec 6, 2015 at 13:36
  • 1
    「嘘ついてたんだ。」って言われたら、「騙してたの!?」I've been cheated? て思うかな・・・
    – chocolate
    Dec 6, 2015 at 15:24
  • 簡単な説明だけど、よく分りました。ありがとう
    – Himawari
    Dec 6, 2015 at 23:03

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