I understand how 時 works with plain present/plain past (e.g. 食べる/食べた時) but I'm a little unsure of ている/ていた時.

Also what's the difference between these two sentences:



In a textbook apparently they both translate as "When I was taking a bath, the telephone rang." But I don't understand why.

If someone could please explain this for me I'd really appreciate it! (I hope it's not too broad a question.)


They are interchangeable.

It is explained here:


「~ている」「~てある」に置き換えることができ、 その直後に名詞がきている場合が多い。


・水面に映った景色。   (映っている景色)



It (=ていた) is frequently tested on exams if students are understanding if it means the "continuation".

It (=ていた) can be exchanged with 「~ている」「~てある」, and almost always follows the noun after it.


  • 水面{すいめん}に映{うつ}った景色{けしき} (=映{うつ}っている景色{けしき})
    the scenery reflecting on the water's surface

  • 黒板{こくばん}に書{か}いた説明{せつめい}を見{み}る。(=書{か}いてある説明{せつめい})
    I am looking at the explanation written on the blackboard.

Good day.

  • Jesus, thank you for editintg, choco san. On exam not at the exams? I really need to learn....thank you. – Kentaro Jan 2 '16 at 12:40
  • あらっ、私が編集したのは「移った」→「映った」(漢字1文字だけ)です。英文の編集は Snailboat さんです。 – Chocolate Jan 3 '16 at 4:25

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