If I use the plain past tense of a verb before とき, do I have to use the plain past tense in the sentence that comes after it, or is it okay to use the polite past tense? For example, I'm trying to say, "When I went to Japan, I did not ride the shinkansen."




Are they both correct? If so, which one is preferred? There's an example on this page that uses the polite past in the sentence that comes after とき.


1 Answer 1


They're both correct, it just depends on the context in which the sentence appears.

For example, if it were in a speech you would most likely say:


However, perhaps in casual conversation with a friend you'd be more inclined to say:


Hope that helps!

  • 6
    This is basically correct, but probably the most important information for the OP is that the existence of 〜とき clause does not affect whether the main clause should be in the polite form or not. Commented Jan 11, 2016 at 7:14
  • 1
    Yes you're exactly right :) Commented Jan 11, 2016 at 7:15

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