I see a lot of Japanese text shorten the progressive form by removing the い from いる.

戦っている  >  戦ってる

I am wondering if it is ever acceptable to do so in other forms of the progressive verb such as the masu form or past tense?

戦っています  >  戦ってます?
戦っていた  >  戦ってた?

2 Answers 2


Generally, it can be shortened for very commonly used expressions coming after the ~て form if they begin with another vowel (except u for various reasons, unless someone wants to prove me wrong), it can be shortened. Thus the forms you have written are acceptable, and possibly even more common in some contexts. Here are some more situations in which this happens concerning the ~て form:

~てあげる > ~たげる, e.g. してあげる would become したげる.

~ておる > ~とる, e.g. しておる would become しとる (you wouldn't hear this in modern standard Japanese; it happens in some dialects that still use おる rather than いる, but other than that it sounds ridiculously silly in standard Japanese. You might see it in anime and such, though.)

And of course, it is grammatical to use the polite ~ます forms in any of these situations.

  • 1
    Examples of this are endless: 待っていて > 待ってて ...... 待っていたら > 待ってたら ..... 変わっていく > 変わってく
    – Axe
    Mar 31, 2016 at 13:58

They are all understandable, and I often use them in informal situation.

However, it is really hard to use this because some people think this usage is wrong; い抜き言葉.

My understanding is that this is something not used on subtitles of NHK, but often used in informal and polite situation.

Q84 of this page, written by a Japanese teacher with 20 years experience, is a similar question. Her suggestion is to know it but not to use it. http://nhg.pro.tok2.com/qa/doushi-9.htm

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