Taking yadokari's sentence:


The part that I need help understanding is the relation of 生き生きとして with 表情 and 居る.

Looking up the dictionary entry for 生き生き, it is "an adverb taking the particle"

(Question 1) Does the adverb modify して? Or is 生き生きとして treated as an adverb as a whole?

EDIT: What is the difference between 1. 生き生きとする and 2. 生き生きとして居る?

(Question 2) Is 2. the ~ている construction of 1.? And what is its significance when used with an adverb? English parsing would be greatly appreciated.

1 Answer 1


「生き生きと」 is the adverb. 「して」 is the ~て form of 「する」.

"vividly do"

Of course, you need the 連用形 that follows in order to translate it completely, as is given in your other question.



居る いる
(v1,vi,uk,aux-v) to be (of animate objects); to exist; to stay; (after the -te form of a verb) verb indicating continuing action or state (i.e. to be ..ing, to have been ..ing); (P)

Same as without the adverb. Only with the adverb instead.

"be vividly doing"

  • how do you parse "facial expression that is vividly doing"? My gut feeling says it's not the progressive aspect but the stative aspect.
    – Flaw
    Sep 30, 2011 at 6:14
  • You can't, which is why you can't translate literally. "vivid facial expression" Sep 30, 2011 at 6:18
  • Is it the same use of ~している in "私は長い足をしている" (I have long legs)? Then "彼女は表情が生き生きとしている" would be "She has vivid facial expressions".
    – Flaw
    Sep 30, 2011 at 6:47
  • Sure, but instead of modifying 「している」 by <noun>+を, you're modifying it by an adverb. Sep 30, 2011 at 6:49
  • 2
    @Flaw: I think the thing you're up against here is that する isn't always "do". It's also a state. For example, you can say 匂いする, which you could in a way, translate as "doing a smell", but in English we would just say "smelling". Likewise, here you have "doing a vivid expression", which in English we would say more like "expressing vividly". Personally, I'd go with "vivacious expression".
    – Questioner
    Sep 30, 2011 at 10:15

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