I got a listening transcript (that has been cropped for the sake of simplicity) as follows

enter image description here

The context is about people who got (and still) married rather than people who will marry or people got divorced.

As far as I know, 結婚する is a punctual verb (瞬間動詞) so got (and still) married must be translated as 結婚している.

As you can see from the above screenshot, the book author seems to be inconsistent (and probably wrong) as 「結婚する人] means people who will marry and 「結婚した人」means people who finished their marriage (literally it means the people got divorced).


Am I wrong in this reasoning?

1 Answer 1


The statements in your picture have nothing to do with divorcing.

  • 結婚する人: people who get married
  • 結婚している人: married people
  • 結婚した人: people who got married (≠ people who finished their marriage)
  • 結婚していた人: people who were once married (people who have gotten divorced)

結婚した人 is interchangeable with 結婚している人 in most cases. 結婚している人 focuses more on the current state ("married"), whereas 結婚した人 focuses on the past action of getting married. But such difference is not very important at least in the question in your picture.

To take another example, 死ぬ is also a instant change-of-state verb. 死んだ人 and 死んでいる人 are almost always interchangeable. Only in some special contexts the former may mean "people who were resurrected after being once dead".

  • Does 結婚する人 mean "people who will marry"? Jul 12, 2016 at 12:29
  • Yes, sort of. The tense looks indeed inconsistent, but doesn't play a critical role in your picture regarding what is asked.
    – naruto
    Jul 12, 2016 at 12:34

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