I read this sentence and got confused:

The song had lyrics to cheer up the people which said "Even though we say the old days were better it's meaningless, let's embrace the now".

I'm familiar with ている expressing change of state. My problem lies with the verb itself.

付く means 'to be attached' rather than 'to attach' doesn't it. So the extra ている seems unnecessary.

My example sentence is in past tense so I can make a distinction between

付いた = was attached but is no longer attached; and
付いていた = was attached and remains attached

Is this distinction correct?

But if I wanted to write in the present tense, what is the difference between:

この曲には歌詞が付く; and

They seem the same to me.


1 Answer 1


付いた = It shows the action in the past tense. It donesn't tell the situaion after the action.

"昨日{きのう}服{ふく}に汚{よご}れがついた" My clothes got dirty yesterdy. This doesn't tell the clothes are still dirty or not.

付いていた = It tells something had been attached for certain time of period in the past, but doesn't tell the thing is still attached or not.

Suppose there are two songs. one(A) is a song with lyrics and the other(B) is a song without lyrics. We can describe the situation.


Suppose two electric musics(C and D) just have come, and we know that almost of electric musics don't have their lyrics.

A: CもDもいい曲だね。歌詞{かし}はどうするの?
B: CはCM(commercial message on TV) でBGM(backgrand music)として使われる予定{よてい}で、歌詞{かし}は付かない。Dには歌詞がつく。今{いま}、作詞{さくし}中{ちゅう}だ。

Thus, 「この曲には歌詞が付く」 shows the action in the (near) future.(Someone will write the lyrics for the song.)

「この曲には歌詞が付いている」 shows the current state about the music(song) with lyrics. (This song has its lyrics.)

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