Progressive tense verbs are usually simple and straight forward.

食べる -> 食べている
Eat -> Eating

But in some cases, when translated into English, it can be interpreted as an "adjective" rather than the progressive tense.

For example,

Dead (instead of dying)
Fat (instead of getting fat)

Is there a way to obtain the normal progressive meaning without using different words or explanations like 瀕死 and そろそろ死にそう.
Maybe something like 太ってきている or 死んできている?

I have gotten used to these cases a long time ago but to this day, I still have to resist the urge of saying 死んでいる when I see some one dying in a movie for example.


1 Answer 1


With both dying and fat, it's a state you're either in, or not. In English we say 'getting fat', or 'he's dying', but those are not used in Japanese, as there is no transition point for these states. They are essentially on or off. You are either dead (死んでる) or you aren't, and you you are fat (太ってる) or you aren't. Where we would say 'he is dying' in English, they would say something like 死{し}にそうになってきた (He's come to appear as if he will die) or 死{し}ぬところ (he's about to die). For getting fat they would say ちょっと太{ふと}ってきた (I have become a little fat).

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