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When do you omit the い? Is it ungrammatical to use してる?

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してる is simply a colloquial contracted form of している. It is very common in spoken language, but ungrammatical in "proper" (school) grammar.

This contraction is maybe similar to contractions such as

  • she had/would → she'd
  • it is → it's
  • I have → I've.
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  • I was surprised that I couldn't find a duplicate. Is this really the first question asking about this difference? (I know it has been mentioned over and over again in answers.) – Earthliŋ Jul 28 '17 at 5:51
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    The level of acceptance is not the same between してる and ら抜き. I think してる is widely accepted in speech, but many people still frown upon ら抜き. – naruto Jul 28 '17 at 6:00
  • @naruto I edited my answer. I guess してる is even common in combination with 丁寧語, whereas ら抜き would not be used there...? Maybe an analogy with I have → I've is more accurate. – Earthliŋ Jul 28 '17 at 7:03
  • couldn't find a duplicate これなんか近いかも… japanese.stackexchange.com/q/33463/9831 – Chocolate Aug 25 '17 at 23:35
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It is technically ungrammatical in written texts (my Japanese teacher back then used to remind us often about that). Technically, it's part of the so-called "casual" style in the Japanese language. That is, い is often (almost always) omitted in casual conversations among friends or same-level people.

However, it is quite commonly accepted now in (some) texts as well as it reflects as I said the casual conversational style.

Maybe the fact that is so often found in written texts nowadays is a legacy of the IT-revolution (let's call it this way) of the past decades. With the advent of modern technologies and the exponential increase of instant messaging, people just started naturally to "write the way the speak" more and more often.

I would say that, in a way, it could be compared to how some kids write texts using abbreviations such as "idk", "ttl" or.. "wtf". :D

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