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I was studying the word 以上 and I found some examples with them. The meaning of 以上 in my textbook is "or more" and they put an example:

30度以上の日 = A day of 30 degrees or more.

Then I was searching for more examples on the internet and I get confused a little when I found this:

  • この建物は築100年以上たっている

They translated it as "This building was built more than 100 years back " so my questions are:

1) 建てる is a group 2 verb so the て形 wouldn't it be 建てている?

2) Why 建てる is in the progressive form? shouldn't it be in past 建てた?

3) Isn't the meaning of 以上 "or more" or it just means "more"?

Thanks a lot for your time!

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    Look up the verb 経つ... – mamster Nov 18 '17 at 21:35
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  1. The verb used here is not 建てる (transitive) but an intransitive godan verb 経つ ("(for time) to pass"), whose te-form is 経って.

  2. This 経っている is "have passed" rather than "is passing". 築【ちく】 precedes a number and means "since it was built", "since its completion/opening", etc. So the literal translation of the sentence is "Regarding this building, a hundred years or more have passed since its completion".

  3. In technical/mathematical/legal contexts, 以上 means "~ or more" (). Practically, you can often translate this as "more than ~" (>), especially when the number before it is obviously a rough one. When what's compared is not a number, you can usually use "more than ~" (e.g., 彼以上に美しい).

By the way, 建てる also has an intransitive counterpart, 建つ ("to be built", "to stand"). With this verb and simple past tense, you can say the same thing like so:

この建物は100年以上前建った。
This building was built more than 100 years ago.

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この建物は築100年以上たっている。

Now, the catch is how you interpret 築100年以上たっている。

if it is 建っている/立っている, we are focusing on “the building has stood”. This time we have the word 築 which implies “is built”. So, the building was built more than 100 years ago or more and it has stood since then.

If it is 経っている, this time we are focusing on the time has passed, which is 100 years or more. And we combine the word “築” with it, We get the building was built 100 years ago or more.

たっている should be the two cases above. Next one is unusual.

If you interpret 建っている as 建てている, it is like talking about Sagrada Familia or Yokohama station. They have already taken the shape of a building but has been fixed since it had started constructing and have not finished construction yet.

Lastly, X is Y 以上 implies X has a quantity at least Y. (sorry, please interpret the left "is" as "は")

In math, X は Y 以上である。 is normally defined as X ≥ Y: X is greater than equals to Y.

At this time, 建物は築100年以上 implies 建物 is in the domain of 100 years or more old.

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