For context: my language partner wrote me back and she explained to me in Japanese the use and grammar behind "て-form + いる" in the context of one's personal past.

The sentence in question (including some pretext):

「 大学の勉強の間、移住者の子供にドイツ語を教えるアルバイトをしています」 について考えてみましょう。


My attempt at translation of the bold part:

"Concerning what Andreas said, I think it is 'experience/personal history revealing TAIL-FIGURE'".

This "Tail-figure" doesn't make much sense, at least to me since I have no idea what it is supposed to tell me...^^

I would be happy if someone could elaborate :=)

3 Answers 3


「 大学の勉強の間、移住者{いじゅうしゃ}の子供{こども}にドイツ語{ご}を教{おし}えるアルバイトをしています」 について考えてみましょう。

「しています」=「している」 in meaning

Voilà, you have the ている-form of the verb 「する」 there!

And it certainly expresses one's "experience/personal history" of 移住者の子供にドイツ語を教えるアルバイト ("working part-time teaching German to immigrant children").

"Tail-figure" is just out of the question. Users here tend to "translate" things too early, namely, before even understanding the words and phrases in question.

As a Japanese learner, you must have encountered the terms such as マス形、テ形, etc. テイル形 is just another one of those terms. Those are discussed all day every day here.


  • 1
    Just an aside for OP, I think Katakana is used for ている in テイル形 because ている by itself is not a full word and so on in related terms.
    – psosuna
    Dec 15, 2017 at 1:22
  • 3
    @psosuna It's katakana to show the use–mention distinction. We do the same thing in English when we use italics to write "the -ing form".
    – user1478
    Dec 15, 2017 at 4:09
  • @l'électeur Indeed I did never encounter these expressions ^^ Of course my textbooks talked about the different forms (ます-form, intentional-form etc.) but they never used expressions following the pattern of テイル形. One reason for this might be that the textbooks are written in german. Maybe the editors for the german editors didn't think it would bode well with the "target group". However, good to know, thx :)
    – Narktor
    Dec 16, 2017 at 10:38

テイル形 simply means “て form of verb plus いる”.

テ + イル + 形

て + いる + form


You're probably finding テイル形 is getting translated as "Tail Figure" because it's written in katakana, but it's actually referring to the ている form, i.e. the form of verbs ending in -te iru.

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