Does V~たりする include the mentioned verb in a "perfect" (specific) sense or "varying" sense?

For example, in the sentence 「映画を見たりした。」, is (1) or (2) a more accurate depiction of the meaning of the sentence? :

  1. I did stuff such as watching movie/s etc. (I watched movie/s, and besides that, I did other stuff.)

  2. I did stuff like watching movie/s etc. (I did stuff comparable to watching movie/s, and besides that, I did other stuff.)

As another example, does 「歌ったり、踊ったりした。」 mean (1) or (2)? :

  1. I did stuff such as singing, dancing, etc. (I sang, I danced, and besides that, I did other stuff.)

  2. I did stuff like singing, dancing etc. (I did stuff comparable to singing, I did stuff comparable to dancing, and besides that, I did other stuff.)

  • My guess is that you would rather say something along the lines of 映画を見るような事をした to communicate your 2's there, and that the verbs are indeed included when using たりする. – gibbon May 24 '12 at 12:13
  • By "among that", do you mean "besides that"? – user458 May 24 '12 at 15:42
  • @sawa Yepp, let me edit it. – Pacerier May 24 '12 at 15:48

For example, when someone says "映画を見たりしたの。"

Whatever the interpretation is, the sentence is incorrect. Proper Japanese requires you to use at least two verbs with 〜たり form. It's similar to saying "on the one hand", but never saying "on the other hand."

If you want to say

I watched movie. And besides that, I did other stuff.``

then say it. I guess you could go with something along 映画を見たし。そして、まあ、それ以外色々したよね。 Here, the "し" is what you often use to link to actions as in "I did this and I did that." By ending your sentence with it, you give a feeling of "and then some other things I don't bother mention."

Now, supposing you have A1したり、A2したり、...、Anしたりしました, then, you state that you did at least things A1 to An. Maybe more, certainly not less. Why? Because you wrote "しました" which is an assertion.

Yet, what you could say, is "本を読んだり、テレビを見たりしても、かまいません。" meaning "You could read books or watch the telly, I don't care." I'm not ordering you to do them, I say that you can do any. The difference comes from "かまいません".

To sum up: たり just lists some unordered actions. What you do with these actions depends on what you state after the list.

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  • I mean the whole point of this question is to pinpoint the "closest meaning" of V~たり, and express it in plain english. Btw I was wondering is this sentence not grammatical? : 「傷あとが残ったりしないのか?」 – Pacerier May 25 '12 at 7:44
  • @pacerier: I updated my answer to make it more complete. Also, my prescriptive answer to your comment question is "no". Which doesn't mean you won't hear it. But will definitely not read it in any newspapers. – Axioplase May 25 '12 at 7:51
  • Ok just thought I'd like to clarify 3 points (in case it gets ambiguous). 1) Your prescription would consider「寄り道をしたり、遠回りしたっていいんじゃないかなって。」 as ungrammatical too, because the part for the たり has only one verb? 2) Also, I was wondering does your prescription include N~たり too? For example, would you prescribe 「俺の親父、ここの主任教授だったりして。」 as ungrammatical? 3) And what if for the case when there are two verbs, but the first verb is not conjugated as ~たり? E.g. 「それに、最近よく物を落とすし、お箸で、食べ物をうまくつかめなかったりするんです。」 – Pacerier May 25 '12 at 8:15
  • @Pacerier: 1) Yes. 2) Yes. 3) Again, ungrammatical. All are the same thing: only one action in たり form (and even worse in 1) where no verb follows the last たり). – Axioplase May 25 '12 at 8:40
  • Ok thanks for the clarification =D (btw I've edited the question to remove some ambiguities) – Pacerier May 25 '12 at 9:12

Yes, it does include the verb.

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