I have a question about grammar and usage. Please help.


The question is what grammar form should be inserted there. My book answer is 立って not 立ちながら.

But what is wrong with the latter?

I'm not sure whether this is a relevant info but the question is from an N1 Jlpt test. Does that mean that ながら, which is enlisted in N5 level, is not the appropriate answer?

  • 2
    – chocolate
    Nov 3, 2018 at 2:30

1 Answer 1


In general, ながら tends to be used when you are doing two different things with two different purposes, whereas the te-form tends to be used when the first verb describes how the second verb is achieved, like an adverb.

  • 歩いて学校に行く: OK
  • 歩きながら学校に行く: NG
  • 音楽を聞きながら学校に行く: OK
  • 歩きながら相談しましょう: OK
  • 歩いて相談しましょう: NG

In your case, 立って is clearly the more natural choice because 立つ is not a main purpose. But 健康のために立ちながら仕事をする is fine because 立つ has a distinct purpose unrelated to 仕事をする. Admittedly, the borderline is blurry and someone may say 立ちながら食べる is not entirely wrong. It may be best to memorize 立って as a fixed adverb-like expression. There are several verbs whose te-form is used almost like an adverb, for example 重ねて, 謹んで, 却って and 喜んで.


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