2

1) ごはんを食べて、ねました。
2) あさおきて、新聞を読みました。

I was wondering, if the part [食べて] and [おきて] are also past tense, because of [~ました]. So the correct translation would be [I went to bed, after I ate.] or is it [I went to bed, after eating.]?

Somehow I can't find similar question to this. Anyway, thank you very much in advance.

1

The -te construction is used here to describe one event happening after another. More exact translations might be "I ate dinner, then went to bed" or "I woke up, then read the paper."

If you wanted to write "I went to bed after I ate", you might use "食べた後で寝ました" or similar.

0

Technically speaking, the ~て verbs are not in a "tense": the て ending is a conjunctive or connective form, basically meaning that the action of the verb happens, and then the next thing happens. The て ending itself suggests that the action of the verb completes (technically a kind of grammatical aspect), but it doesn't tell us anything about when the action takes place (what tense tells us) -- it could be in the past, right now, or in the future.

Read through the Wikipedia links above, those will help you get a better handle on aspect and tense. Then, if you still have questions, please either update your question here, or post a new question.

  • With the structure Aて、Bました。 A must be in the past (there would be uncertainty with Aて、Bます。 ). – Mathieu Bouville Feb 15 at 8:06
  • @MathieuBouville, only in translation. In the Japanese, the ~て verb has no tense. – Eiríkr Útlendi Feb 15 at 19:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.