I was checking the example sentences of 判明する on the Weblio EN-JA dictionary and it seems that, when it means "to turn out (that)", 判明する is written in the dictionary form (it turns out) or in the past tense (it turned out).

I don't understand why is it not 判明している, like when that same verb means "it is known".

I understand why it appears as 判明した, because that could mean "it became known". But I don't understand why 判明する. I'd think that meant "it will become clear (later on)".

I know the English verb is actually in the same tense, but I still don't get it. Can some Japanese verbs in dictionary form express a current situation even if they're not stative?

The sentences I saw were:


It turns out that he was right



The evidence implicates many people in the affair

I'd write the first one as


and the second one as


to mean essentially the same thing.

By the way, in the case of this sentence:


Later on it came to light that the document was a forgery

Shouldn't it be 判明していた? Why not? Because it is still known that those documents are false? Wouldn't 判明していた imply that as well?

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    japanese.stackexchange.com/a/57195/34051 see naruto's answer here, esp. after the EDIT for the last part of your question. the いた ending would emphasize more that the current state isn't important. That doesn't mean it can't be used, but the two have different implications
    – katatahito
    Jun 11, 2019 at 3:58
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    also I think it would be helpful to post a sentence where 判明する is used and you think 判明している should be used
    – katatahito
    Jun 11, 2019 at 4:01
  • @katatahito I edited the post to add the sentences! Jun 11, 2019 at 5:01

1 Answer 1


The core part of your question has been explained in detail in this question: When is Vている the continuation of action and when is it the continuation of state?

判明する is a "instant state change" (aka "punctual") verb.

  • 判明する: It turns out / It will turn out
  • 判明した: It turned out
  • 判明している: It has been turned out = It is known (continuation of state)

So 判明した refers to an event in the past, and 判明している focuses on the current, "known" status.


This focus on the current "known" status of the document. Today, the fact that the document is a forged one is known. But it also implies the document was believed to be genuine at the time of the event in question.


This means "It later turned out to be a forged document." This is used when this fact was revealed in some time in the past, and that fact may have affected the past story in question.


判明していた is "past perfect", and this is the most tricky one. This refers to the continuation of state up until a certain event in the past. That is, the fact that the document was a forged one was known to many at some important time point in the past. See my answer here: Is 寝る a stative or active verb?

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    What sort of sentence would end with 判明する (if possible)?
    – katatahito
    Jun 11, 2019 at 4:05
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    @katatahito 判明する is used 1) to say something will be revealed in the future, or 2) to describe a past event vividly in a novel or such (historical present).
    – naruto
    Jun 11, 2019 at 4:14
  • @naruto I added the example sentences I saw. Would you say they are in historical present? Are my adaptations correct? Jun 11, 2019 at 5:04
  • @E.Matsunaga Maybe, but you cannot tell if a sentence is in historical preset just by looking at a single sentence. I need the whole context.
    – naruto
    Jun 11, 2019 at 5:17
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    @E.Matsunaga 偽書であることが判明する is a correct Japanese sentence in every way, but how it should be translated into English is another problem, and we need the context. If it definitely refers to a past event, you should assume it's in historical present, and use the past tense in your English translation. If it refers to a future event, you have to use 'will'.
    – naruto
    Jun 11, 2019 at 6:01

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