1

I came across the word 広がってきています. The sentence is

日本では脱プラスチックの取り組みが広がってきています.

I believe this is the verb 広がる, to spread, in its て-form plus the continuous form of 来る. Is that right?

So, if this is the case, what is the meaning of 広がってきています? I thought this form was used to describe the action of doing something and then returning. Like 食べてきました, I went and ate (and then came back). This motion suffix related to a trend is a bit confusing to me.

Thank you very much.

2

Yes this is parsed as 広がって + きて + います. That is, the te-form of 広がる, followed by the te-form of the subsidiary verb 来る, followed by the polite form of the subsidiary verb いる. (て)くる is used very commonly in Japanese, and it does not necessarily describe physical movement. "To do X and then come back" is only one of the meanings of (て)くる. See: Difference between -ていく and -てくる

  • 広がります: to spread
  • 広がってきます: to spread (gradually over time)
  • 広がってきています: has been spreading (gradually over time)

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