As far as I have learned 私は行っている can't mean something like "I am going", but would mean something like "I am going regularly (for a certain time)" or "I went there and am there right now".

I have also learned that you can use てくる after a verb like なる to indicate that a change has started in the past is happening right now and will continue happening in the future for some time.

Therefore it seems to me that 行ってくる would be the best Japanese substitute for the English "I am going". I am however not certain what kind of verbs てくる can be used with. My questions therefore are:

  1. Can I use てくる with 行く to convey the meaning of "I am going" and if not how can you convey the meaning of "I am going"?

  2. When in the timely context of てくる (or ていく for that matter), where lie the boundaries of the verbs with which you can use it?

2 Answers 2


If you mean "I am going" in the literal sense of "I will depart now" you can just use the simple 行く.

If you mean "I am on my way right now", it is more natural to use 向かっている (I am on the way).

Or you could add a qualifier like 今から行く (I am about to leave) to make it clearer.

  1. Yes you can use 行ってくる and it does convey "I am going" but includes "I am coming back". That's why people say いってきます when they leave their home. They will be returning so it is more accurate to include the てくる.

  2. What do you mean by "timely context"? If you mean the sense where a change of state is not indicated, and it is the literal sense of going and coming, then いってくる can be used any time you are leaving a place but intend to return.

As for boundaries, in theory any two verbs can be connected by the grammatical structure V1てV2 if two actions are being performed in sequence.

A few examples: 連れてくる、やってくる、戻ってくる、してくる, etc etc.

  • I meant "I am going" as that you are on your way right now and. And with 行ってくる I meant it as that てくる would indicate that "the going" started in the past, is happening now and will continue to happen in the future. just like てくる would indicate if it's just with なる.
    – C.Scheeres
    Oct 7, 2019 at 18:59
  • 1
    I edited my answer to include this. If you want to the express that the 'going' is happening right now, it is better to use a different verb such as 向かう, since 行っている would confuse the listener. To be honest, in English "I am going" probably does not have the meaning you intended. 'I am going' implies that the action is about to happen, or that it happens regularly. During the actual act of 'going' people usually say something like "I am on the way".
    – kandyman
    Oct 7, 2019 at 19:31

My two cents. For such situation:

...but would mean something like "I am going regularly (for a certain time)"...

I would use 通【かよ】っている (see a dictionary entry here), for example:


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