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I know, that I can skip い in building continuous form of a verb.

For example:
雪が降っている。
雪が降ってる。

are equal and mean: [It's snowing.]

Question:
how legal is it to skip い in case like this?
Is it slang?
Is it error?
Or maybe it is a part of official Japanese language already?

  • You can expect a fine upwards of 1 000 000 ¥ and two weeks of jail time. So be very of careful dropping い if you ever were to visit Japan! – Christer Oct 7 at 23:47
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Dropping of い is a very common colloquialism. It is heard in all sorts of informal situations, and kids probably learn how to say 降ってる before 降っている. You should use the long version in formal settings. There are similar contraction patterns, and てる and ちゃう are especially common among them.

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