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でも今ほとんどすべての暇は日本語を勉強することを過ごしています。
"I spend most of my free time studying Japanese"

A couple people corrected me and said it should be: 日本語を勉強して過ごしています。

I know you connect 2 verbs with the te form, but I thought that was 2 verbs that come after each other like 'get up and go to work'

What am I missing?

Thanks!

  • Both are redundant anyway. You could just say 日本語の勉強を過ごしています instead of trying to make it into a verb. – istrasci Oct 21 '19 at 19:01
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    ^「日本語の勉強を過ごしています」はおかしいです。「日本語の勉強をして過ごしています。」ならいいです – Chocolate Oct 22 '19 at 0:14
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After looking into the grammar to be sure, I can say with confidence that the edits are correct.

The て-form can behave in several different ways, and as you have noticed there are times where it behaves more like an 'and' in some sentences, but this is not the only function. There are many grammars that use the て-form, like ~て + も, ~て + いる, and others.

In this particular case, the て-form + 過ごす is another form of grammar meaning 'to spend time verbing'.

Here's a webpage with examples of how to use 過ごす. Sentences in which 過ごす modifies a verb uses the て-form, and I will list only two of the many examples from the webpage here:

(1) 私は暇なときはラジオを聴いて過ごすことが多いです。
I often spend my leisure time listening to the radio.

(2) 次の日曜日は小説を読んで過ごすつもりだ。
I will spend next Sunday reading novels.

Grammatically, the construction is simple put a verb into the base-て form, and then add 過ごす. Then, you get the phrase 'pass time verbing.' The amount of time being passed depends on the context of the rest of the sentence, and it needs to be designated. However, the general construction really is this simple.


So what's the difference?

I'm sorry to say it, but your initial attempt was grammatically incorrect. So sadly, the difference is simply what is and what is not grammatical. I'll copy the pertinent part below and break it down for you.

日本語を勉強すること過ご[す]

As you are no doubt aware, the を particle denotes a direct object. 過ごす, as it turns out, takes a period of time as the direct object. As 日本語を勉強すること does not mark a period of time, it is grammatically incorrect. The period of time does not have to be specific.

  • Thanks for the in-depth answer! – Carl Oct 21 '19 at 17:55
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    次に日曜日 next Sunday <- 「次日曜日」ね? Edit うわ、もとのサイトが間違ってるやん。。 – Chocolate Oct 22 '19 at 0:17
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    +1 but I don't think there's anything special about the combination of て-form with 過ごす. It just seems to be a typical case of the て-form phrase adverbially modifying the following phrase. By what means did I pass time? By means of studying. – user3856370 Oct 22 '19 at 7:45
  • @user3856370 I would agree with that, but in the case of a beginner I thought it might just be easier to couch it as a grammar principle. Maybe I'm wrong in that assessment. – ajsmart Oct 22 '19 at 12:47
  • @Chocolate I was so focused on ~て過ごす that I missed that grammar mistake.サイトも間違ってしまたって、ひどい。時間があるとき、また別のサイトを見つけようと思っています。 – ajsmart Oct 22 '19 at 12:51

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