I was watching a Japanese video and it seems it is more accurate to say 傘を持った rather then 傘を持っている to indicate that I am holding an umbrella. For example if someone asks "傘を持った?" the grammatically correct reply would be "持ったよ" rather then "持っているよ". Why is this so? To me, 持った sounds like I held the umbrella (and don't have it now), whilst 持っている sounds like I am holding an umbrella now. Therefore, 持っている sounds more correct, but that doesn't seem to be the case.


2 Answers 2


傘(を)持った? is mostly used in this situation, which is when you go out and it looks like rain, your mother(or someone) says "傘持った?". This た means "completion" and this 持つ means "have" or "take" rather than "hold". I think "To hold an umbrella" is translated as 傘をさす.

  • If memory serves, by one analysis, 持つ is a verb indicating the instantaneous or momentaneous action of "putting something into one's hand". So once it's in your hand, you can say both 持った and 持っている, similar to other instantaneous verbs like 覚える or 死ぬ. Feb 24, 2020 at 18:52
  • @Eiríkr Útlendi In my example situation, someone doesn't say "傘持っている?". For example, when you walk along the street with your friend and it begins to rain, you can ask your friend "傘持って(い)る?", not "傘持った?" I understand what you want to say, but OP asked about the phrase " "傘を持った?". Feb 24, 2020 at 19:41
  • I've noticed a lot of verbs that we consider to be "state-of-being" in English, in Japanese tend to refer more to the moment/action of entering the state, rather than the state itself (for example, 分かる ("to understand") is really more "to come to understand"), so 持つ is not so much "to have" as rather "to come to have (in your posession)". I suppose this is somewhat similar to how somebody might say in English "did you take your umbrella?" to mean "do you have it with you?"
    – Foogod
    Feb 24, 2020 at 22:28

傘を持った。 can mean having it in your hand or having a folding umbrella in your bag.

Since you are asked 持った? we answer back 持ったよ。
If you are asked 傘を持ってる? we answer back 持ってるよ。

傘を持っている? is often used when it is raining outside and you are not sure the person is having an umbrella in their bag.


傘をさす。 To put up an umbrella


  • So is 持つ means have, 持った will mean "had" i suppose. By convention, that will mean I "had" an umbrella, which is very weird. So if someone asks 傘持った?, I am assuming the implied meaning is "do you have (with you now) an umbrella" rather then "have you had an umbrella". So at the end of the day, what's the difference in using 持った and 持っている? 持った can mean I had too for example in this case: 傘持ったが取らわれた meaning "I had and umbrella but it was stolen"
    – Newbie
    Feb 26, 2020 at 9:09

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