I came across the following sentence in a JLPT N2 reading textbook:


The book says that そういう感覚でいる is equivalent to そう感じている, so I think I got the meaning: something like They ought to think that way, maybe to feel that way.

What confuses me is the grammar behind 感覚でいる. Is it an alternative version of である used for animated beings?

I understand that this sentence is really short and has no context; it seems to me that it's enough to highlight the grammar issue, but I'm willing to add the rest of the text if it helps answer.

  • They ought to think that way<- Where does the "ought to" come from?
    – chocolate
    Mar 22, 2020 at 1:56
  • @Chocolate Good point, probably from my tiredness when I wrote the question I suppose ^^
    – Right leg
    Mar 25, 2020 at 13:18

1 Answer 1


This 感覚 is more like a no-adjective (except that it requires some modifier before it, like 様子). 彼はそういう感覚だ on its own means "He feels that way". そういう感覚の人 means "a person who feels that way".

And this でいる (te-form of だ + いる) describes continuation ("He keeps/remains feeling so"). The usage of でいる is not different from that in 健康でいる ("to stay healthy"). See:

So そういう感覚でいるわけです means "(They) remain thinking such a way", etc.

  • 1
    I think the difficult part is a about でいる, not 感覚. Unfortunately, it's very rarely mentioned in textbook that で is the て-form of copula だ, and I have never seen a single textbook clearly explaining that だ can also be put in ている form to mean "keep being in a state, stay in a state" (or when they do, they botch the explanation like in OP case by not mentioning the link between だ, で and でいる...)
    – Arzar
    Mar 22, 2020 at 2:56
  • @ThomasPetit You're right, I thought OP was thinking である was correct, but I got it wrong.
    – naruto
    Mar 22, 2020 at 6:20

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