A couple of weeks ago I learned in my course the usage of the て-Form which were:

  • Chaining verbs together , all of which are written in the で-Form and the last one is written with the polite form. The last verb can indicate if the action happened in the past or present/future (ます/、ました)
  • Asking someone to do something, for example: まって ください
  • Saying that you are currently doing an action: アメリカに すんで います

I want to learn about the other usages of the た-Form since I know that both forms are written very similarly. I tried to search online about the Usage and no luck. All I know about it is that it's the plain past form.

So, in practice, all I know is the I can write in two ways something I did in the past:

  • ビルを のみました.
  • ビルを のんだ.

My main question is what are the main usages of the た-Form? Is it like the て-Form ? Is there a site that explains it more deeply ?

  • 2
    I think that the て-Form has so many usages because it turns the verb in an adverb in a way, whereas the た-Form is just the conjugation for a verb into its past form. There are grammar points such as たほうが that use the た-Form without the "past" meaning, but they include more elements than just a verb ending in the た-Form – jarmanso7 Apr 10 '20 at 22:45
  • 1
    As jarmanso7 says た is nowhere near as flexible as て. I can only think of one other use, which is described in this link: japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/40733/… – user3856370 Apr 11 '20 at 8:42

Thanks to the comments a little research, I am able to assemble a humble answer. These are the main usages of the た-Form:

  • 1st one is the obvious, which is the option to say a verb in it's past tense plainly.

    this raises a personal question (which I do not want to discuss here) which is: can I chain multiple た-Forms like the て-Form?

  • 2nd is saying "probably did something" by doing this -> [た-Form + だろ/でしょう]. here's an example of a site I visit often to get a verb's full conjugation(Drink Example) -> 飲んだだろう / 飲んだでしょう
  • 3rd is taken from user3856370's comment link page; "Discovery and Recall". For a "Discovery Expression", we can conjugate ある/いる to the た-Form to add a "discovery" sound to it (Just as you hear in anime the verb 見つけ!).

Summary: I think that た-Form, as said by jarmanso7, is much less flexible since "the た-Form is just the conjugation for a verb into its past form", where's the て-Form is mainly used to chain various expressions (This video,at 0:23, explains what the て-Form is). It has no direct (what so ever) indication about the time the verb occurred. Rather, the nonて-Form that is attached to it, indicates the time and meaning.

  • 食べて ください ("Please eat" expression)
  • (私は) 食べて 飲みました ("I ate and drank", the last verb indicating that the "eating" was done in the past).

In short, the て-Form was meant for modification, where's the た-Form is mainly used for past plain tense.

  • I recommend you to make a new post if you have new questions, rather than asking a new question in an answer. You can always add a link to the new question in this answer for reference. – jarmanso7 Apr 12 '20 at 20:42
  • Oh, about if you multiple chain multiple Ta-Forms ? I know, sorry. It wasn't really meant to ask a new question, but provide my own thoughts on the subject. I'll hide it to not mislead the purpose of my answer – ASD_ASD Apr 12 '20 at 21:38

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