I have a doubt regarding the use of している in cases of punctual verbs. I inferred it out that the difference between た form i.e. the Japanese past form and ている (When it is used in Perfectual Sense) it has almost (Though there are minor differences) the same difference as the difference in English i.e. Simple Past and Present Perfect.

  1. Now in English, we use Present Perfect tense when we talk about life experiences that we have experienced E.g. I have graduated, I have gone to Tokyo 3 times etc. So, my question is, do we as well use it in Japanese to tell life experiences, when we use punctual verbs i.e. Do we use ている in the verb when we use the punctual verbs or do we use た (Past form)? This query of mine arose when I read people using  私は卒業した rather than 私は卒業している, because after referring to English ている should have been used and not た, as no specific time is mentioned.

  2. I also had a doubt regarding using ている for highlighting travelling experiences and residing experience like I have gone to Tokyo 3 times, does ている being used here highlight the experience of travelling in a perfectual sense? Because I still find 東京に三行っている as I have gone to Tokyo 3 times (and I am still there) If I think about in Japanese, rather than telling an experience? However it is to be noted that, if we don't emphasize on the experience part of it. I have gone to Tokyo would imply in English, the same way it does in Japanese i.e. I have gone to Tokyo and I am still there. That is why I am unable to understand, whether talking travelling and residing experience in case of Japanese is also the same or should we prefer to the Past form.

Thank You 教えてください。

1 Answer 1


When the Japanese learn English, they find the tenses hard to grasp. We have more verbal tenses than Japanese. This is the first point.

1)Japanese is quite simple because there really are present (+ present ongoing) and Past. 卒業is an event. So when you talk about life experience (assume it already happened), you use Past tense. 卒業している sounds unnatural. 卒業式が行われています。 If you are in the ceremony, use the present ongoing but make the ceremony as your subject.

2)東京に三回行きました。This is the most usual and correct form when you refer to a travelling experience. If you live here, it is 東京に住んでいます。

In conversations, I do hear (and I use it too) 〇〇には3回ぐらい行っているよ but usually, the connotation is that I may go there again since I have been there 3 times. AND I am not in that place. If you live in the place and have gone to the place 3 times before you moved in, It should be (引っ越す前に)三回ぐらい来たことがある。

Hope it helps!

  • Thanks a lot for putting the effort of explaining this !
    – APK
    Commented Jul 29, 2020 at 4:40
  • No worries!! =) Commented Jul 29, 2020 at 4:45
  • Japan Nomad Girl さん would you care to answer my another ques at Stack Exchange. I have recently posted that (Today). Since you have learnt English (being Japanese) you would be able to clear those doubts ! ありがとう
    – APK
    Commented Jul 29, 2020 at 19:50

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