When a verb in the passive voice is used in the ている form, what nuance does that carry?

Some examples:


My interpretation is that ている is used because these are recurrent actions, things that happen all the time, such as customs or established practices.

But this is just an intuition, so to paraphrase my question, how would "図書館はいろいろな情報が集められています" be different from "図書館はいろいろな情報が集められます"?

Thanks in advance!

1 Answer 1


Unlike English "to be -ing" form, Japanese ている-form can describe a habitual action or something that is always true.

This is an independent function of ている in general. Your example sentences are simple combinations of the passive voice and this "habitual -ている". Thus, it's more natural to translate this 使われている as "is used" rather than "is being used". Please read the first link above for the difference between 集められます and 集められています. The first sentence can be rephrased as 図書館はいろいろな情報を集めています.

Depending on the context, (ら)れている can also be passive-progressive ("to be being -ed"). For example:

A zebra is being eaten by a lion.

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