Here is a sentence that I encountered in a grammar exercise book.


I am puzzled with the choice of the past tense 「向いた」. (Unfortunately the grammar point for the sentence is not about the use of 向いた so I have to find an explanation elsewhere.)

I have learned (from みんなの日本語中級I) that the past tense of a verb Vた is equivalent to Vている when:

  1. the verb modifies a noun, and
  2. if the verb refers to an action that took place in the past whose effect remains.

For instance, 眼鏡をかけた人=眼鏡をかけている人=a person who wears glasses.

Is 向いた an example of the above usage of the past tense of verbs? It doesn’t seem so to me. If not, what is the explanation for the choice of the past tense?

  • 2
    Can you see the English equivalence of "a job suited to me" and "a job suitable to me"?
    – istrasci
    Jan 29, 2021 at 6:18

1 Answer 1


You're right in that both ~ている and ~た can be used for descriptions/to modify nouns, and the two are pretty interchangeable. In relative clauses, past tense can be neutralised (see Flaw's comment -> "太ってる猫" vs "太った猫")

Really, there isn't much difference semantically speaking between:

向いている仕事  向いた仕事 

I think this is just a case of getting used to the way Japanese phrases things things/Japanese grammar.

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