I am currently learning that 〜ています can be used to express a state that resulted from a previous action, e.g.


All examples in my textbook (Minna No Nihongo - Lesson 29) use intransitive verbs. But there exists a transitive counterpart to つく, namely つける. My question is now, what is difference of the earlier mentioned sentence to the following one


Is the semantic of 〜ています in the second sentence different from the one in the first sentence?


2 Answers 2


Transitivity is not important to determine the meaning of ている. It depends more on the meaning of each verb:

progressive ("is doing") perfect aspect ("has done")
transitive ~を食べている
is eating ~
has surpassed ~
intransitive 走っている
is running
has died (is dead)

As for 電気をつけています, つける is usually an easy instant action, so it can mean "I've (already) turned on the light (of the room for you)", but 電気をつけてあります is more common for this meaning. When there are many lights, 電気をつけています can mean "(Currently) I'm turning on (all) the lights (on this floor)" as well. It depends on the context.


Depending on the context, [電気]{でんき}をつけています may describe an ongoing action. (Lesson 14)

When it describes a resulting state, it is different from [電気]{でんき}がついています in that that state is as intented, from the speaker’s viewpoint.

The lights are on.

We have the lights on (intentionally).

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