My friends and I were translating another sentence containing 死んでいる which we determined to be an expression meaning "to be dead" (which Jisho agrees with). However, there was disagreement as to whether this was an expression or simply just the te-iru / enduring state of 死ぬ. As an example, one of them brought up 生まれている, which based on the "enduring state" interpretation should be something like "to be in the process of being born" (as in the continuous or enduring state of being born); however, I think it makes more sense to be an expression meaning "to be alive" (sort of the opposite of "to be dead").

My other friend says he thinks it's nonsense though (none of us have much Japanese knowledge). Unfortunately, Jisho does not have this form and instead just indicates that it could be an inflection of 生まれる and does not have the specific case (like it does with 死んでいる). Also, Google Translate (which I don't really trust anyway) just says "Born" which is not at all helpful.

What does this mean - is it the enduring state, an expression meaning "to be alive", or does it actually just not make sense, or is there another meaning?

1 Answer 1


It usually expresses experience, as is often the case with someone’s bio, but can also be continuous or habitual when it refers to collective births.

  • 新たな潮流/動きが生まれている業界: The industry where the new trend/movement is born
  • ここのところ毎年何千人もの赤ちゃんが生まれている: These years, thousands of babies are born per year.

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