My grammar book states that before ~限りでは you would use 見る as 見る or 見た while you change 知る、覚える to ~ている。I found this answer which does explain why 知る and 覚える is changed to 現在進行形。But then, why wouldn't you change 見る or 聞く?When I tried to find an answer on the internet I came across example sentence with both forms. So now I am totally confused. Does it not matter which form one chooeses? Is there no difference between the verb forms if the come before 限り?

Example sentences I found

  • [...]僕がいろいろ聞いている限りでは、早期に治療すればかなり命は助かるはずなので、[...]from yahoo news

  • 我々がメジャーのテレビ中継を見ている限りでは派手なアーチの競演が多いと映るが、現状は違うようだ。also yahoo news

  • 記者が見る限りでは、客を入れて営業を続けている店はなかった。from asahi shinbun

  • 知る限りでは、彼はまだ東京に住んでいるはずです。example sentence from a grammar site


1 Answer 1


The following is my intuition. I think for most verbs, you can use dictionary or タ or テイル forms interchangeably without changing the meaning, even if there are some nuance difference. In particular, the sentences in the question mean mostly the same with any of those forms, as long as they are acceptable.

dictionary -タ -テイル English
〇知る ×知った 〇知っている as far as I know
〇聞く 〇聞いた 〇聞いている as far as I heard
〇見る 〇見た 〇見ている as far as I observe
〇見える 〇見えた 〇見えている as far as I can see
×覚える ×覚えた 〇覚えている as far as I remember
×記憶する ×記憶した 〇記憶している as far as I remember

〇: can be followed by 限りでは/×: cannot be followed by 限りでは

テイル forms sound more like repetitive, happens regularly, etc. For example

  • 我々がメジャーのテレビ中継を見ている限り

sounds like we regularly follow NLB games, which are still going daily. On the other hand

  • 我々がメジャーのテレビ中継を見た限り

sounds like we saw a particular NLB game on TV, or at least NLB is off season.

But these differences are subtle, and both are interchangeable to some extent.

Underlying principles should be a research-topic kind of thing and I doubt there is any definite answer. You can search 瞬間動詞と継続動詞.

FYI : 知る seems to be known as particularly irregular

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