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This multiple choice exercise corresponds to the N5 level of the JLPT.

I am required to pick the right answer to fill the blank within brackets:

おとうとはきょねんからアメリカへ行っています。日本に(____)

The right answer is いません, but I don't understand why 来ていません can not be used instead of いません.

1 Answer 1

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Does this exercise come with a previous sentence? Both sentences actually make sense if interpreted in isolation:

  1. おとうとはきょねんからアメリカへ行っています。日本にいません。
    My brother has been in the U.S. since last year. (Therefore) he is not in Japan (now).
  2. おとうとはきょねんからアメリカへ行っています。日本に来ていません。
    My brother has been in the U.S. since last year. (Therefore) he has never visited Japan (this year / recently).

Sentence 1 is a response to "Is your brother in Japan now?" or "Let me see your brother tomorrow", whereas Sentence 2 is a response to "Your brother has visited Japan this year, hasn't he?".

Even if there is no previous context, I would pick Sentence 1 simply because it seems more common, but Sentence 2 (来ていません) is not a wrong choice when the places the brother visited this year are important.

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