like in 履いてきた靴

how would it change if i wrote 履いた靴?

1 Answer 1


This (-て)くる is a subsidiary verb explained in this question:

The difference between 履く and 履いてくる is almost the same as that between 持つ ("to pick up; to hold") and 持ってくる ("to bring"). 履く only refers to the action of wearing shoes, but 履いてくる is used when someone came to somewhere wearing the shoes (thus effectively "bringing" them). 履いてきた靴 refers to the shoes someone was wearing while they were coming.

  • Adding くる makes sense most of the time but it's hard for me to see how the two verb are linked together in this case. "bringing the shoes by wearing them" would only make sense in English in some very special circumstances. Is there really any link in this case or is it actually two separate actions i.e. "put on the shoes and then come", e.g. "If you need help I'll put on my shoes and come right now". I guess that can't possibly be the case with the relative clause 履いてきた靴 so I'm really struggling to think of a scenario. Feb 5, 2023 at 0:31
  • 1
    @user3856370 It's the shoes someone was wearing while coming, so 履く and 来る are concurrent actions.
    – naruto
    Feb 5, 2023 at 3:11
  • I think I understand now. Something like "the shoes he came to the interview in were completely inappropriate" 面接に履いてきた靴はまったく不適当だった。Does that make sense? Feb 5, 2023 at 8:18

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