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I don't grasp the difference between this two sentences :

私のデザインが完成した。

私のデザインが完成している。

Do the former mean “My design is finished ?” and the latter “My design is being finished “ ? Or the latter is also finished (not in process of being finished) ?

This question rises to a more global one, because it depends probably if 完成する is a continuous or an instantaneous verb? how to know if a する noun is continuous or instantaneous ?

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  • Possibly related: japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/44153/…
    – dvx2718
    Commented Feb 6, 2023 at 14:12
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    Intuitively, I feel like former emphasizes the completion of the design, and the latter emphasizes the state of completion (which could have happened any time). Not sure this is true though.
    – Shurim
    Commented Feb 6, 2023 at 16:43

1 Answer 1

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As suggested in the comment,

  • 完成した means is just finished
  • 完成している means has been (in the state of being) finished (for some time)

In the process of being finished (but not yet) would be 完成しつつある.


This page explains this as Verbs describing (state) change(変化動詞) + ている means 'the resulting state continues/remains'.

It is similar (at least) to start/end verbs.

  • 授業が始まった/始まっている = The class got started/started already
  • 募集は締め切られた/締め切られている = Application is closed (recently)/has been closed.

(I feel, for learners, it may not be obvious which are 変化動詞, though.)

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  • Indeed, that's really difficult for a beginner like me to know which verb result in state form or in continuous form depending their meaning. Anyway, thank you for your reply !
    – Poulp
    Commented Feb 13, 2023 at 14:50

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