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Questions tagged [aspect]

相(アスペクト). A verbal category mainly indicating the speaker's view of the temporal structure of the situation the clause describes, such as whether it is habitual or complete.

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67
votes
3answers
24k views

Difference between -ていく and -てくる

Can someone explain the differences between v-ていく and v-てくる for me. I know that they both express some kind of ongoing action (like a place getting crowded). For example, what's the difference between ...
61
votes
3answers
8k views

When is Vている the continuation of action and when is it the continuation of state?

Last night, when I asked my wife to send an email to me, she said もう送っている which I took to mean that she was "sending the message". (The message had a big attachment so I imagined that it could take a ...
15
votes
2answers
712 views

Why is a verb in the past (た形) contradicted with ~ていない?

In the episode of the anime Sora no Otoshimono linked below, the following exchange occurs several times (beginning at 3:06): A: 呼んだ? You called? B: 呼んでねええ No I didn't! Could someone please ...
14
votes
8answers
17k views

How do I say “before” or “used to” in Japanese?

朝、作文を書いた時、疑問に思いました。 How can I say something like: I didn't use to like this band. Before, I didn't like this band.
13
votes
4answers
4k views

the logic behind “te” in “chotto matte te”

When someone says: chotto matte te, why does the te mean "... and I'll be back shortly". What's the logic behind it? Why aren't there special expressions such as chotto matte X, where X could mean "...
13
votes
7answers
1k views

How does the present tense work in a relative clause?

そんなわけで、まだ日も暮れない夕方の通学路を、駅に向かってゆっくりと歩く俺と加藤。 I encountered this quote in a light novel and am stuck on how to interpret it. It feels like 歩く should be "walking" in this context, but it is not 歩いている. The ...
10
votes
1answer
21k views

How do you say “I have been […]”?

How would I say “I have been [...]” as in “I have been studying Japanese.” or “I have been working at an office”? If I remember correctly it is a particular verb conjugation and this would be ...
10
votes
4answers
13k views

How to say “started to do something”?

I am writing a homework assignment and I am trying to write "I had to start bringing my umbrella". I know that to say "I started eating" it would be 食べはじめる,or to say "I started drinking" it would be ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Confused in choosing 早い versus 速い

In my understanding, 速い is used for motion and 早い represents "early". Which one is the correct one in this example? A: 授業がそろそろ始まるので、早く来てください。 B: 授業がそろそろ始まるので、速く来てください。
8
votes
2answers
174 views

Aspects in stylistics/meaning of 東雲

Does the word 東雲 shinonome have some stylistic pecularities? What's the difference between this word and others with the same meaning "daybreak; dawn"?
8
votes
2answers
675 views

Why does 疲れた translate to the present tense

疲れた= I’m tired 1) Why is 疲れた used to indicate a present state? (Is there a logic behind these types of verbs or is it easier to remember these verbs?) 2) What is the difference between 疲れたand 疲れている? ...
8
votes
1answer
302 views

Question regarding Zutto and Datta in the same clause

I'm still just learning Japanese,so forgive me if this is a silly question. I'm confused... How can something be "zutto" and "datta" at the same time? (A) ずっと好きだった (zutto suki datta) Which I ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Why 来ています rather than 来ました [duplicate]

This is the first sentence of an NHK article published today (September 2, 2016) discussing the high number of typhoons in waters near Japan. 気象庁によると、ことし6月から8月までに7つの台風が日本の近くに来ています。 According ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

How to say, “I've been living in America for 9 months” (and still am)?

So I've been trying to say that a friend has lived in America for about 9 months, and is still currently living in America. Would it be: アメリカで9月間ぐらいに住んでいます。 I'm not sure if I'm using the correct ...
7
votes
2answers
569 views

Is 〜ている really this subtle?

With an action verb, like 食べる, I can count 5 meanings of this sentence: ジョンは納豆を食べている "John is eating natto." (progressive) "John is eating the natto." (progressive) "John eats natto." (...
7
votes
1answer
144 views

Is 立つ in 顔が立つ is always imperfective? If so why?

I understand that the word 立つ has various meanings, but basically can be used to describe a state (for inanimate and animate objects) as well as a process (for animate objects). To describe a state ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Meaning of, Transitive verb in “te form” + iru vs Intransitive verb in “te form” + iru

When I learnt Japanese I was taught that a transitive verb in its "te form" followed by the verb "iru" represents a continuous action. However, this is not the case with intransitive verbs which ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Are Japanese “tenses” aspects in disguise?

I read a lot of posts here saying that Japanese has this thing called "aspects". e.g. Must I use past tense before 後? ありがとうございます vs. ありがとうございました I am confused with Japanese tense Since Japanese ...
6
votes
3answers
443 views

Grammar and aspect of 「コーヒー飲んでき!」

I have some questions about 「コーヒー飲んでき!」 What is it a contraction of ? Is it inchoative ? In all of the examples i've found, it's an invitation to come in. But i think 「コーヒー飲んでき」can mean [ Why don'...
6
votes
2answers
109 views

「〜ている」Sentence Translation

When you have a phrase like, 起きたばかりでまだなにも食べていない。 does it feel more like "I just woke up, so I haven't eaten anything yet" ? or "I just woke up, so I'm not eating anything yet".
6
votes
2answers
943 views

Function of 「masu-stem」+よる in Kansai-ben

Several years ago an acquaintance introduced me to the Hiroshima dialect and mentioned clear distinction between perfect and continuous aspects: Example 1: The bus is coming. Standard: バスが来ている。 ...
6
votes
2answers
162 views

Why does 音を表したことば use the past tense?

In the sentence オノマトペとは、ものの様子や音を表したことばです。 why is it 音を表したことば rather than 音を表していることば? I'm reading https://japanese.stackexchange.com/a/11976 but I'm not sure if this sentence produces a ...
6
votes
4answers
6k views

まだ with verb ending ~ません and ~ていません

In response to the question 「もう昼ご飯を食べましたか。」how do the following replies differ in meaning? いいえ、まだ食べていません。 いいえ、まだ食べません。 I tried to understand the differences through this website where it's ...
6
votes
3answers
212 views

A question regarding Japanese sentences with present tense clauses but a past tense main verb [duplicate]

Japanese tenses seem very different from English. Please look at this sentence: 考えている最中,電話がかけられました If translated in English, it should be: When I was thinking, the telephone rang I think the ...
6
votes
1answer
245 views

「聞こえなくなった」 or 「聞けなくなった」?

I wanted to say: "I became unable to hear." I said: "聞こえなくなった" but I was corrected and told to say: "聞けなくなった" That sounds strange to me. I've never even heard the verb form "聞ける" what does "...
6
votes
2answers
904 views

Intransitive verbs and ている

I was re-reading my Genki text the other day regarding intransitive verbs and ている and it stated that when intransitive verbs take the ている form they exclusively refer to the state resulting from the ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

meaning of 歩けなくなっちゃって

I'm trying to translate 駅から歩けなくなっちゃって. I don't really speak Japanese but this is what I got so far: なっちゃって apparently means having done something against one's intention 駅から is "from the station" ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

What's the difference between ~てある and ~た (past form)?

As I understand it てある is rather different to ている in that it refers to a resultant state rather than an ongoing action. However I wonder, what then is the practical difference between a resultant ...
5
votes
2answers
183 views

Is it possible ~ておく in continuous state (~ている)?

I'm curious now since I read in Tae Kim's Guide that ておく means to prepare/do something for the future. So for example, if one is currently in the progress of studying for the future would it be this? ...
5
votes
1answer
198 views

だんだん読めないようになった versus だんだん読めなくなってきた

What are the differences between the following 2 sentences? A: 僕は小さい字がだんだん読めないようになった。(Lit: I gradually became unable to read small characters.) B: 僕は小さい字がだんだん読めなくなってきた。(Lit: I gradually became ...
5
votes
1answer
141 views

When is <verb stem>+かける's meaning to start and leave unfinished?

I recently learned that the construction +かける means to start something, but with an implication that the action was left unfinished: ビールを飲みかけたことがあるんだけど、味を全然好きなかった。 "I've had a beer before, but ...
5
votes
1answer
114 views

Confused with verb form ( I am eating vs I was eating, vs I haven’t eaten (yet))

So i came across this question and I can’t seem to get my head around it! Sorry if it’s obvious. I learned that the progressive form for a verb (-ing ) is the ーて form + (-いる/-います) . So I am eating ...
5
votes
1answer
307 views

For 知る what is the difference between the simple present (知る) and 知っている forms?

あなたは電話番号を知りますか (anata wa denwa bangou wo shirimasu ka)? あなたは電話番号を知っていますか (anata wa denwa bangou wo shitte imasu ka)? In my book "あなたは電話番号を知っていますか" (anata wa denwa bangou wo shitte imasu ka) is ...
5
votes
3answers
246 views

Particle に when related to state and how to recognize a verb as a state

While looking at the examples of ている form and usage in my textbook I came across this sentence かぞくは とうきょうに すんでいますMy family lives in Tokyo. I know from what I've been reading on the internet that ...
5
votes
1answer
372 views

Why are there two readings of 留める?

It seems like 留める can be read as either とめる or とどめる. JED, my Android dictionary app, cites とどめる, and so does wiktionary. But wiktionary's kanji entry for 留, it lists とめる, とどまる, and とまる as kun readings,...
5
votes
1answer
125 views

What is the difference between ながら and のに for expressing “despite”/“although”?

Both grammar points seem to express similar sentiments. But I had a practice question today which said 友だちは授業の教室が変わったと(  )、教えてくれませんでした。 with two choices being 知りながら and 知るのに. Both choices seem to ...
5
votes
2answers
149 views

Why is the plain negative in this sentence translated as “haven't”?

まだ部屋が暖まらない I encountered this sentence in an Anki deck (core 10k) and I can't seem to wrap my head around it, specifically its translation. According to the deck, the English sentence is "The room ...
5
votes
1answer
396 views

Verb tenses in hypothetical situations

I'm wondering how Japanese tenses work for hypothetical situations that may happen or could have happened. More specifically, are the verb tenses in the below sentences correct? We probably would ...
5
votes
1answer
101 views

まま and the particle に

弟はテレビをつけたままにしておいた On Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar the translation is My younger brother left the TV on. I do not understand why にしておいた is needed. I checked and it means : do something in ...
5
votes
1answer
115 views

Usage of the verb 続く in past tense

From this article 日本では、スポーツの選手がコーチなどから暴力やパワーハラスメントを受ける問題が続きました。 The problem of sportsmen receiving violence and harassment from coaches in Japan continued. I don't understand why 続く is written ...
5
votes
2answers
435 views

The aspect of the verb 窺う

What is the aspect in the following example for the word 窺う? to await (one's chance)​ usually written using kana alone 彼は発言の機会をうかがった。 He watched for an opportunity to speak. Does ...
5
votes
1answer
168 views

How to choose the aspect of 困る?

I've just started learning Japanese, and I'm very confused by how 困る is used. For example, we had a sample dialogue that went (in response to some bad news): A:「全然良くないですねえ。」 B:「ええ、困りましたねえ。」 I'...
5
votes
1answer
411 views

Do Japanese stative verbs have the inchoative aspect?

In English, a verb that expresses a state can also express the entrance into a state. This is called inchoative aspect. The simple past is sometimes inchoative. For example, the present-tense verb in ...
5
votes
1answer
160 views

Can なっている represent an ongoing change as well as a resultant (completed) change?

From reading a bunch, I've been under the vague impression that [adverb]+なる can be interpreted both progressively and resultatively; according to this chat log, since it can take time, it is a ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Ai oboete imasu ka, what does “imasu” add here?

"Ai oboete imasu ka" is translated as "Do you remember love?", now Ai is love, oboete is remember and ka is the question marker, why do you need to add "imasu" to this phrase?
4
votes
1answer
433 views

why they used -ていれば instead of -ば?

Why they used -ていれば instead of -ば in this context ?
4
votes
1answer
600 views

Must I use past tense before 後?

From this page, I see this sentence: Note: Be careful of the tense of the verb that comes before 「前」 and 「後」. 「前」 is non-past while 「後」 is always past tense. I am confused because it is quite ...
4
votes
1answer
140 views

What does ていた mean?

I could not understand ていた right after 晴れ in the sentence below. 海岸に行った時、とてもよく晴れていたんです。
4
votes
2answers
651 views

Activity verbs vs Change verbs

My textbook makes a difference between verbs that describe activities and verbs that describe changes. Two examples given are: 話す - activity 結婚する - change It then goes on to say that 話している ...
4
votes
2answers
230 views

How do you tell when 持つ is stative or dynamic?

I am confused on how to distinguish if a verb is stative or dynamic when used in a sentence. For example, 持つ appears to have two definitions, one for a dynamic meaning and one for a stative meaning. ...