Questions tagged [tense]

時制. Questions relating to that property of verbs which allows them to refer to events in the past, present, or future.

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何分も経つのに...なかった。Why not 経った or 経っている?

This is a sentence from a novel: 警察署に連れてこられてから何分も経つのに、[智也]{ともや}の心臓は早撃ちをやめなかった。 "Even though several minutes had passed since he was brought in the station, Tomoya's heart was still beating fast....
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Why is しない used for a past event?

植野:ちょっとからかってた的な…ことはあったかも 将也:まあ一応。僕もやめとけとは言ったんですけどね。聞かなかったし 石田:お前も一緒にやってたじゃん!女子なんてすげぇ悪口言ってたでしょ。ねえ!特に(植野)と(川井)が 川井:ひどい…。私そんなことしないよ。どうして…。石田くんひどいよ Everyone's putting the blame on 石田 for bullying. I ...
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Meaning of 殴り描き and the use of 'would'

I think I get most of this tweet https://twitter.com/hanjuku_monme/status/1544706459556265985 今日(昨日)からメイドインアビス2期が始まると知ったのでファプタ殴り描き "I knew that the second season of Made in Abyss would begin ...
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How should we tell an imaginary story or situation in Japanese?

In English, when we tell an imaginary story or situation, we use subjective mood, or use simply present or past tenses accordingly. I wonder how we should tell an imaginary story or situation in ...
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Difference between イライラする and イライラしている

I already know that the ている expresses a state after an action ended, rather than a continuous aspect in some verbs, but in some contexts I wonder why the natives would opt for する instead of している. “...
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なってる versus なる. Who is this sentence talking about?

The younger sister is worried about dog attacks. The older sister says this: 「そんなに心配することないわよ。もうどっかに行っちゃっていなくなってるわよ。」 There's no need to worry so much. You'll reach the point where you end up not ...
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Why 広がる前 isn't 広がった前 in this sentence

In this NHK Easy article there's the sentence: しかし1年{ねん}に3000万{まん}人{にん}以上{いじょう}が来{き}ていたウイルスが広{ひろ}がる前{まえ}のときのようには、すぐに戻{もど}りません。 If I remove the part I'm having trouble with: しかし1年{ねん}に3000万{まん}人{にん}...
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How to ask about someone's opinion regarding the future?

I have a question. I wanna ask: "Do You think in the near future/from now on more people will be learning Japanese?". What is the best way to ask that? I have come up with two ideas: ...
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その店で去年{○働いていた/×働いている}男性がテレビに出た。 - why is that?

According to this website (I think it is 初級を教える人のための日本語文法ハンドブック), if there are no time adverbs in an adjective clause, you have to use ていた or ている to mean an action in the past. However, if a time ...
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If a time adverb is used in an adjective clause, you have to use ていた instead of ている - does this rule apply to normal verbs?

According to this website (I think it is 初級を教える人のための日本語文法ハンドブック), if a time adverb is used in an adjective clause, you have to use ていた. https://learn-the-basics-of-japanese.blogspot.com/p/s71-1-123a1-...
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Why "We've worked" can't be in the past?

On Duolingo with the phrase "We've worked at this bakery since twenty eleven." It doesn't accept 私たちは2011年からこのパン屋で働いていました. It says the correct answer is 私たちは2011年からこのパン屋で働いています Why can't I ...
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1 answer
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終わる to mean closed shop

Is it a natural or at least used way to say "closed" like in that example, using the verb 終わる ? A : 今7時ですが、スーパーは終わりましたか。 B : いいえ、8時まで開いているはずですよ。
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What is the difference between していたりします and したりしています

For example 歌を歌ったりしていますか? vs 歌を歌っていたりしますか? Also for a sentence like this: あなた、私が盗んだと思っていたりします? vs あなた、私が盗んだと思ったりしています? I've asked a native speaker and apparently the second sentence seems more ...
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How does these sentences work in regard to tenses when translated into natural English?

Source 月曜の夜には、そこは閉まってる。 The source sentence says: “On monday nights it was closed.” But why not 閉まっていた then? Since it happened in the past. I think 閉まった might also work to describe that the place ...
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Katta in nagamete itakatta

So, I was trying to make a translation, and I found nagamete itakatta. I thought it was referring to the te form and the past tense of iru combined, then there was katta, which I also thought was past ...
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Why not the past tense before 方 in this sentence?

みんなが彼の指差す方を見たんだ。 Why not 指差した or 指差していた ?
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Why is it おいしかったです and not おいしかったでした? [duplicate]

There are a few other questions related to this, but they do not explain the why of the matter. As I understand it です is present tense while でした is past tense. As such, I would (wrongly) intuit to say ...
2 votes
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“ている” usage related question

Are “どこに行くの” and “どこに行っているの” both correct? If I regard “ている” in this sentence as “progressive tense”, why is it that I have seen people mostly say 行く? Also, can the ている also be used when talking about ...
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Could the “ていない” in “絶対無理って言ってない?” be interpreted as past?

“絶対無理って言ってない?” from context I would translate it as “didn’t you say it was impossible?”, but I just can’t wrap my head around the grammar. How would “って言ってなかった?” or “って言わなかった?” change the meaning?
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Past tense when noun clause is in the middle of the sentence

For this sentence, how does past tense apply with noun clauses Mr Suzuki was writer who wanted to live near the forest Do I say 鈴木さんは森林の近くに住みたい作家でした。 or 鈴木さんは森林の近くに住みたかった作家でした。
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Interpretations of できる and できている

Here are two lines (台詞) from different animes. 女の子って、何でできてる? (放浪息子) でも、それ、じゃ赤ちゃんってどうしてできるんだろう (苺ましまろ) I'm wondering why the verb できる (make) appears in the different tenses but it's expressing same ...
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Why 言うから instead of 言ったから?

これも結局 理沙が言うから 買っちゃったんだよね I only bought this because Risa talked me into it. Why is it not using the past tense: 理沙が言ったから ? Not only was Risa saying this in the past, but even the resulting action ...
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What is the correct tense for を生み?

一つの時代の積み重ねが新たな伝説を生み、ここにまた一人のヒーローが誕生した。ロックマン (source) Here are two translations I have: The culmination of one era gives birth to a new legend, and here again another hero is born. The efforts of an ...
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Don't understand past tense used as present perfect in Japanese

I'm reading a Japanese beginners book in which I have found a 'present perfect' sentence for the first time, but I don't understand it very well: The sentence 見たことがある女の人がいます according to my book, is ...
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Helping verb きた vs. きていた

During studies I recently stumbled over this sentence: 大きな犬がこっちに走ってきたので、びっくりした。 My question is why きた is used in 走ってきた. I would have guessed it should be a きていた, as びっくりした is past tense and 走って ...
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What tense to use for verbs describing abstract actions?

Here are 3 examples of 重きを置く. 昔は徳育に重きを置いた。People used to attach weight to moral culture. [斉藤和英大辞典] 聞くことと話すことに重きを置いた言語獲得の体系 system of language acquisition focusing intensively on listening and ...
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A counter example to the rule on tense in relative clauses?

In the comments to this question I learnt that 明日、林さんに会うときに、この本を返そう and 明日、林さんに会ったときに、この本を返そう have the same meaning, although 会った is more common. With my current understanding, that the tense in a ...
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相対テンス in 名詞修飾 is also true when it comes to アスペクト(テイル) or other forms like 〜てしまう, etc?

According to 初級を教える人のための日本語文法ハンドブック, in Japanese, 名詞修飾 is mostly 相対テンス, and sometimes 絶対テンス if that is the only way where the context can make sense. However, it says it only discusses テンス, but not ...
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onomatopoeia+した as modifiers [duplicate]

Examples like あっさりした味、ちょっとした風邪、きちんとした身なり have onomatopoeia+した as modifiers. There do not seem to be examples with した replaced with する. Is this observation correct? If so, is there a reason why した is ...
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「そこで泳ぐことがありますか」or 「そこで泳いだことがありますか」

I'm asked to complete the following sentence with the appropriate inflected form of the verb: The book provided a translation: "Have you ever had a swim there?" This indicates experience as ...
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ことにする tenses nuances [duplicate]

What are the nuances related to tense change about these sentences : 早く起きることにしました。 早く起きることにします。 早く起きることにしています。 Do the intensity or moment of the decision is different for each form ?
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Use of the past for a request? [duplicate]

In One Punch Man, Genos says ちょっと待った instead of ちょっと待って when asking Saitama to wait. Why?
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Point of view in Japanese writing, verb tenses and temporal location? [duplicate]

A little while ago, I asked this question about the Japanese point of view: How do you identify the point of view in Japanese (for novels)? The answer seemed to be that you need to watch for the ...
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Is it not needed to use an adjective in the ta-form when paired with 時 as a temporal adverbial clause?

According to Essential Japanese Grammar by Masahiro Tanimori and Eriko Sato (page 352), we can pair adjectives in the ta-form with 時 to form a temporal adverbial clause. Strangely, the book doesn't ...
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Using だった for things that haven't changed

I'm a little confused by the tenses in the following monologue taken from the beginning of a manga chapter: 黒い服が好きだった 昏い闇の中に居ても 安心して溶け込んでいられるから    この年になっても私は    中二病を拗らせたままでいる Now, in my native ...
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になりました vs になっています

Can someone explain the difference between these two to me? 長い間日本語を勉強しなくて、下手になりました 長い間日本語を勉強しなくて、下手になっています The way I understand it currently is that the first one indicates that at some point in ...
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NHK News Easy article: Constant tense changes, and そこに as a conjunction

In this NHK News Easy story, the second paragraph describes an online video showing a river suddenly flooding. 初めは、水は静かに流れています。そこに、急に水がたくさん流れてきます。川はすぐに茶色の水でいっぱいになりました。流れる水の力もとても強くなりました。 The tense is ...
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Problem Understanding the 経つ Verb

So I came across this sentence in a textbook: 家の近くで殺人事件が起きて1か月経つが、いまだに犯人は見つかっていない。 I think the sentence is supposed to mean 'Since the murder occurred near my house, a month has passed, but the ...
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1 answer
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How to express the future perfect progressive tense?

Here's an example sentence in English with this tense On July 1st, it will have rained for 2 months I understand that there's no such tense in Japanese, but how do I go about expressing it? Here are ...
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The implication of 段々 with a non-past verb (なります)

A sentence from my current favourite bugbear: 息子の成績が段々よくなります。 My son's grades are getting better and better. (given translation) I have two problems with the given translation: "getting better ...
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1 answer
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Why「なっていた」is used here?

I was reading a manga about a boy who turned into a girl. I found this odd line. つまり... 目が覚めたら突然女の子になっていた... という事でいいですか? When the girl-boy arrived at school, his kouhai didn't recognize him at first....
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A question about 目を合わせる

So the thing is that I found the next sentence: 目を合わせて逸らさない、というのはそれだけで真摯に見える。 I understand the whole sentence and all, but that 「目を合わせて逸らさない」is troubling me. I asked what it meant, and it was ...
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Wanted to go vs wants to go in Genki I

In Genki 2nd edition chapter 11, the following translation is given: メアリーさんはチベットに行きたいと言っていました Mary said she wanted to go to Tibet I would have thought that the translation should be that she wants ...
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Can 〜頃から be followed by ル形? or is タ形 mandatory?

Let's take the following examples: 1(a). 子供の頃から、ずっとパリに行きたかった 1(b). 子供の頃から、ずっとパリに行くのが夢でした 2(a). 子供の頃から、パリに行きたかった 2(b). 子供の頃から、パリに行くのが夢でした 3(a). 子供の頃から、パリに行きたいです 3(b). 子供の頃から、パリに行くのが夢です From what I ...
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Meaning of 実況してみた

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jUeifzCIlU In the first few seconds of this ad promoting a TV show, the narrator is saying 実況してみた. I looked up 実況する and see it means 'live broadcast', so does it mean '...
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Why is た form used instead of る form here? [duplicate]

するとその横で、耶倶矢がむうとうなる。 「ふん、本条蒼二が女だったとはな……我が目をたばかるとはなかなかやりよる」 「あ、耶倶矢も知ってたのか?」 士道が問うと、耶倶矢はこくりと首を前に倒してきた。 「当然だ。颶風の御子は大衆の娯楽にも通じておるわ」 耶倶矢 previously thought 本条蒼二 was male and just realized 本条蒼二 was female. ...
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Verbs in the past tense as modifiers [duplicate]

Here is a sentence that I encountered in a grammar exercise book. 当分はアルバイトをしながら、自分に向いた仕事を探すつもりだ。 I am puzzled with the choice of the past tense 「向いた」. (Unfortunately the grammar point for the ...
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The difference between 困る and 困った in this sentence

This is a multiple choice question and the correct answer seems to be 困った, but I wonder why 困る is not right. The sentence is as follows しまった!財布を忘れてきた。(困る/困った)なあ。 I do think Japanese tense can be quite ...
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What's this strange use of non-past 〜た in a question?

I've come across a character in a show wondering: ...っとは言った物の...どこから手を付けたものか This was translated as: But after all I said, where do we start? I generally view the 〜た form as past tense, but here ...
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1 answer
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Difference between るところだった and たところだった

My question is probably closely related to this one but I wasn`t able to successfully apply the explanation to the grammar of (もう少し/危うく)...ところだった On this site it is stated that ところだった is formed with ...
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