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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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2answers
581 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 ...
25
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2answers
1k views

“太ってる猫” vs “太った猫”

I saw this sentence and its translation in a textbook 彼女は太った猫が好きじゃない。 She doesn't like fat cats I was under the impression that 「太ってる猫」 means something like “cat that is in the state of becoming ...
7
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2answers
380 views

Non conventional usage of the past tense

Why is the past tense used in this verbs (which doesn't make sense to me at least) 生きていた…?違うな…死ねなかったのだよ…! 再生機能を持ったこのアーマーに押し込みおった and the translation uses present tense Survive? That'...
11
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2answers
323 views

Is た形 required when using 自動詞 as an adjective?

From the grammar book I learned that when 自動詞 is being used as an adjective, it should change its form to the た形, for example: 優れ{すぐれ}た学生 拗れ{こじれ}た話し But can I say 優れる学生 or 拗れる話し? Why?
5
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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 ...
11
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1answer
878 views

Present vs. past tense with certain verbs?

~ことにする vs ~ことにした  ~と思う vs ~と思った What sort of context would you use either of these? Does the past tense imply that you've changed your decisions or thoughts?
5
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2answers
395 views

Why did the author briefly jump to present tense in this article?

The first sentence of the second paragraph of the article titled モンテ、ナビスコ初戦快勝 in Yomiuri Shinbun is written in the present tense (or possibly the future tense I guess): 序盤、何度も相手ゴールに迫るが、得点に結びつかない。 ...
5
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2answers
826 views

What is the difference between 〜ている and 〜中?

When we want to expresss that something is in progress, we can use the progressive form: 勉強している studying But another way of expressing a progressing action is by adding 中 to the noun: 仕事中 ...
-1
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2answers
405 views

相対テンス — ①ハワイへ行く時、帽子を買う。 ②ハワイへ行く時、帽子を買った。 ③ハワイへ行った時、帽子を買う。 ④ハワイへ行った時、帽子を買った。

http://blog.livedoor.jp/robinsonrobin/archives/8036910.html ハワイへ行く時、帽子を買う。  ハワイへ行く時、帽子を買った。  ハワイへ行った時、帽子を買う。 ハワイへ行った時、帽子を買った。 If I completely understand these, will I have undertood half of all ...
9
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1answer
19k 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 ...
28
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2answers
5k views

ありがとうございます vs. ありがとうございました

When thanking someone, what is the rule for using ありがとうございます vs. ありがとうございました? My sensei taught us to use ありがとうございました when the action you're thanking someone for occurred in the past, but I've heard ...
12
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2answers
3k views

Difference between 行ったから and 行ってから and 行くから

What is the difference in usage between 行ったから and 行ってから and 行くから? Is there a sense of sequence implied in one and not the other? In the following examples where would i be buying the book and where ...
18
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1answer
646 views

Why does the narrator switch tenses here?

I'm currently reading The Tale of Peter Rabbit in Japanese, but the opening to the story is confusing me a bit. The actual text reads: [昔々]{むかしむかし}あるところに、四[匹]{ひき}の小さなウサギがいました。彼らの[名前]{なまえ}はプロプシー、...
16
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3answers
3k views

Would the plain form of a verb usually be translated as future tense?

In a recent question I asked, this example sentence was offered: 映画を見る。 (I will watch a movie.) What struck me about this was that the translated version was the future tense. However, I always ...
4
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2answers
226 views

Negative present endings translated as past tense

I've seen certain translations where I feels like there's a shift in the tenses. Ex: なぜ早く言わない!? translated to "Why didn't you say so sooner!?" In fact, I've experienced a lot of cases where a ...
8
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2answers
2k views

Is 「たくなった」 a typo or a grammatical structure that is different than I think it is?

I have this sentence in my JLPT exercise book: 彼{かれ}は有名人{ゆうめいじん}ゆえの不自由{ふじゆう}さから逃{に}げたくなった。 The translation offered is: He wanted to get away from the difficulties of being a celebrity. What is ...
6
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2answers
646 views

I am confused with Japanese tense

First, please look at this sentence: 私は日本へ行く前に、中国のお土産を買った。 Its English translation is: Before I will go to Japan, I bought some Chinese local goods. which is very weird. It is said that ...
5
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1answer
556 views

The use of present and past tenses in ~時 sentences

In Genki II textbook (second edition page 114 and 115) you are tasked with creating sentences using ~時. The problem is their answers seem to contradict what is written in "A dictionary of basic ...
4
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1answer
304 views

i am confusesd as to what historical present tense is, when it is used, etc

I understand that historical present tense is basically a tense that uses "present tense to describe past events/actions more vividly and lively..." - Chocolate Doing my own research into possible ...
1
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1answer
800 views

Explaining Tense in Japanese

I find that Japanese is a weird language for its learners, especially for those who've already learned English. In English one usually uses two tenses: present and past, however in Japanese there are ...
4
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2answers
191 views

past tense na adjective + noun

I have two sentences that im using to try to understand how na adjectives are conjugated in Japanese. 私の友達は綺麗な人 - My friend is a beautiful person 私の友達は綺麗だった人 - My friend was a beautiful person In ...
23
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3answers
1k views

How do I express sentences like: He is dying?

For instance, "He is eating" is "Kare wa tabete iru". However, "He is dying" is not "Kare wa shinde iru". Another example is "He is going to Japan" is not "Kare wa nihon ni itte iru". So if I can't ...
5
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3answers
889 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 ...
10
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2answers
552 views

How do I decide when to use plain or past verb form?

In (1) 明日、家へ帰って、母が作ったおいしい料理を食べます。 why is it 作った when it’s a future event? If I wanted to create a clause meaning 'delicious food my mother makes', it would be 母が作るおいしい料理. Does changing 作った in (1) ...
8
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1answer
430 views

~か ~かどうか 相対テンスの質問

僕は任務を完成したかどうかを確認しました。 I checked if you had finished the mission. 僕は任務を完成するかどうかを確認しました。 I checked if you would finish the mission. 僕は沖縄さんがドーナツを食べるかどうかを確認しました。 I checked if 沖縄さん ...
6
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1answer
1k views

Attributive form in Japanese narration

I have recently started reading novels as a means to improve my Japanese after reaching a comfortable enough level to do so. I am familiar with the use of the non-past form (dictionary form) in ...
4
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1answer
1k views

How does present tense work in Japanese narration?

Novels in English are generally completely written in past tense, but Japanese narration is quite confusing because they constantly switch between past and present tense. For example, take this ...
10
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2answers
839 views

好き【すき】でした。付き【つき】合って【あって】ください。

I found many people say 好きでした when they actually mean 好きです. I think it is short for ずっと好きでした. I know ずっと~していた and ずっと~している can well mean the same, but I still do not know the nuance between 好きでした and ...
9
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2answers
2k views

what is the past tense of お腹が空いた?

if お腹が空いた means "I'm hungry", then what would be the past tense of お腹が空いた since (i think) it's already in the past tense?
9
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2answers
2k views

い-Adjective Conjugation: かったです vs でした

When we first studied adjective conjugation in my Japanese class, I kept making the same mistake habitually; I would conjugate the past tense of い-adjectives with でした at the end instead of dropping ...
8
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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 ...
5
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2answers
167 views

Can the Japanese present tense indicate a continuous acton?

I was watching Shirobako episode 16. and at 2:31 the witch says "落ちる!" as she falls out of a plane. The subs translated it as "We're falling!" but I'm confused on why that is so. I'm not sure if ...
3
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1answer
187 views

だったら as an interjection

だったらさ! だった is the completed tense of だ, ら is a rough indicator, and さ is an assertion. The completed existential verb with the rough indicator would seem to say something like "Things having been ...
7
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2answers
711 views

how to use ~そう past tense

If I want to say, "you look tired", 疲れそう doesn't work, as that is "looks like I/you will get tired", but is 疲れたそう a thing? feels wrong... Is it possible to use ~そう past tense? past negative? Is there ...
6
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2answers
965 views

What's the difference between “plain form + とき” and “ta-form + とき“?

According to the book I'm reading, both of these sentences translate to: “I bought a bag when I went back to my country”. 国へ帰るとき、かばんを買いました。 国へ帰ったとき、かばんを買いました。 Now the nuance, if I understand ...
6
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1answer
132 views

Sentence in the present tense when the text is in the past tense?

ゲームをやめるとグループから外されるんじゃないかといつも不安でした。不安になった日の翌朝は、友だちにすごく優しくするんです。 そうやって友だちに奉仕して、関係を無理矢理にでもうまくつなごうとしていました。いつの間にか友だちづきあいに疲れてしまっていましたね(source) I don't understand why the past tense isn't used for 優しくする(=>...
4
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1answer
875 views

can あいだ / あいだに be used with non-past tenses

Last week I learned to use あいだ and あいだに to express things that happen at the same time (are parallel) or things that happen while other are occurring. But I noticed that all the examples on the book (...
4
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1answer
199 views

Different nuances in meaning for なら sentences

I've looked at previous posts made on conditionals but still have a bit of trouble with なら. I was hoping someone could tell me the differences in meaning/nuance between the following sentences. The ...
4
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2answers
359 views

When to use するほうがいい instead of したほうがいい in order to mean “Should do”?

So, I was in hello talk writing about how eating ramen everyday might not be healthy: (I will number the sentences) 1 - ...だから、時々ラーメンを食べたほうがいいね Then, a native speaker corrected my sentence to: ...
4
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1answer
281 views

Why 食べるなり rather than 食べたなり?

私は作った料理を一口食べるなり、父は変な顔をした The action 'to eat' is before the obvious change on the father. In the clause '父は変な顔をした', the verb changes into た形. Why is the front phrase '食べるなり', not '食べたなり’?
4
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1answer
566 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 ...
3
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1answer
647 views

What is the difference between ~たとき vs ~るとき

電車に乗るときは、白線の内側でお待ちください。 電車に乗ったときは、白線の内側でお待ちください What is the difference between ~たとき and ~るとき? In particular, what is ungrammatical about the second sentence with ~た? I felt that this sentence, ...
3
votes
1answer
167 views

Use of past tense in quoting others

In my textbook, it says the translation of "Roberto said it was interesting" to be Robert-さんはおもしろかったといっていました. Since we quote the person in the same tense they used, does this imply that Robert ...