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#1 2009-10-24 05:11:32

fredma123
Member

Motion Verb + います/いるところ

I was wondering about this because my teacher was talking about it but I didn't really understand it.

八時に家には帰っていました。

My teacher says this doesn't mean he had returned at 8:00. So does it mean he had returned home anf is there at 8:00?

図書館へ行っているところです。

So this means that I'm at the moment of going to the library but if I said just

図書館へ行っている。

then it would be I went to the library and am there?

It just seems confusing because if you say 食べている it just means I am eating not I ate and am there.

Does this also apply to 貸す/借りる and 上げる/くれる/もらう? Or just Motion Verbs?

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#2 2009-10-24 05:48:22

Allithus
Member

Re: Motion Verb + います/いるところ

いる/います put you in a state of doing or being, the difficulty you're having there i think it's caused by the difference between English and Japanese, i'm pretty sure you know that some words are verbs in English but are adjectives in Japanese, similarly some state of being is past tense in English but not past in Japanese.

both 図書館へ行っている and 図書館へ行っているところです describes you going to the libray but with different focus


i don't think i'm pro enough to explain this

Last edited by Allithus (2009-10-24 05:51:23)


书山有路勤为径,学海无涯苦作舟.苦海无涯,回头是岸.
The more diligent you are the faster you learn,the road to learning is filled with endless pain but the pain will take you to success.It might seems like endless pain and failure but success might be closer than you think.

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#3 2009-10-24 09:41:40

creamyhorror
Member

Re: Motion Verb + います/いるところ

fredma123 wrote:

八時に家には帰っていました。

My teacher says this doesn't mean he had returned at 8:00. So does it mean he had returned home anf is there at 8:00?

Yes, I think so.

図書館へ行っているところです。

So this means that I'm at the moment of going to the library

Does that mean that? Wouldn't it mean "Currently at the library"?

図書館へ行っている。

then it would be I went to the library and am there?

Yes, it means that.

It just seems confusing because if you say 食べている it just means I am eating not I ate and am there.

You have to learn which meaning applies for each verb, unfortunately.

Does this also apply to 貸す/借りる and 上げる/くれる/もらう? Or just Motion Verbs?

I think it also applies, but you should ask questions about specific examples.

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#4 2009-10-24 10:32:15

irankarapte
Member

Re: Motion Verb + います/いるところ

>八時に家には帰っていました。

If it's custom of the past or imaginary conditional, it can represent "I would return* / I would have returned home at 8:00".
* I used to かな?

>食べている
It's ambiguous if it's "I am eating" or "I have eaten".

e.g. いずれの患者も生ガキを食べていることから保健所は・・ each patient has eaten raw oister, so hygiene office is going to

Last edited by irankarapte (2009-10-24 10:38:52)

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#5 2009-10-24 11:00:27

taniwha
Member

Re: Motion Verb + います/いるところ

The issue is that some verbs are "instantaneous" (行く, 来る, 帰る, 死ぬ...) while others can cover a span of time (食べる, 読む...)

"instantaneous"+「いる」 = present perfect ("have ...") There is no room for continuous ("am ~ing").
"span" verbs can be both continuous and present perfect, depending on context. 食べている can be both "am eating" and "have eaten". Adverbs (もう etc) and certain nouns (ところ) help sort this out.


Leave others their otherness. -- Aratak
There is no can't. -- Duun

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#6 2009-10-24 11:41:29

creamyhorror
Member

Re: Motion Verb + います/いるところ

irankarapte wrote:

>八時に家には帰っていました。

If it's custom of the past or imaginary conditional, it can represent "I would return* / I would have returned home at 8:00".
* I used to かな?

"I used to" is okay too, but I feel it has a stronger implication that the situation has now changed. "I would" is more neutral. The difference is small, though.

Does the sentence mean "reaching home at 8" or "leaving to go home at 8"?

Also, is the interpretation "he had returned home and was there at 8:00?" valid?

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#7 2009-10-24 17:14:47

くりな
Member

Re: Motion Verb + います/いるところ

Theている form is really interesting because in English most of the time it is taught as an action that is currently in progress.  In English this is really easy to emulate because we just say "Subject is V+ing" and that means the subject is currently doing the action.

So we get these neat, but not entirely true sets:
食べている I am eating / Subject is currently eating
買っている Subject is currently buying

and so forth.

But in Japanese verbs and time work differently.  When you say 行きます it can mean I go or I will go.  Why can it mean both?  For a similar reason, ている has relative meanings.

彼は切符を買っている can mean "he is buying a ticket right now" but it more than often means "he has purchased a ticket"

In English we say "Subject has Vpast Object"  but really this has+Vpast is basically the same thing as ている。


So above, the sentence

八時に家には帰っていました。

Means that "By 8:00 I was [already] home."

帰っている will usually mean "has returned" and not "is in the process of returning" although it strictly can have both meanings.


Maybe it helps to think of the verb 食べる in particular,
食べる means to eat, to put food in your mouth and consequently into your stomach.
食べている means that you are eating or you have eaten and you're not hungry (=food is in your stomach).

The literal idea of "doing something this very instant" doesn't exist as strictly as it does in English because ている verbs kinda have to cover many more bases, so-to-speak.


To simplify things, look at the actual grammatical construction piece-by-piece:

食べて+いる

the て-form is used to connect sentence parts ending in verbs...

本を読んで、絵を描きました(ほんをよんで、えをかきました)
I read a book AND THEN I drew a picture.


What about 帰っていました then?

帰って+いました
I returned, and then existed.


So try and keep that in mind when translating ている forms, especially ones with には for time, because that usually emphasizes that "by a certain time" some action was done or had been completed.

is the interpretation "he had returned home and was there at 8:00?" valid?

Yes, that would seem valid.

irankarapte wrote:

    >八時に家には帰っていました。

    If it's custom of the past or imaginary conditional, it can represent "I would return* / I would have returned home at 8:00".
    * I used to かな?

I just wanted to point out that irankarapteさん adds "*I used to" because of the past form of いる as いました。   Were it 八時には家に帰っている It would mean that now [these days] I am in the house by 8.



Does the sentence mean "reaching home at 8" or "leaving to go home at 8"?

The sentence really doesn't stress reaching or trying to get home, perhaps something that will help solidify the "image" behind 八時には家に帰っていました is to think that there is a process for becoming 帰っている, like:

unlock the door,
take off your shoes,
gargle w/ that cold medicine that Japanese use,
change your clothes perhaps,
sit down on the tatami or something.

And this process, or something like it, is done by 8:00.


Although this is not strictly stated, those are the vibes I get, where the speaker is at home and already at ease.

Interrogation:
"Where were you last night at 8pm?!"
"I was at home." <- This kind of temporal idea.
家に帰っていました

"What were you doing last night at 8pm?!"
"I was eating"
食べていました。

"Did you go to dinner with your friends at 9?"
"I had eaten already so I didn't go."
もう食べていましたから、行かなかったんです。


Hope that helps smile

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#8 2009-10-25 03:01:17

fredma123
Member

Re: Motion Verb + います/いるところ

Yeah, I think I understand now.  I like Korean a bit better because they separate future and present tense like English does so they have a simple present tense that just means "I go" and they have two main future tenses that mean I will [probably] go and I will [definitely] go.

So for any instantaneous verb it means to have done something. So like:

死んでいる
would mean I have died, but

死んでいるところ
would essentially mean I am dying

But wait, in what situation would 帰っている have the meaning "in the process of returning"? Can you give an example?

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#9 2009-10-25 05:12:10

irankarapte
Member

Re: Motion Verb + います/いるところ

creamyhorror wrote:

"I used to" is okay too, but I feel it has a stronger implication that the situation has now changed. "I would" is more neutral. The difference is small, though.

Does the sentence mean "reaching home at 8" or "leaving to go home at 8"?

Also, is the interpretation "he had returned home and was there at 8:00?" valid?

Thanks, that makes me happy because the one that first occured to me was "I would".
And as others said, "he had returned home and was there at 8:00" is the natural interpretation.

fredma123 wrote:

But wait, in what situation would 帰っている have the meaning "in the process of returning"? Can you give an example?

(seeing birds flying) あっ、鳥が帰ってる。

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#10 2009-10-26 12:32:50

Re: Motion Verb + います/いるところ

くりな wrote:

彼は切符を買っている can mean "he is buying a ticket right now" but it more than often means "he has purchased a ticket"

In English we say "Subject has Vpast Object"  but really this has+Vpast is basically the same thing as ている。

くりな wrote:

Maybe it helps to think of the verb 食べる in particular,
食べる means to eat, to put food in your mouth and consequently into your stomach.
食べている means that you are eating or you have eaten and you're not hungry (=food is in your stomach).

I don't agree with these statements. I've never heard anyone use 買っている/食べている to describe an action that "has been" done. The preferred would simply be for 買った/食べた

The reason that 帰っている/行っている/来ている are not continuous states of action is because they are motion verbs. Motions verbs can behave differently than regular verbs at times. Thus motion verbs + いる have the different sense of "returned/went/came and now present". The only problem you have here, is that some motion verbs (like 飛ぶ) can be either "(verb)ed and present" OR continuous state of action. You just have to sort those out.


人生は一箱のマッチに似ている。重大に扱うのはばかばかしい。しかし重大に扱わなければ危険である。
Life is like a box of matches. To treat it seriously is just crazy. However, if you don't treat it seriously, then there's a danger.

- 芥川龍之介

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#11 2009-10-26 15:31:41

くりな
Member

Re: Motion Verb + います/いるところ

dapperdanman1400 wrote:

I don't agree with these statements.

Well it's not my goal to convince the stubborn, I'm just telling you the truth.

However, if you're willing to believe this notion for even a moment, here's an example:

Last night at dinner a girl picks up one of the plates and asks a guy near her

女:これもうとった?

To which the guy replies

男:まだとってない。

It's not my intention to argue with you.  This is a rather complicated subject and it's not covered in any text books that I've seen.  But ask any Japanese person what 切符を買っている means and they will say "it means I have a ticket"

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#12 2009-10-26 16:03:04

Re: Motion Verb + います/いるところ

It also wasn't my goal to come off as stubborn (or argumentative), I just wanted to say I disagreed.:D

Now that you mention it though, in the negative, I do see that all the time. While I'm willing to retract my previous statement, I'm still skeptical about 切符を買っている being "I have (bought) a ticket"...

I looked in some dictionaries for example sentences, and all of the examples for non-motion verbs 買っている and 食べている made reference to being a continuing state of action, not present perfect. However all the examples of っていない were virtually all present perfect, so...

Could anyone give a second opinion?


人生は一箱のマッチに似ている。重大に扱うのはばかばかしい。しかし重大に扱わなければ危険である。
Life is like a box of matches. To treat it seriously is just crazy. However, if you don't treat it seriously, then there's a danger.

- 芥川龍之介

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#13 2009-10-27 00:50:08

Dheara
Member

Re: Motion Verb + います/いるところ

dapperdanman,
my husband, who is Japanese, asked me many times``(もう)食べている?‘‘、``まだ食べてない?‘‘  (with or without もう)。
It sounds to me like resultative aspect, but it is not, since taberu is a transitive verb...

I found this examples in alc.com dictionary: http://eow.alc.co.jp/%E9%A3%9F%E3%81%B9 … %8B/UTF-8/

「確かに買っているけれど、そこには誰も住んでいないじゃないか。
"Yeah, but no one lives in their houses.〔【出典】Hiragana Times, 1989年9月号(株式会社ヤック企画)◆URL http://www.hiraganatimes.com/hp/magazin … ut-J.html〕 全文表示

http://eow.alc.co.jp/%E8%B2%B7%E3%81%A3 … dk=JE&pg=1

Last edited by Dheara (2009-10-27 07:09:12)

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#14 2009-10-27 01:34:22

Dheara
Member

Re: Motion Verb + います/いるところ

I found this forum discussion and it seems a little interesting...
http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1043806

http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=566996

Last edited by Dheara (2009-10-27 01:45:48)

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#15 2009-10-27 09:34:49

Re: Motion Verb + います/いるところ

I talked to a few of my Japanese friends yesterday in reference with 買っている/食べている, and they all said that to use it in 完了形 sounds weird to them when it is in reference to a positive verb. Negatives are totally fine though. That's what they said anyway. Those posts are interesting, I'll have to look into it more.

In that example you gave me, however, that's an instance of continuous action I think. The way they translate the English makes it hard to see though.

だから日本人はカリフォルニアやハワイに家を買っているんだ」と田中さん。
「確かに買っているけれど、そこには誰も住んでいないじゃないか。

That's why Japanese buy houses in Los Angeles or Hawaii," answered Tanaka.
"Yeah (Japanese are buying), but no one lives in their houses.

Last edited by dapperdanman1400 (2009-10-27 12:38:04)


人生は一箱のマッチに似ている。重大に扱うのはばかばかしい。しかし重大に扱わなければ危険である。
Life is like a box of matches. To treat it seriously is just crazy. However, if you don't treat it seriously, then there's a danger.

- 芥川龍之介

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#16 2009-10-27 16:38:10

くりな
Member

Re: Motion Verb + います/いるところ

I find it somewhat ironic that your signature チーズからなっている is rather similar to what we've been discussing big_smile

The links Dheara provided are spot-on and I suggest your read any posts by Flaminus or samanthalee on those pages.  Flaminus is some sort of linguist and his writing gets extremely terse with jargon but they're still interesting posts.

Frankly, I'm kinda hurt at your reluctance to believe me :[

I thought it would be pretty natural (or even obvious) to assume that English equivalents have their limits for interpreting Japanese.  Out of curiosity, what makes you so skeptical?

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#17 2009-10-27 20:36:54

Dheara
Member

Re: Motion Verb + います/いるところ

dapperdanman1400 wrote:

I talked to a few of my Japanese friends yesterday in reference with 買っている/食べている, and they all said that to use it in 完了形 sounds weird to them when it is in reference to a positive verb. Negatives are totally fine though. That's what they said anyway. Those posts are interesting, I'll have to look into it more.

In that example you gave me, however, that's an instance of continuous action I think. The way they translate the English makes it hard to see though.

だから日本人はカリフォルニアやハワイに家を買っているんだ」と田中さん。
「確かに買っているけれど、そこには誰も住んでいないじゃないか。

That's why Japanese buy houses in Los Angeles or Hawaii," answered Tanaka.
"Yeah (Japanese are buying), but no one lives in their houses.

dapperdanman,
I have to admit you are right about the example.... I didn`t carefully read the context yesterday... Sorry! It is an instance of continuous action...

I asked my husband last night, and he tried to explain to me more about resultative action expressed by transitive verbs, but his explanations were difficult to understand because my Japanese is not so good, and neither my French... and we were both tired. I'll ask him again today. Anyway, as far as I understood it's all about the context... there are cases when you could use 買っている to express the fact that an action has been done and can see the result though...
Anyway, it seems that He has bought the ticket= 彼は切符を買った。...

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#18 2009-10-27 21:01:23

Dheara
Member

Re: Motion Verb + います/いるところ

くりな、
チーズからなっている it is an example of resultative aspect, but resultative aspect is USUALLY expressed this way:

Intransitive verb ている (チーズから出来ている。Is made of cheese. 窓が閉まっている。The window is closed)
Transitive verb てある(窓が閉めてある。The window has been closed。)

なる is intransitive...

I'll read more carefully Flaminus and samanthalee's posts... Maybe I'm missing something..

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#19 2009-10-27 21:45:49

Re: Motion Verb + います/いるところ

>くりな
Goodness! I didn't realize I had such power to trouble the hearts of men! wink This is simply a forum for discussion. You said yourself that your hope wasn't to subdue the stubborn, but to tell it like it is. I don't want your goal to simply be changing my opinion! Even if you win me over I'm not worth much anyway! big_smile

>Dheara
No worries! I myself am prone to make mistakes, so I hope to not hold it against others! big_smile

After reading the recommended posts above, I have to wonder about Flaminus's 'credentials', despite his big words. For one, Flaminus says that 〜てある can only be used with non-human subjects, which is bullocks. 〜てある has no relation whatsoever to the objects 'living status'; it is simply a way to convey an enduring state of a completed action. その人は殺してある sounds perfectly fine (albeit makes me worry about mobsters in my neighborhood) tongue The only requirement for this is that the main verb be transitive.

He/She also said that 落ちている never refers to a continuous action? Pleeeeeeeease!

As my final contribution to this topic, a friend of mine, raised speaking both Japanese and English had this to say:

...although I might have heard 「切符を買っている」 as "already bought a ticket" I don't think that it is grammaticaly correct, nonetheless the message does come across. I think it's better to use 「もう飯を食べた」and 「もう切符を買った」.

「もう飯を食べている」 and 「切符を買っている」 seems to make more sense if it was talking about another person: "he's already eaten" "She's already bought a ticket"

SO...it CAN function as 現在完了形...(僕の負け!)....BUT at the same time, it's rather unwieldy and uncommon in contrast with 単純過去形.


人生は一箱のマッチに似ている。重大に扱うのはばかばかしい。しかし重大に扱わなければ危険である。
Life is like a box of matches. To treat it seriously is just crazy. However, if you don't treat it seriously, then there's a danger.

- 芥川龍之介

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#20 2009-10-30 08:55:19

くりな
Member

Re: Motion Verb + います/いるところ

Sorry for my reluctance to let dead threads die but,

dapperdanman1400 wrote:

SO...it CAN function as 現在完了形...(僕の負け!)....BUT at the same time, it's rather unwieldy and uncommon in contrast with 単純過去形.

I kinda have to disagree, since I've been surprised far too many times by ている to say that what I'm talking about is rare.  Once while working at a ski lodge in Japan I asked a co-worker if she had any hand lotion because my hands were drying up.

something like 「ね、手のローション、持っている?」
and she replied with 「持っているよ。」

But when I asked her for some she said she it was back in her room, not on her person. 
I was surprised and said 「だから持っているとは言えないでしょう。」 to which my boss had a nice chuckle.

I can't count the number of times such things have happened to me while in Japan.  Sometimes people say stuff like 「持っているけど、部屋にある。」 which means that they "have" something but not with them, it's in their room.  These types of situations you can't translate directly unless you want to cheat and say 持つ has several meanings in English, but that's one way to just "avoid" the problem I guess.

My examples up top do seem much more natural when talking about a 3rd party, I'll agree, but I'd just like readers to be aware of the slightly umbrella-like meanings of ている。  Grammar books are only an aid to understanding, not a definitive rule structure for a whole language.  Naturally things evolve and there are simplifications, especially at the introductory level, to make things easier to comprehend.  It took me a while to break some "habits" that I picked up from back in the day in 101.

I'm also a bit skeptical as to asking people directly about ~ている now because, frankly, a lot of a language is non-conscious, so-to-speak.  I think a more meaningful exercise would be to have some sort of essay or recording that uses <grammatical expression in question> and have a native speaker read it and mark anything that looks/sounds unusual.  If they don't, ask them about it, and see what's up.

If you read Flaminus' rationalizations (I dare not call them explanations) he (assumptive 'he') mentions that if an object doesn't have to go through an intermediate action to "reset" then it can be used as a continuous action... 落ちる means that something falls and has to be picked up again to fall again, so 落ちている can only refer to something in the fallen state (assuming the fall-time is negligibly small).  A large majority of the example sentences that you linked to actually illustrate something that has fallen and is on the ground, take a closer look.

It's not really a question of better/worse, but rather "will you understand it when you hear it/read it?"  First you must become a master of understanding in order to become a master of expression.

Strictly speaking, I think ている should and always will mean V+ing, but that's assuming that the verb directly translates into English.  For all we know,落ちる may not mean just "to fall" but might mean "to fall to the ground and to come to rest" in which case the distinction between "falling" and "fallen" becomes difficult to make.  Either way you look at it, whether it's the grammar or verb-specific, it takes some getting used to.  Of course, there are patterns that can be seen and inferences that can be made to ease the part of guesswork, which is what those 2 threads Dheara linked try to do.


Another example that comes to mind is when my 11 y/o host-sister's goldfish died:

「あっ!死んでる!」

Nothing unwieldy or uncommon about that one. (Yes, this means dead.)


(Happy ending alert: she cleaned the tank and the fish magically 蘇てきた by the time I was home big_smile)

As an experiment, try using もう + V + ている for a variety of (transitive) verbs and you'll see that a lot of them work for actions that can be expressed in just Vpast.  Sometimes the meaning changes substantially, sometimes not.

For instance, can you detect the difference between わかった and もうわかっている ?

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#21 2009-10-30 12:40:34

spin13
Member

Re: Motion Verb + います/いるところ

くりな wrote:

These types of situations you can't translate directly unless you want to cheat and say 持つ has several meanings in English, but that's one way to just "avoid" the problem I guess.

How is that cheating?  持つ does have several meanings in English.

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#22 2009-10-31 01:16:02

fredma123
Member

Re: Motion Verb + います/いるところ

For instance, can you detect the difference between わかった and もうわかっている ?

I think わかった means I just understood at that point in time and had no understanding before.

I think もうわかっている sort of means like I already know.... or I had knowledge at a specific point in time already and that knowledge still continues/remains now.

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#23 2009-11-01 05:51:46

fredma123
Member

Re: Motion Verb + います/いるところ

What くりな is saying is true.

I was watching anime and heard this:

お前の視力、どこまで落ちている?

It's translated as:
How bad has your eyesight become?
not How bad is your eyesight becoming?

Of course, literally translated, How far has your eyesight dropped?

成長している

It's translated as:
He's improved.
not He's improving.

Of course, literally, he has grown.

I do find it funny that people say they have something when it's in their room. Hmm, no, I guess we say the same thing in English. However, we usually say "some." I have some lotion. The some doesn't directly mean it's in my room, but it's an implication of sorts. So you have to say "I have some lotion on me." to clarify. I find it quite interesting, actually. smile

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#24 2009-11-01 09:29:25

Allithus
Member

Re: Motion Verb + います/いるところ

fredma123 wrote:

お前の視力、どこまで落ちている?

It's translated as:
How bad has your eyesight become?
not How bad is your eyesight becoming?

"How bad is your eyesight becoming?" would be something like "お前の視力、どこまで落ちる"

One of the few things i'm clear on is that some of the ing in English is expressed with dictionary form in Japanese(do note dictionary form is not present tense at all), after all like the Japanese dictionary form ing-form can express future tense, further more neither ing nor ている always express a continuous state.

What i'm trying to say is English and Japanese classify their words differently, even through they have similarities English tense =\= Japanese form, it's better if you just completely forget about English tenses and study the ている form on its own. That's my opinion anyways.

Last edited by Allithus (2009-11-01 21:42:45)


书山有路勤为径,学海无涯苦作舟.苦海无涯,回头是岸.
The more diligent you are the faster you learn,the road to learning is filled with endless pain but the pain will take you to success.It might seems like endless pain and failure but success might be closer than you think.

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#25 2009-11-01 21:58:42

fredma123
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Re: Motion Verb + います/いるところ

Yeah I know 落ちる means falling. My teacher always refers to verbs as either imperfective or perfective. It's confusing sometimes because it isn't exactly simple present tense. Sometimes it's future tense, and sometimes it's the -ing in English. I like korean better, because it seems their tense classification is very similar to English. Actually, it seems they use the -ing form for falling and past tense for fell. They have a form exactly like -te form, but they only use it for connecting sentences.

I think I'll just use 落ちているところ, but then the difference is the exact moment I'm falling and just I'm falling.

Hmm, this looks like a good explanation:

For some verbs, that represent an ongoing process, the -te iru form regularly indicates a continuous (or progressive) tense. For others, that represent a change of state, the -te iru form regularly indicates a perfect tense. For example, kite imasu regularly means "I have come", and not "I am coming", but tabete imasu regularly means "I am eating", and not "I have eaten". Note that in this form the initial i of imasu/iru is often not voiced, especially in casual speech and the speech of young people. The exact meaning is determined from the context, as Japanese tenses do not always map one-to-one to English tenses. In addition, Japanese verbs are also conjugated to show various moods.

Last edited by fredma123 (2009-11-01 22:01:24)

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