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koto and -te iru

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koto and -te iru

Postby roomwithamoose » Thu 09.01.2005 10:49 pm

Hi everyone,

I've been studying Japanese on my own for the past three months and I'm currently really confused about the difference between koto and -te iru. In english, adding -ing can do two things, making the present participle which makes the verb an adjective or the present progressive when used with a form of the word to be meaning you are doing it right now, and it can also make a gerund which makes a verb a noun. Here are some examples, how would you translate them into japanese:

Present participle:
There is a talking horse.
There was a talking horse.

Gerund:
I am running.

I'm just confused on in which cases you would use koto or -te iru. For example which would be correct:

sushi o taberu koto suki desu.
sushi o tabete imasu suki desu.

Also, what does the -te form of iru do? Thank you for all the help, I apologize if this question is too complicated, all of you guys are such experts :D.
Last edited by roomwithamoose on Thu 09.01.2005 11:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: koto and -te iru

Postby Harisenbon » Fri 09.02.2005 12:29 am

こと is used when you are making a noun phrase such as すしとたべることがすきです

ています is used for present actions はしています.

ている is the casual form of ています
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RE: koto and -te iru

Postby redfoxer » Fri 09.02.2005 6:37 am

as harisenbon has said, the koto sentence is correct. remember as a rule of thumb that verbs tend to go at the end of sentences, hence hashite imasu, i am running, is correct.
"sushi o tabete imasu suki desu" doesnt seem correct at all since the verb is in the center of the sentence (i know in complex sentences verbs tend appear to be in the middle, but broken down, verbs nearly always go to the end) also, your stacking imasu with desu in that sentence which is a big no no.
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RE: koto and -te iru

Postby Spaztick » Fri 09.02.2005 1:02 pm

Don't forget the "shortened" form of ~teiru, it always seems to go to ~teru, with the i missing. :D
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RE: koto and -te iru

Postby redfoxer » Fri 09.02.2005 2:56 pm

yup, giving forms to ai shiteru and nani wo shiteru :)
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RE: koto and -te iru

Postby roomwithamoose » Fri 09.02.2005 4:21 pm

I think I'm starting to understand. I just don't understand why it would be sushi o taberu koto, doesn't eating become an adverb as to describe what you do to the sushi, and not a noun? Although I do understand how -teiru is incorrect in that situation. In that case, to say there was a talking horse one would say, uwa o hanasu koto imashita. Correct? Thanks a ton everyone!
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RE: koto and -te iru

Postby aoeuaoeuaoeu » Fri 09.02.2005 4:27 pm

"sushi o tabete imasu suki desu" doesnt seem correct at all since the verb is in the center of the sentence (i know in complex sentences verbs tend appear to be in the middle, but broken down, verbs nearly always go to the end) also, your stacking imasu with desu in that sentence which is a big no no.


You underestimate Harisenbon here! It's not 'sushi o tabete imasu suki desu', it's 'sushi *to* taberukoto ga suki desu' as in 'I like sushi and eating'. His example shows how to make a verb act like a noun (i.e. 食べること).
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RE: koto and -te iru

Postby aoeuaoeuaoeu » Fri 09.02.2005 4:46 pm

I asked a Japanese friend and litterally, 'A talking horse' would be 「馬を話す」. But to say 「馬を話すがいました」 was, in his oppinion, strange.

I am running. -> 歯している
I like to eat sushi. -> すしを食べるがすきです (maybe someone can confirm?)

RedFoxer, I just re-read OP's post and I realized that it's him you quoted. Sorry!
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RE: koto and -te iru

Postby Kates » Fri 09.02.2005 4:54 pm

fuasu... you used the wrong kanji for HA.... that kanji (歯) means "tooth". >_> And it's spelled wrong. It should be: 走っている (hashitte-iru).

"Uma wo hanasu" doesn't sound to me like "talking horse". Why isn't it "hanashite-iru uma"....?

I think "sushi wo taberu ga suki desu" sounds fine. But why not just say "sushi ga suki desu" and not worry about it sounding weird? ^_^
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RE: koto and -te iru

Postby Justin » Fri 09.02.2005 4:56 pm

roomwithamoose wrote:
In that case, to say there was a talking horse one would say, uwa o hanasu koto imashita. Correct? Thanks a ton everyone!


Let's break this down and see where things are going wrong...

うま を はなす こと いました= There was horse talking (also missing the が before いました there too)

はなしている うま が いました = There was a talking horse

Saying 'uma o hanasu' literaly mean speak horse, what you want is hanashiteiru (talking) uma which gives you talking horse.
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RE: koto and -te iru

Postby aoeuaoeuaoeu » Fri 09.02.2005 5:27 pm

Kates, thanks for the correction. Complex kanji + small font = *Bah, it must be the right one!*

...not always T_T

I think there is confusion because in english 'v-ing' form has multiple use (I'm eating, there is a talking dog, etc.)
Would it be correct to say that in Japanese 'v-te form + iru/imasu' is equivalent to English's present progressive and that the parallel between both languages' verb form stop there, even if obviously both languages can use that verb form to mean other things.
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RE: koto and -te iru

Postby Justin » Fri 09.02.2005 6:32 pm

Kates wrote:
I think "sushi wo taberu ga suki desu" sounds fine. But why not just say "sushi ga suki desu" and not worry about it sounding weird? ^_^

The problem there is you're pretty much saying "I like eat sushi", you need to use either koto or no to be able to use verbs with ga like that.
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RE: koto and -te iru

Postby roomwithamoose » Fri 09.02.2005 6:52 pm

Ok so currently I understand that ている is equivelent to the English present progressive and that こと is equivelent to an english gerund, usually this is required if a verb in japanese isn't at the end of the sentance. The only thing unclear to me is how to make a present participle, another words, a verb an adjective. Would you just follow Harisenbon's method of used the particle と with the noun and the verb + こと? ありがと ございます!
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RE: koto and -te iru

Postby Harisenbon » Fri 09.02.2005 9:06 pm

When you say a verb into an adjective, do you mean something like this?

# Dark billowing clouds often precede a storm.
# Racing cars can go as fast as 400kph.
# He was trapped inside the burning house.
# Many of his paintings depict the setting sun.

When you use a verb like this, you have the verb and then the noun that it modifies directly afterwards. for example.

沈んでいる日 - setting sun - Sinking + sun
燃えている家 - burning house - burning + house

but it doesn:t have to be in present form

死んだ猫 - dead cat - past form
ゾンビーに食べられた脳みそ - brains eaten by a zombie - passive past form

Hope that helps.
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RE: koto and -te iru

Postby Kates » Fri 09.02.2005 11:54 pm

Justin: You have a knack for pointing out my mistakes, I think. ^_^ I knew better than that... Maybe I was just feeling high on my talking horse and slipped. ^_^ Thank you~

~sushi wo taberu-koto ga suki desu~
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