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Present Perfect Tense

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Present Perfect Tense

Postby Mr.Paper » Thu 09.03.2009 9:49 pm

I have a question on the Japanese Present Perfect Tense, an action that began in the past and continues through the present. Since its formed the way the -teiru form is formed, does the clause have to have something that indicates a time element?
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Re: Present Perfect Tense

Postby jcdietz03 » Thu 09.03.2009 10:01 pm

Please check this page, specifically the example sentences.
http://www.guidetojapanese.org/enduring.html

I think this will answer your question.
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Re: Present Perfect Tense

Postby Mr.Paper » Thu 09.03.2009 10:04 pm

I can't find an answer to my question.
Last edited by Mr.Paper on Sun 09.06.2009 12:02 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Present Perfect Tense

Postby Sairana » Fri 09.04.2009 12:31 am

Mr.Paper wrote:I can't find anything that answers my question


The fact that most of the example sentences don't contain a time element doesn't shed any light on it?
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Re: Present Perfect Tense

Postby Mr.Paper » Sat 09.05.2009 11:50 pm

Sairana wrote:
Mr.Paper wrote:I can't find anything that answers my question


The fact that most of the example sentences don't contain a time element doesn't shed any light on it?

The link is not about the present perfect tense. I don't understand what it is talking about. That website is not good for grammar info.
Last edited by Mr.Paper on Sat 09.05.2009 11:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Present Perfect Tense

Postby Mr.Paper » Sat 09.05.2009 11:52 pm

Also I heard that the past form can also be used as the present perfect tense. (I have walked, I have eaten.) How do I let the person i'm talking to know that I will be using the Present Perfect?
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Re: Present Perfect Tense

Postby spin13 » Sun 09.06.2009 12:12 am

Mr.Paper wrote:How do I let the person i'm talking to know that I will be using the Present Perfect?

You don't because Japanese isn't like English. Japanese doesn't have a present perfect tense.

Mr.Paper wrote:Also I heard that the past form can also be used as the present perfect tense. (I have walked, I have eaten.)

Yes. For example, Japanese doesn't distinguish between "Did you finish?" and "Have you finished?" and thus they both use the past tense, 「終わった?」.

Mr.Paper wrote:The link is not about the present perfect tense. I don't understand what it is talking about. That website is not good for grammar info.

The link above does have information on one of the main tenses used in Japanese when the present perfect would be used in English.

Another common construction, ~したことがある, that overlaps with English's present perfect is covered here.
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Re: Present Perfect Tense

Postby keatonatron » Sun 09.06.2009 12:22 am

Mr.Paper wrote:Also I heard that the past form can also be used as the present perfect tense. (I have walked, I have eaten.) How do I let the person i'm talking to know that I will be using the Present Perfect?


There is no present perfect (like this) in Japanese.

For simply stating something that you have completed, you can use the simple past tense.

"I have eaten already"
もう食べました。

This can also be translated as "I already ate".

When using "have [verb]" to show experience (I have been to Japan), you use the [verb-past]+ことがある construction.

"I have read this book (before)"
この本を読んだことがある。

Also, if you are trying to show that an action was done in preparation (anticipation) of something else, you can use the [verb]ておく construction. It is quite nuanced, though, so it might be better to study that one once you come across it in context.

EDIT: Got distracted while writing my post, allowing Spin to sneak in and ninja his answer in before mine!

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Re: Present Perfect Tense

Postby Mr.Paper » Sun 09.06.2009 12:25 am

keatonatron wrote:
Mr.Paper wrote:Also I heard that the past form can also be used as the present perfect tense. (I have walked, I have eaten.) How do I let the person i'm talking to know that I will be using the Present Perfect?


There is no present perfect (like this) in Japanese.

For simply stating something that you have completed, you can use the simple past tense.

"I have eaten already"
もう食べました。

This can also be translated as "I already ate".

When using "have [verb]" to show experience (I have been to Japan), you use the [verb-past]+ことがある construction.

"I have read this book (before)"
この本を読んだことがある。

Also, if you are trying to show that an action was done in preparation (anticipation) of something else, you can use the [verb]ておく construction. It is quite nuanced, though, so it might be better to study that one once you come across it in context.

Ahh, thank you very much. And yes I have heard about the "-ta koto ga aru" which means to have experienced. Thank you for your help.
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Re: Present Perfect Tense

Postby Mr.Paper » Sun 09.06.2009 12:30 am

BTW wouldn't "koto ga aru" mean to experience? Or wait, hmm, I don't think it does. I think its just -ta koto ga aru.
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Re: Present Perfect Tense

Postby furrykef » Sun 09.06.2009 1:30 am

"[verb]-ta koto ga aru" literally means "The thing of having [verb]ed exists." "Koto ga aru" by itself doesn't really mean anything except "something exists".

Sometimes -te iru can be used as a sort of present perfect, but no good examples come to mind right now. It's also easily confused with the other meaning of -te iru, which is "is [verb]ing".

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Re: Present Perfect Tense

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sun 09.06.2009 8:52 am

furrykef wrote:"
Sometimes -te iru can be used as a sort of present perfect, but no good examples come to mind right now. It's also easily confused with the other meaning of -te iru, which is "is [verb]ing".


あの本はもう読んでいる (I've already read that book)
日本に行っている (I have been to Japan)

This tends to be used instead of past (or ことがある) when the fact that the verb has happened continues to affect something in the present. For instance, the second sentence up there could be used to explain why someone knows a lot about Japan, or something like that. (Note that the second sentence could also mean "He has gone to Japan [and is there now]" depending on the context.)
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