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-て confusion.

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-て confusion.

Postby Aoiunmei » Mon 03.08.2010 7:54 pm

Hey, so i just have a question...

When conjoining verbs with て, How would i know when something like 見てくる will mean "come see" and not "will see (and then) come"?
As i understand; the conjoining of verbs in with て allows for both connecting verbs without the need of something like "そして" to describe doing/having done something after something else. So I understand that for the most part てworks chronologically yes?...
So i guess my question here is;
How would i know when something like sayyy,..."食べてきた" means "came and ate" and not "ate and then came"? Or when something like "見てきて" means "come and see" and not "see and then come"?
Is there something like a specific group of constructions that needs to be memorized?
and if so, how would I know when to use/recognize them?
Perhaps I am over-complicating things here?

Thanks in advance anyway. :)
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Re: -て confusion.

Postby chikara » Mon 03.08.2010 9:49 pm

TJPへようこそ  :)

Aoiunmei wrote:..... So I understand that for the most part てworks chronologically yes?...

That is one of its uses. There is indeed a specific group of "constructions" that needs to be memorised.

In addition to ~ていく/きる another very common use of the ~て form of a verb is to indicate an induring state, for example 食べている means "eating". Yet another common usage is in requests, for example 食べてください, "please eat".

Tim Matheson's Japanese Verbs also explains a number of uses of the ~て form including Te Form + kuru / iku.

Have a read of Tae Kim's Grammar Guide on Other uses of the te-form and Making Requests. It may make things clearer.
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Re: -て confusion.

Postby becki_kanou » Wed 03.10.2010 1:05 am

Aoiunmei wrote:Hey, so i just have a question...

When conjoining verbs with て, How would i know when something like 見てくる will mean "come see" and not "will see (and then) come"?
As i understand; the conjoining of verbs in with て allows for both connecting verbs without the need of something like "そして" to describe doing/having done something after something else. So I understand that for the most part てworks chronologically yes?...
So i guess my question here is;
How would i know when something like sayyy,..."食べてきた" means "came and ate" and not "ate and then came"? Or when something like "見てきて" means "come and see" and not "see and then come"?
Is there something like a specific group of constructions that needs to be memorized?
and if so, how would I know when to use/recognize them?
Perhaps I am over-complicating things here?
Thanks in advance anyway. :)


With the 〜ていく/〜てくる form you are asking about the main verb always occurs before the going or coming, so: 「食べて来た」 means only "I ate before I came." If you want to say "I came and ate.", you have to reverse the verbs: 「来て、食べた」.

Another pattern that might be useful is: Xに〜しにいく/〜しにくる. This means go/come to X to/ for the purpose of 〜.
For example:
スーパーに買い物をしに行った。I went to the supermarket to shop.
太郎さんはお手紙を渡しに来た。 Tarou came to deliver a letter.
映画館にアバターを見に行きましょう。Let's go to the cinema to watch Avatar.
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Re: -て confusion.

Postby Aoiunmei » Wed 03.10.2010 6:19 pm

becki_kanou wrote:
With the 〜ていく/〜てくる form you are asking about the main verb always occurs before the going or coming, so: 「食べて来た」 means only "I ate before I came." If you want to say "I came and ate.", you have to reverse the verbs: 「来て、食べた」.

Another pattern that might be useful is: Xに〜しにいく/〜しにくる. This means go/come to X to/ for the purpose of 〜.
For example:
スーパーに買い物をしに行った。I went to the supermarket to shop.
太郎さんはお手紙を渡しに来た。 Tarou came to deliver a letter.
映画館にアバターを見に行きましょう。Let's go to the cinema to watch Avatar.


Ah I see! That actually cleared up a lot for me as I felt my question was badly phrased :sweatdrop:. I was actually going to ask what the protocol for "the purpose of ---" was too. Lol.

I used to see/hear things like "テレビを見てきて" every so often, and with my amateur grasp of things I would be a bit confused, but adding にいく /くる after the verb base as you said does indeed make much more sense when conveying purpose.
ありがとうございます. :)
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