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Making -ing

Te iru Image

10 MINUTE LESSON RULES: 1. read each example outloud several times. 2. Pay close attention to the notes.

One important verb form is ~te iru. It can be compared with the English "be ~ing." Let's do some studyING!

A Prelude...
  • Basically how to make the te form.
    1. のむ nomu Arrow Image のん nonde (to drink)
    2. たべる taberuArrow Imageたべtabete (to eat)
    3. する suruArrow Image shite (to do)
  • います is the masu form of いる
始めましょう! Let's begin...

KEY SENTENCE: Please repeat several times:

nani wo shite imasu ka?
What are you doING?
ben kyou shite imasu
I am studyING

NOTE: Just like the English ~ing, it is assumed the action started in the past and continues now.

To use the form, change the first verb into the 'te' form. Then add the 'iru' or 'imasu.'

NOTE: Sometimes the English doesn't use ~ing. But it still describes what is being done NOW.

gojira wa okotte imasu.
Godzilla is angry. (angrying)

kuma no pu- san ga kakkouii to omotte imasu.
I think Winnie the Pooh is cool.
思っています omotteimasu - thinking or even now I think...)

NOTE: You may also use this form when stating things that are done on a regular basis: (even if you are not presently doing the activity)

mai nichi, nihongo wo ichi jikan benkyou shite imasu.
Everyday, I study Japanese for an hour.


  • 泣いている naite iru (or 泣いています) "be cryING"
  • 話している hanashite iru "be talkING"
  • スカイダイビングしている sukaidaibingu shite iru "be skydivING"

NOTE: Last thing - One exception: Movement verbs

  • 日本に行っています。nihon ni itte imasu. (He) went to Japan. (and is still there)
  • ここにきています。koko ni kite imasu. (He) came here. (and is still here)
  • うちに帰っています。uchi ni kaette imasu. (He) returned home. (and is still there)

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している and する

Hi. I've been wondering about the usage between these two...Here's an example:


Which one is it? Shiteimasu, or shimasu?

している and する

Either would be grammatically correct. There could be a slight difference in nuance, but they would both mean pretty much the same thing. It's really just:

I study Japanese every night.


I am studying Japanese every night.

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