Michael sees Ms. Tanaka standing outside.
Michael: Nani o shite iru n desu ka.
何 なに をしているんですか. What are you doing?
Tanaka: Shujin o matte iru no.
主人 しゅじん を待 ま っているの。 I’m waiting for my husband
Michael: E! Tanaka-san, kekkon shite iru n desu ka.
えっ！田中 たなか さん、結婚 けっこん しているんですか。What! You’re married?
Tanaka: Un, kyonen kekkon-shita no.
うん、去年 きょねん 結婚 けっこん したの。 Yes, I got married last year.
Michael: Hee. Shirimasen deshita.
へえ、知 し りませんでした。 Wow! I didn’t know.
shite iru している is doing See 9-1-1, 9-1-2
shujin しゅじん 主人 husband; my husband (plain)
+gojujin ごしゅじん ご主人 husband; your husband (formal)
+kanai かない 家内 wife; my wife (plain)
+okusan おくさん 奥さん wife; your wife (formal)
matsu まつ 待つ wait
matte iru まっている 待っている is waiting
E! えっ！ What! (Surprised)
kekkon けっこん 結婚 marriage
＋rikon りこん 離婚 divorce
＋kon yaku こんやく 婚約 engagement
＋dokushin どくしん 独身 single; unmarried
＋shinguru しんぐる シングル single
kekkon-suru けっこんする 結婚する get married
kekkon-shite iru けっこんしている 結婚している be married See 9-1-2
shiru しる 知る find out
shitte iru しっている 知っている know See 9-1-3
＋gozonji ごぞんじ ご存知 know (Honorific)
Verb Plain Past form and ~te form
Having learned how to make the plain forms of verbs, we will now learn the rules governing the formation of the Plain Past form.
Group 1: The rules are different depending on the final consonant of the verb
~(w)u, ~tsu ~ru -> tta kau -> katta, matsu ->matta, wakaru -> wakatta
~mu, ~nu, ~bu -> nda nomu -> nonda (shinu -> shinda, asobu -> asonda)
~ku -> ita kaku -> kaita
~gu -> ida isogu -> isoida
~su -> shita hanasu -> hanashita
You can memorize these rules by saying—u.tsu.ru-tta, mu.nu.bu-nda, ku-ita, gu-ida, sushita (うつるった、むぬぶんだ、くいた、ぐいだ、すした)
Group 2: ru -> ta taberu -> tabeta
Group 3: Memorize each irregular form. kuru -> kita, suru -> shita, iku -> itta, aru -> atta
Group 4: ru -> tta irassharu -> irasshatta, ossharu -> osshatta
To make the Past negative form, change nai -> nakatta
nomu -> nomanai -> namanakatta
taberu -> tabenai -> tabenakatta
The ~te form is made by switching the vowel /a/ of the Past form to /e/ (teàta; deàda).
nomu -> nonda -> nonde
taberu -> tabeta -> tabete
Congratulations! With this, we have completed all the three sentence types in Formal/Informal, Non-Past/Past, and Affirmative/Negative. Now let’s move on!
V-te iru: ‘be V-ing’ or ‘have V-ed’
The verb ~te form + iru has two basic meanings of Progressive or Resultative.
1. Progressive: On-going process (similar to the progressive form in English)
Ima, tabete iru. I’m eating now.
Mainichi renshuu-shite iru. I’m practicing everyday.
Asa wa benkyou-shite imashita. I was studying in the morning.
In this usage, the action may or may not be happening right at the moment, but it is repeated or continuous over a period of time, which can be short or long. This pattern implies there is a beginning and ending point, and therefore refers to a current and temporary action as opposed to a permanent characteristic. Compare the following.
Yasai o yoku tabemasu . I eat a lot of vegetables (as a general tendency).
Yasai o yoku tabete imasu. I’m eating a lot of vegetables (these days).
2. Resultative: a state resulting from an action or a past experience
Kuruma ni notte imasu. He is in the car.
Daigaku o sotsugyou-shite imasu.
I have graduated from college. (I’m a college graduate.)
The first example above indicates that you are now in the car, having gotten in the car. It does not normally mean that you are in the middle of trying to get in the car. Similarly, the second example indicates the status of being a college graduate, rather than someone being in the middle of their commencement ceremony.
Most verbs in the ~te-iru form can have the progressive and resultative meanings; the correct interpretation depends on the context.
Koohii o nonde imasu
Progressive: I am drinking coffee right now; I’m drinking coffee these days.
Resultative: I have had coffee (so I’m not sleepy.)
However, certain verbs in the te-iru form are normally interpreted as resultative, not progressive. These verbs are called ‘instantaneous verbs’ because they apply to actions that happen and end instantaneously and do not persist. These include kekkon-suru ‘marry’ and shiru ‘find out’. These instantaneous verbs in the ~te-iru form usually indicate the resultative state. Compare the following pairs.
Kekkon-shimasu. ‘I will get married.’(instantaneous action)
Kekkon-shite imasu. ‘I’m married.’ (resulted state)
Shirimasu. ‘I found it out.’ (instantaneous action)
Shitte imasu. “ I know it.’ (resulted state)
So, watch out for the difference in the meaning between the following.
Kekkon-shimasen. ‘I will not get married.’
Kekkon-shite imaenu. ‘I’m not married.’
Also, verbs of motion such as kuru, iku, and kaeru in the te-riu form normally are interpreted as referring to a state. Compare the following.
Musuko wa daigaku ni ikimasu.
My son will go to college (he will become a Freshman later, but not yet.)
Musuko wa daigaku ni itte imasu.
My son has gone to college (and he is there now) or
My son goes to college. (He is currently a college student.)
Itte imasu does not mean someone is on his way to some place. Similarly, kite imasu means someone has come here (and is here) or someone comes here regularly over a period of time. Compare the two responses below.
Honda-san wa imasu ka. Is Mr. Honda here?
Hai, kite imasu. Yes, he is here.
Ima kimasu. He’ll come soon.
In casual speech, /i/ of iru or imasu often drops. Thus you have the following.
Nani shite (i)ru no? What are you doing?
Meeru mite (i) masu. I’m looking at e-mails.
Shitte iru ‘ know’
As explained in 9-2-2, the verb shiru (Group 1) is an instantaneous verb meaning ‘find out; get to know’. Its te-iru form means a state of having found out something and having knowledge of something, namely ‘know’. Although the affirmative is in the teiru form, the negative ‘ I do not know’ is NOT in the te-iru form.
Ano hito shitte imasu ka. Do you know that person?
Formal: Iie, shirimasen. I don’t know.
Plain: Uun, shiranai. I don’t know.
Kore,shitte imashitaka. Did you know this?
Formal: Iie, shirimasen deshita. No, I didn't know.
Plain: Uun, shiranakatta. No, I didn’t know.
Itsu shirimashita ka. When did you find out?
The honorific form is gozonji, which is a noun.
Gozonji desu ka. Do you know?
Sensei wa gozonji ja nai desu.
The teacher does not know.