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healer

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大人になっていく過程で、いつも、日本社会がどんなものであるのか、日本とはどんな国か、想像を膨らませてもいたと思います。

The sentence is talking about the past, but the only verb that is in perfect tense is 膨らませてもいた.
Should 大人になっていく過程で be 大人になっていった過程で instead?
So are the next two verbs. Should であるのか be であったのか and the following か be だったか?
Can it be rewritten for the same meaning as 大人になっていった過程で、いつも、日本社会がどんなものであったのか、日本とはどんな国だったか、想像を膨らませてもいたと思います。

Can 日本社会がどんなものであるのか be rewritten to be 日本社会がどんなものか?
 

Toritoribe

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Should 大人になっていく過程で be 大人になっていった過程で instead?
No. なっていった can be used but なっていく is more natural.

So are the next two verbs. Should であるのか be であったのか and the following か be だったか?
No and no.

Can it be rewritten for the same meaning as 大人になっていった過程で、いつも、日本社会がどんなものであったのか、日本とはどんな国だったか、想像を膨らませてもいたと思います。
No.

Can 日本社会がどんなものであるのか be rewritten to be 日本社会がどんなものか?
It's understandable, but those two expressions are not the same in nuance.


Have you ever learned the Japanese tense system properly from textbooks or something? Have you never seen the present form is used for a past event or the past form is used in a present or future event so far?
 

healer

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It's understandable, but those two expressions are not the same in nuance.
Am I right the former is usually used for written purpose like in reports and papers and the latter is causal form?

Have you ever learned the Japanese tense system properly from textbooks or something? Have you never seen the present form is used for a past event or the past form is used in a present or future event so far?
I have learnt that the tense is always based on the main verb. I have also learnt the verbs that go with とare always in the present tense. Having said that I have also come across verbs not in the main part of sentence set out in the perfect tense. Perhaps my learning is incomplete in this respect. I need to know when the verbs can be in present tense while referring to the past.
 

Toritoribe

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Well, I don't think it's explained in a single chapter or something. It's usually taught through several topics like tense in conditional clauses, tense in modifying clauses, temporal order between the subordinate and main clause, etc., etc. in textbooks. You need to learn it through these topics, not like the way by searching "when the verbs can be in present tense while referring to the past".
 

healer

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Thanks Toritoribe-san for your advice!

conditional clauses
I am thinking of the following.

とfor unavoidable fact where the first part of the sentence whose verb or い-adjectives is always in dictionary form, だappends toな-adjective or noun before と. ない/くないand でない for the negative. The second part of the sentence is always in non-past form.

ても/でも for reverse condition having も following the て or で-form of verbs as appropriate and くて for the い-adjectives, でも after な-adjective or noun. なくて/くなくて and でなくて for the negative.

ば/なら whereう sound for verb in dictionary form changed to え sound followed with ば, い of い-adjective changed to ければ and ならgoes with な-adjective and noun. All the negative forms go with なければ .

たら where plain past form of verb or い-adjective goes beforeら, だったら after な-adjectives or nouns. Negative forms hasなかったら and くなかったら for verbs and い-adjectives respectively でなかったらafter な-adjective or noun.

tense in modifying clauses, temporal order between the subordinate and main clause, etc., etc. in textbooks
I had been through two set of textbooks, such as Genki and Elementary Japanese by Yoko Hasegawa, plus some educational web sites. I don't expect remember everything I had covered. I could even have misunderstood or not fully grasped everything. However I expect continual repetition and immersion will help me get there one day though it might take a long long while.

I would repeatedly review everything as I go wherever necessary but I’m not sure what tense in modifying clauses, temporal order between the subordinate and main clause you were referring to. Could you please give me some relevant Japanese words or grammar points for me to look up though they might be many? If it is a big ask, I would certainly appreciate at least the specific grammar point for the example sentence in question here. I thank you for your kind attention.
 

Toritoribe

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とfor unavoidable fact where the first part of the sentence whose verb or い-adjectives is always in dictionary form, だappends toな-adjective or noun before と. ない/くないand でない for the negative. The second part of the sentence is always in non-past form.
The main clause can be past.
e.g.
庭の木は、春になると花が咲きました。

ても/でも for reverse condition having も following the て or で-form of verbs as appropriate and くて for the い-adjectives, でも after な-adjective or noun. なくて/くなくて and でなくて for the negative.
The -te form does not have any tense in the first place.

ば/なら whereう sound for verb in dictionary form changed to え sound followed with ば, い of い-adjective changed to ければ and ならgoes with な-adjective and noun. All the negative forms go with なければ .
You shouldn't treat -tara conditional and -nara conditional in the same category. The former doesn't have tense, but the latter has. "Present form + なら" and "past form + なら" are not the same.
e.g.
お酒を飲んだなら、車に乗ってはいけません。(temporal order: お酒を飲む --> 車に乗る)
お酒を飲むなら、電車で行ったほうがいいですよ。(temporal order: 電車で行く --> お酒を飲む)

たら where plain past form of verb or い-adjective goes beforeら, だったら after な-adjectives or nouns. Negative forms hasなかったら and くなかったら for verbs and い-adjectives respectively でなかったらafter な-adjective or noun.
Yes, the -tara conditional is always "past form + ら".

You need to realize that these present and past forms don't represent tense in conditional clauses.

I’m not sure what tense in modifying clauses, temporal order between the subordinate and main clause you were referring to.
For instance, regarding modifying clause,

and ~とき clause for the temporal order of the two clauses.
 
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