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~ている versus ~ているところ

healer

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When should one use ~ているところ instead of ~ている to convey an action in progress?
Is it only when ~ている can possibly refer to a resultant state of a process or a habitually repeated action one uses ~ているところ for clarity? Some say one is more engaging when ~ているところ is used. But how can one not engaging if they’re in action.

Can one use ~ているところ to describe an action of a machine? For example 車が走っている or 車が走っているところ.

In English sometimes we use present continuous tense to describe what one is about to do. For example, one might say he is coming but he might not be on his way yet but is about to come. Could a sentence of ~ている form mean that? Do they have to use “present form of verb + ところ” for such meaning?

What about つつある? When should one use this instead for an action or a process in progress?

I came across the following sentence at FREE Japanese Word of the Day Widget - JapanesePod101.
女性が、巻寿司を食べようとしている。
The woman is about to eat a sushi roll.
When would one use ~食べようとしている instead of simply ~食べようとする? What could be the difference in meaning?

FREE Japanese Word of the Day Widget - JapanesePod101
男性が車のドアのカギを開けようとしている。
The man is unlocking the car door with the key.

Both the last sentence and the one before ended with ~ようとしている but were translated differently. The dictionary I looked up says “volitional form of verb + とする” means “to try to ..., to be about to do ...”. So the former seems translated correctly. However I have indeed come across quite a few translated for an action in progress. Is it something depending on the context again?

For the past tense of all these, is it simply a matter of changing いる to いた as follows.
~ている -> ~ていた
~ているところ -> ~ていたところ
 

bentenmusume

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healer said:
When should one use ~ているところ instead of ~ている to convey an action in progress?
Is it only when ~ている can possibly refer to a resultant state of a process or a habitually repeated action one uses ~ているところ for clarity?
Not "only", no. Even in cases where ~ている is being used to describe an action in progress, you can describe the same situation with ~ているところ to emphasize this. The change in nuance would be similar to the English sentences below.

今、晩ご飯を食べています。I'm eating dinner now.
今、晩ご飯を食べているところです。I'm in the middle of eating dinner right now.

healer said:
Can one use ~ているところ to describe an action of a machine? For example 車が走っている or 車が走っているところ.
Not entirely sure what you're getting at here, but the use of ~ところ does not require in any way that the subject be sentient.

~つつある is, generally speaking, a more formal/written expression. You won't encounter it all that often in everyday speech.

healer said:
女性が、巻寿司を食べようとしている。
The woman is about to eat a sushi roll.
When would one use ~食べようとしている instead of simply ~食べようとする? What could be the difference in meaning?
Because she's currently in the process of being about to perform the action.

女性が、巻寿司を食べようとする would mean something like "The woman will attempt to eat a sushi roll." or "The woman will be about to eat a sushi roll." and would be something of an odd utterance out of context.

Just consider the fundamental difference between する and している and apply it to the meaning of the volitional form + とする structure.

healer said:
男性が車のドアのカギを開けようとしている。
The man is unlocking the car door with the key.

Both the last sentence and the one before ended with ~ようとしている but were translated differently. The dictionary I looked up says “volitional form of verb + とする” means “to try to ..., to be about to do ...”. So the former seems translated correctly. However I have indeed come across quite a few translated for an action in progress. Is it something depending on the context again?
The example you quoted strikes me as just an example of the translation given being slightly free. I would try to understand the Japanese structure as best you can (I believe your resources and the clarifications provided by Toritoribe-san and myself here and in the other thread should give you enough to do that), rather than obsessing too much over the wording of the glosses/translations provided, as it is almost always impossible to fully grasp a Japanese structure like this solely through English.

healer said:
For the past tense of all these, is it simply a matter of changing いる to いた as follows.
~ている -> ~ていた
~ているところ -> ~ていたところ
It's perhaps important to note that depending on the context, both ~ていたところです and ~ているところでした would both be valid, with different nuances.

Your questions covered an awful lot of ground, and I probably haven't covered anything, so if you need any more clarification, please just ask.
 

Toritoribe

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In English sometimes we use present continuous tense to describe what one is about to do. For example, one might say he is coming but he might not be on his way yet but is about to come. Could a sentence of ~ている form mean that?
No.

Do they have to use “present form of verb + ところ” for such meaning?
It's an expression that can express that meaning.

What about つつある? When should one use this instead for an action or a process in progress?
As you would know, the ~ている form of a punctual verb can't express the progressive tense. ~つつある is important for these verbs.
e.g.
死につつある。
木が枯れつつある。
塔が倒れつつある。
 

healer

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Just consider the fundamental difference between する and している and apply it to the meaning of the volitional form + とする structure.
Not sure about this! With ~ようとする it already means "to try to ...; to be about to do ...", what more can we say with ~ようとしている - "is trying to ..., to be doing ..." perhaps? Under what circumstances would one ever say ~ようとする instead of ~ようとしている? You don't mind give me an example so that I can see a contrast? Thanks!

depending on the context, both ~ていたところです and ~ているところでした would both be valid, with different nuances
I would appreciate if you could give me an example each so that I can grasp the points better. Thanks!

the ~ている form of a punctual verb can't express the progressive tense
Is it where ~ているところ should come in for daily conversation since つつある is for formal or written expression?
 

Toritoribe

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Not sure about this! With ~ようとする it already means "to try to ...; to be about to do ...", what more can we say with ~ようとしている - "is trying to ..., to be doing ..." perhaps? Under what circumstances would one ever say ~ようとする instead of ~ようとしている? You don't mind give me an example so that I can see a contrast?
My reply in your another thread can be an answer also here.

I would appreciate if you could give me an example each so that I can grasp the points better.
ちょうど今料理を作っていたところです。
昨夜台所に入ると、ちょうど彼女が料理を作っているところでした。

Is it where ~ているところ should come in for daily conversation since つつある is for formal or written expression?
No. Written-language has nothing to do with punctual verbs.
 

healer

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ちょうど今料理を作っていたところです。
Is this one really past tense or rather perfect tense, especially 今 is in the sentence?
What is the difference in nuance between ~ていたところです and ~ているところでした?

the ~ている form of a punctual verb
If my memory serves me right, the ~ている form of a punctual verb refers to a resultant state of an action, so it is a past action. Then are the perfect tense of punctual verbs such as 死んだ,枯れた,and 倒れた and the like of punctual verbs ever used, never? I’m still no good at identifying punctual verbs. I vaguely remember that there’s some way to ascertain if a verb is punctual but it has slipped my mind.
I remember reading one of the posts at japanese.stackexchange.com on this subject talking about a man getting a response of メールを送くっている from his wife when he asked if the email had been sent. He had supposed it meant the email was being sent. His wife being a native Japanese told him she would have said メメールを送くっているところ. So I suppose 送る is a punctual verb. Am I right?

Written-language has nothing to do with punctual verbs.
I don't quite follow. Aren’t the examples you gave punctual verbs and つつある is more of a written language?
I had supposed there is no action in progress with punctual verbs. Are the definitions of “dying”, “tree is withering”, “tower is collapsing” applicable respectively?
 

Toritoribe

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Is this one really past tense or rather perfect tense, especially 今 is in the sentence?
It can be both "the cooking is finished right before the time" and "it's not finished but suspended."

What is the difference in nuance between ~ていたところです and ~ているところでした?
It's not nuance. ~ていたところです can't be used in the latter example.

If my memory serves me right, the ~ている form of a punctual verb refers to a resultant state of an action, so it is a past action.
Right.

are the perfect tense of punctual verbs such as 死んだ,枯れた,and 倒れた and the like of punctual verbs ever used, never?
Those are the past tense, an event occurred in the past. The temporal order of the events in punctual verbs is ~た --> ~ている, which is opposite of the order of durative verbs (~ている --> ~た).

猫が昨日死んだ。
今、猫は死んでいる。

去年庭の木が枯れた。
今、庭の木は枯れている。

cf.
今朝食を食べている。
さっき朝食を食べた。

I’m still no good at identifying punctual verbs. I vaguely remember that there’s some way to ascertain if a verb is punctual but it has slipped my mind.
One of the most common ways of distinguishing durative and punctual verbs is to check whether the ~ている form of the verb makes sense with "for an hour" or not. For instance, unlike 一時間歩いている or 一時間勉強している, 一時間死んでいる or 一時間木が枯れている don't make sense.

I remember reading one of the posts at japanese.stackexchange.com on this subject talking about a man getting a response of メールを送くっている from his wife when he asked if the email had been sent. He had supposed it meant the email was being sent. His wife being a native Japanese told him she would have said メメールを送くっているところ. So I suppose 送る is a punctual verb. Am I right?
I don't understand why you think so. "The -te form of punctual verb + いるところ" usually don't make sense in the first place. ところ means "in the middle of doing", as already explained, but "the -te form of punctual verb + いる" is not the progressive tense. 死んでいるところ or 枯れているところ usually refers to a place/situation, not "in the middle of doing."

メールを送っているところ(く is unnecessary) has a nuance of excuse, which is a function of ところ.
e.g.
A: メールはもう送ったの?
B: 今送っているところ!

Aren’t the examples you gave punctual verbs and つつある is more of a written language?
Written language is not the same as obsolete. It's really used. Plus, つつある is written-language also with durative verbs, not only with punctual verbs. That's what I meant by "Written-language has nothing to do with punctual verbs."

I had supposed there is no action in progress with punctual verbs.
Right.

Are the definitions of “dying”, “tree is withering”, “tower is collapsing” applicable respectively?
~つつある is exactly the one.
 

healer

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My reply in your another thread can be an answer also here.
I’m not sure how that would have answered my question. If we’re talking about the fundamental difference as I understand the する form is for the simple present and the future, the ~ている for action in progress while ~ているところ in the middle of action. Whereas the ~ている form of punctual verbs is the resultant state of the action.
So can I simply say ~ようとするmeans "to try to ...; to be about to do whereas ~ようとしている - "is trying to ..., to be doing ..."?

It can be both "the cooking is finished right before the time" and "it's not finished but suspended."
Re: ちょうど今料理を作っていたところです。
I guess 作っていた means “was cooking”. As ところ after past form of a verb means “was just doing, was in the process of doing, have just done, just finished doing”, so I suppose 作っていたところ would be more likely to mean “was just cooking”. Is this right?

It's not nuance. ~ていたところです can't be used in the latter example.
If I may, could I ask why it can’t be used with the other?

"The -te form of punctual verb + いるところ" usually don't make sense in the first place.
Were you saying 送る is a durative verb and only durative verbs can go with いるところ? And ところ after ている with punctual verb would be a physical place, not an action in progress. Is it correct?

メールを送っているところ(く is unnecessary) has a nuance of excuse, which is a function of ところ.
If you were saying 送る is a durative verb, then it should be alright to have 送っているところ. Am I right? Then why would you have said the use of ところ there was just an excuse and unnecessary?

By the way I came across the following the other day. Shouldn’t it be ~存在しているinstead of 存在する according to the translation for something that has existed since long ago and also exists for the present and will exist in the foreseeable future?
FREE Japanese Word of the Day Widget - JapanesePod101
ワニは、数百万年前から地球上に存在する。
Alligators have lived on Earth for millions of years.
 

Toritoribe

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する form is for the simple present
No. The dictionary form of action verbs, whether it's a durative or punctual verb, usually can't express the simple present tense.

彼は寿司を食べる is not his present action. It's future, or habitual action, and odd without an appropriate context, something like 明日寿司を食べる or 毎週寿司を食べる. The same goes with 彼は結婚する.

Remember, your question about する vs. している is originally to the following bentenmusume-san's explanation.
女性が、巻寿司を食べようとする would mean something like "The woman will attempt to eat a sushi roll." or "The woman will be about to eat a sushi roll." and would be something of an odd utterance out of context.

I suppose 作っていたところ would be more likely to mean “was just cooking”. Is this right?
No. It's 作っている/いたところでした.

If I may, could I ask why it can’t be used with the other?
My reply above is the answer.

Were you saying 送る is a durative verb and only durative verbs can go with いるところ? And ところ after ている with punctual verb would be a physical place, not an action in progress. Is it correct?
Yes, but it's not just a physical place. A scene/situation in mind is also possible.
e.g.
飼い猫が死んでいるところを想像して、泣いてしまった。

If you were saying 送る is a durative verb, then it should be alright to have 送っているところ. Am I right?
Right.

Then why would you have said the use of ところ there was just an excuse and unnecessary?
Please read more carefully my reply. I wrote "メールを送っているところ( is unnecessary)" because you did a typo/mistake メールをっている.

By the way I came across the following the other day. Shouldn’t it be ~存在しているinstead of 存在する according to the translation for something that has existed since long ago and also exists for the present and will exist in the foreseeable future?
Some verbs perform like a state verb (ある, いる, 要る, できる), so the dictionary form also works well there. The dictionary form is mostly used in written language.
e.g.
この道は隣町まで続く/続いている。
目の前に雄大な景色が広がる/広がっている。
 

healer

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彼は結婚する
Is it that “He is getting married” since it can only be future or habitual action?

ちょうど今料理を作っていたところです
昨夜台所に入ると、ちょうど彼女が料理を作っているところでした
I had supposed the main verbs of the two examples you gave, i.e. 作っていたところです and 作っているところでした both mean “was just cooking”. I don’t know where we have to use one and not the other though.

It's 作っている/いたところでした.
Sorry, I don’t quite follow your answer here. Did you mean “was just cooking” has to be 作っているでした or 作っていたところでした?

My reply above is the answer.
Which post of this thread were you referring to?

I wrote "メールを送っているところ( is unnecessary)"
I apologised that I took your kana く as a left-pointing arrow highlighting ところ.

この道は隣町まで続く/続いている。
目の前に雄大な景色が広がる/広がっている。
Were you saying that both 続く and 広がる in your examples together with 存在する in mine as well as ある, いる, 要る, できる you suggested earlier can all perform like a state verb? How do I identify others?
 
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