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dhmkhkk

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So I came across a few sentences with まま in it and unfortunately I just cannot fully understand how it is used. Some sentences are pretty logical for me, e.g.:

1. 弟はテレビをつけたままです。
My younger brother left the TV on (left the TV in the state of being "on") -> understandable since the word まま is translated as "state" or "condition". As far as I understand it also has a hint of "it still remains the same".

If you (@Toritoribe ) remember, we had such a fun thread before :emoji_disappointed_relieved: about translating a song (only after digging it up and rereading it I realized how horrible and obnoxious I was, so I am really trully sorry :emoji_pray:).

So there was also a case of まま there.The sentence went as follows:
言葉にできず凍えたままで
人前ではやさしく生きていた

I said 凍えたまま means "frozen", and it still remains frozen. At least it was when the dictionary told me.
You wrote the following: "That's the meaning of まま as the predicative (e.g 凍えたままだ). AままB means B is done/happens in the state of A, for instance 彼は立ったまま寝ている He is sleeping while standing up, thus, it's not "still remains frozen"."

Translating a japanese song thread.

2. I understand what you mean with AままB, but in 凍えたままで isn't で from です? Isn't it a predicative and should be translated like "he was in a frozen state [and probably still is]"?

3. 彼は立ったまま寝ている. What is the difference with 彼は立ちながら寝ている?

4. I don't quite get how the "state" is visible from the following sentence:
ビルを買ったまま飲まなかった。
I was in the state of buying beer but I didn't drink it? While buying beer I didn't drink it? So confusing... :/

5. And the most horrible sentence of all:
聞いたままを友だちに話しました。
The official translation is "I told my friend exactly what I heard". What? Why? If this translation is correct, then the meaning of まま here would be "stuff". "the stuff which I heard を 友だちに 話しました."

Thanks as always for your help :emoji_blush:
 

Toritoribe

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2)
Indeed で is 連用形 (-masu stem) of the copula だ/です in that sentence, but this is not the predicative but an adverbial clause expressing the state. You don't say "while standing up" is the predicative of the sentence "He is sleeping while standing up", or similarly 持ったまま in 彼はカバンを持ったまま(で)立っている "He is standing while/with having a bag", right? The point is the relation in meaning between 凍えたままで and the predicative 生きていた. で is just the continuous usage of the -masu stem of the copula だ in 身体は凍えたままで(=凍えたままだったし)、家はまだ遠かった "My body was frozen, and my home was still far away", for instance.

3)
まま is for state, and ながら is for action/movement.
e.g.
彼女は床に倒れたまま(で)(=倒れているまま(で))叫んだ。
She shouted in the state that she was laying down on the floor. She already fell down on the floor, and didn't get up yet.

彼女は床に倒れながら(=倒れていきながら)叫んだ。
She shouted sometime between starting falling down and finishing falling down on the floor. She didn't completely lay down on the floor yet.

When ながら is attached to a state, ながら is an adversative conjunction, similar to のに. 立ちながら would be interpreted as 立っていながら/立っているのに "although he is standing up" in your example sentence.

4)
ビル means building. Beer is ビル.
買ったまま means in the state of after completing the action (buying beer), as same as 倒れたまま above. You already bought beer, and usually you would drink it, but actually you didn't.

5)
まま performs like a noun. 聞いたまま is not an adverbial clause, but a noun clause as the same meaning as 聞いたままのこと "exactly what you heard".
 

dhmkhkk

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Thank you! :)

2. So basically, as for what I have seen so far, you can always kind of translate/understand "まま" as "state". I have to find some kind of logic in English in order to understand it :/ Do I understand it (more or less) correctly:

凍えたままで生きていた - I used to live while being in a frozen state
彼はカバンを持ったまま(で)立っている - he is standing while being in a state of holding a bag
By the way, why is it past - 持った? How about 彼はカバンを持つまま? I remember in the song translation you insisted on the correct translation of 凍えた and you were not very pleased with the translation "frozen", but "he was frozen". Yet in the 彼はカバンを持ったまま立っている example where the action of standing is happening in the present, you use 持ったまま. Could you explain me your reasoning behind it?

3. Just to clarify... State and action verbs. Is it the same as intransitive/transitive verbs? From what I've seen in Genki this seems to be the case.
e.g. 店が10じに開く - intransitive, stative
私は窓を開ける - transitive, action.

So, could such a sentence exist 店が10じに開きながら朝寝坊した and would it mean "Even though the shop opens at 10, I overslept"?

5. I'm sorry I don't quite get it. Could you please try to explain it from some other angle? I still fail to see where the meaning of "state" is hidden there and where is the "exactly what you heard". Could you maybe give a couple of other examples like this? Thank you.
 

Toritoribe

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2)
Notice that the tense system in Japanese grammar is not the same as the one in English. The past form can express the perfect tense in Japanese. 凍えた and 持った both express that the action is/was completed, and まま shows that the state "the action is completed" continues. For instance, in テレビをつけたままです, the action "to turn on the TV" was completed, and the state "the TV is on" continues, thus, it means "left the TV on" as a result. As for my translation of 凍えたままで, I used the past form "was frozen" because of the tense of the main predicative 生きていた. (The past form 生きていた doesn't mean 今は生きていない/死んでいる "he is not alive/he is dead now" here, as you know. Thus, it shows that the state "to live while being frozen" is already finished now. That's why it's not "still being frozen".) Now you can see why 持ったまま is the present tense in 持ったまま立っている, right?

Incidentally, 持つ is a punctual verb(瞬間動詞), so 持っている expresses the present state resulting from the past action. Therefore カバンを持ったまま can be rephrased as カバンを持っているまま, as same as the example 倒れたまま vs. 倒れているまま in my post above. On the other hand, 買う is a durative verb(継続動詞), so 買っている expresses an on-going action, i.e., the present progressive tense. Therefore 買ったまま can't be rephrased as 買っているまま. (As you can see, you need to learn about ~ている form properly to understand this concept.)

"The present form + まま" can express state when it's state verbs, adjectives, negative forms, potential forms, -tai forms, etc. since these words express "state".
e.g.
彼はまだ部屋の中にいるままだ。(いる is a state verb.)
The state "he is in the room" still continues. (= He is still in the room.)

日本の物価は高いままだ。
The state "prices in Japan is high" still continues. (= Prices in Japan remain high.)

3)
Not really. "State vs. action" is a different concept from "intransitive vs. transitive". 開く and 開ける are both action. (By the way, 開く-開ける is not appropriate as an example of transitive-intransitive verb pair. It's a bit special since it's actually 開(ひら)く vs. 開(あ)く vs. 開(あ)ける, and ひらく can be both transitive and intransitive (店をひらく and 店がひらく are both valid).)

5)
"The words in the same state as I heard" is the same as "exactly what I heard" in meaning. Makes sense?
e.g.
見たままを絵に描いた。
思ったままを口にした
感じたままを手紙に書いた。
 

dhmkhkk

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2.
As for my translation of 凍えたままで, I used the past form "was frozen" because of the tense of the main predicative 生きていた.
I get what you mean. As in English: frozen, I used to live in front of people - frozen, I live in front of people. "frozen" is still in the past participle form, even though the meaning of the sentence could be in the present.

As you can see, you need to learn about ~ている form properly to understand this concept.
I couldn't agree more. Actually, all I know about ~ている are explanations from Genki. It was a good start, but I feel that there is more to it. Or maybe they didn't explain it long enough and the exercises were too scarce. Anyway, here is what I know:
there are 3 groups of verbs:
a) those of continuous state (いる、ある). Are there any other examples?
b) verbs that describe activities (食べる、読む,待つ). ~ている with such verbs means the action is in progress, or what a person does as occupation.
c) verbs that describe changes. ~ている indicates the result of a change. e.g. 結婚している
You can determine whether the verb belongs to group b) or c) by adding 一時間 to it. If the sentence makes sense, then it's a verb of action (一時間本を読みました). If not, it's a verb of change (私は一時間死にました - makes no sense). I wonder if it's actually always true.

Here is another part about this topic from Genki:

upload_2017-12-19_20-17-15.png

Is the explanation missing something? If so, do you maybe know a good article or something which explains the difference between those semantically different types of verbs and their meaning when they are used in the ~ている form? I would be very grateful!

3)
"State vs. action" is a different concept from "intransitive vs. transitive".
Yes, I can see that now, thank you.

5) Makes sense, thank you. I think it's slowly getting clearer in my head.
 

Toritoribe

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I'm not saying you haven't learned ~ている form yet. I just pointed out the necessity in general to understand the concept. Your understanding about the difference among the three types of verbs is correct, and I believe it's clearer for you now than before reading the article in Genki (i.e., than before learning it properly).

State verbs (状態動詞) are not so many in Japanese. The rest typical ones other than いる and ある are 要る and できる. (Note that this is about できる as the meaning "to be able to do/to have skill to do/to be good at doing" such like 勉強ができる or 英語ができる. できている is valid when it describes "completion" or "materials", e.g., 夕食の準備ができている or この指輪は金でできている.)

There is one more group of verbs in the definition by a famous linguist 金田一春彦, who analyzed the aspect of Japanese verbs by ~ている form for the first time. He said that there are verbs that are usually used only in ~ている form, for instance そびえている, 優れている or している(する is usually a durative verb, but only している is used to describe physical features such like きれいな顔をしている or 長い手をしている). He didn't name this group of verbs, and just called them the fourth type of verbs(第4種の動詞). (Note that this is about the usage as the main verb of sentences. The simple past form can be used in modifying clauses even for these kinds of verbs, e.g., 優れた業績 or きれいな顔をした女の人.)

As you can see in the examples できる/できている or する/している, the type of verbs could change depending on the meaning or usage. It's confusing, indeed.
 

dhmkhkk

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Interesting, thank you. I still have to learn how to differentiate durative and punctual verbs, but at least I know the right concept now.
 

Toritoribe

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Another common way to determine whether a verb is durative or punctual other than "adding 一時間" is to check the temporal order of the past form and the ~ている form of the verb. If it's ~ている --> past, the verb is durative, and if the order is opposite, it's punctual.
e.g.
朝食を食べている --> 朝食を食べた
食べている is the present progressive. You are eating breakfast now.
食べた shows that you already ate breakfast. The action "eating" is already finished.

ビールを買っている --> ビールを買った
You are in a shop and maybe choosing beer you like in the situation of 買っている.
買った means you already paid money and got beer. The action "buying" is already finished.

去年結婚した --> 今結婚している
You got married last year, and as a result of that, you are married now.

先月日本に来た --> 今日本に来ている
You came to Japan last month , and as a result of that, you are in Japan now.

Thus, 食べる and 買う are durative, whereas 結婚する and 来る are punctual. I prefer this method.
 

dhmkhkk

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I agree this method is better, but it is also more conceptual and more difficult to imagine. I think you peobably have to be a native speaker to be able to use it. For a gaijin like me 買っている could mean both "I am buying now" and "I've bought and have it as a result". But if I think "can I do the shopping for a few hours"? No, I can't :emoji_blush:, but I know people who can so that's why it's probably durative.

If 買っている is "I am in the middle of buying", how would you say "I've bought" with this perfective connotation? Is it even possible with durative verbs?
 

Toritoribe

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Simply, 買った is used for the present perfect tense. Of course you can use other expressions such like 買い終わった/買い終えた or 今買ったところだ.
To tell the truth, the meaning is overlapping. 買っている actually can mean "I (have) bought" when used with もう (= already), for instance. The same goes to もう食べている. The context is always an important factor, as same as できる/できている or する/している cases.
 

dhmkhkk

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Thank you! I guess I need to start seriously watching something in Japanese to get the "feeling". After I've completed Genki, probably.
 

dhmkhkk

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@Toritoribe Another question regarding this topic. How would you say "Mori-san has arrived at the station"

森さんは駅に着きました or 着いていました?
 

Toritoribe

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It's 着きました, since the past form expresses the perfect tense, as I wrote previously. The context including temporal adverbs determines the tense, for instance, 今着きました is present perfect, whereas 昨日着きました is past. It's similar to "to have just eaten (present perfect)" vs. "to have eaten previously (experience)" in English, right?:emoji_wink:

着いていました is a past state, so 駅に迎えに行った時、森さんはもう着いていました shows that Mori-san had arrived at the station before the speaker arrived. On the other hand, the simple past form 駅に迎えに行った時、森さんは(or も)着きました means the two events happened at the same time.
 

dhmkhkk

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Your examples make perfect sense to me, thank you. I have a feeling 着いていました has a meaning of the action being completed, and 着きました has a bit of "ongoing" meaning. There is also such thing is Russian (called aspect), but then again maybe I'm mixing things up.
 

Toritoribe

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The -te form indicates the starting point of the action/movement in durative verbs, and いる means "to be/exist/stay". For instance, 食べている expresses you starts the action "eating", and are/stay in the same state, so it's the present progressive tense "you are eating" as a result.
On the hand, the action/movement is completed instantaneously at the same moment it starts (that's why it's called 瞬間動詞). For instance, 着いている expresses you starts the action "arriving" and completes it at the same moment(= 着いて), and then you are in the same state (= いる), so it's "already arrived" as a result.
The past form shows the action/movement is completed in both types of verbs.
 

dhmkhkk

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Just to make clear, you are comparing the ~teiru form of durative verbs vs punctual verbs. How about if you compare the two past forms of only punctual verbs- ~ている vs. ~ました/~た? From examples you've given

駅に迎えに行った時、森さんはもう着いていました
駅に迎えに行った時、森さんは着きました

the first sentence has a connotation of being completed already in the situation which the speaker describes.
In the second example, in the situation which speaker describes (so at that same moment) the action was... ok maybe not ongoing, but it wasn't completely completed either. Do you know what I mean or am I making no sense? :)
 

Toritoribe

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I explained the basic construction of ~ている form since I think it would be helpful for your understanding.
I pointed out that the past form of both durative and punctual verb describes "the action/movement is completed", therefore 着きました is past or present perfect. The speaker describes the moment the action was completed of a past event by 着きました in the second example sentence. It's not "not to be completely completed".
着いていました shows that it was/had been completed before the reference point (迎えに行った時 in my example), so I used the past perfect tense in my English translation.
 
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