What's new

Welcome to Japan Reference (JREF) - the community for all Things Japanese.

Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

本を読んでいたら。- I just do not understand this grammar.

KashimaKing

後輩
Joined
6 Oct 2015
Messages
54
Reaction score
0
本を読んでいたら、いつの間にか五時間も経ってしまった。

I have always hated たら when used in the sense of WHEN rather than IF, but this one is killing me.

Why in this sentence can I not use 本を読んだら ?
what purpose does te PLUS tara serve?

I understand たら well in sentences like this;

ご飯を食べたら、寝ます
朝起きたら、歯を磨きます。
店に行ったら、デイビッドに会いました。

so where does the te form and たら fit in?

In my example, why is 読んだら not used?

Thanks again.
 

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
Joined
15 Mar 2002
Messages
16,454
Reaction score
2,248
Five hours passed unnoticed WHILE reading the book (because it was so interesting); the reading and time passing were concurrent, not sequential.
 

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Moderator
Joined
22 Feb 2008
Messages
16,579
Reaction score
2,926
When the verb expresses "state" in the たら conditional clause, the main clause is an event "while/during" it, as Mike-san explained. That's the reason 読んでいる is used there. The moment five hours passed was sometime while the writer was reading a book, not after they read it (= 本を読んだら).
e.g.
ご飯を食べていたら、眠くなりました。
"The moment I got sleepy" was sometime in "while I was eating". Note that ご飯を食べたら、眠くなりました。 means "I got sleepy after I ate meals" since 食べる is an action, not a state, unlike 食べている.

店にいたら、デイビッドが来ました。
"The moment David came to the shop" was sometime in "while I was in the shop".
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Top Bottom