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EASY grammar I should know by now! - ていたら たら

KashimaKing

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Need skilled speakers to explain this incredible easy grammar point that kills me in my studying even to this day.
Im quite good with my conditionals when talking about the future such as 時 ば たら と etc.
But something I have always struggled with for some unknown reason is using たら ていたら ていて when in the past. This confuses the HELL out of me. Im begging for a skilled speaker to explain it to me in an easy way. Lets throw in 間に to make things worse.

So in this sentence;
ぼんやりしていたら紙で手を切ってしまった

I was not paying attention - So I cut myself.
Why can this not be ぼんやりしていて、紙で手を切ってしまった。
or ぼんやりしていたから、切ってしまった。

(When I was doing this, this happened.

How are these different;
部屋に行ったら、彼女がいなかった。
部屋に行っていて、彼女がいなかった。
部屋にいていたら、彼女がいなかった。
部屋に行っていた間に、彼女がいなかった。
and;
駅に行っていた時。。。お母さんに電話した
駅に行ったら。。。。お母さんに電話した。

していたなら is quite clear as it sounds like (if this had happened) - but what i dont get is the basic grammar behind (I did this, and then this happened)
or
(when i did this, this happened)

していて、something した
していたら、something した
したら、something した

thank you!
 

Simon V

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I can't help you, but you might find the answer if you read more Japanese novels/comics with dialogue. There are thousands at the local library.
 

Toritoribe

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Actually, it's not "easy".

So in this sentence;
ぼんやりしていたら紙で手を切ってしまった

I was not paying attention - So I cut myself.
Why can this not be ぼんやりしていて、紙で手を切ってしまった。
or ぼんやりしていたから、切ってしまった。
You can use those two expressions, too. The meaning is almost the same. The last one から focuses more strongly on the "reason/cause" than していたら or していて, though.

The main function of the -te form is to connect clauses in the temporal order. The meaning differs depending on the relation between the clauses, so it might be just "and", or it could be "so" just like in that case.

部屋に行っていて、彼女がいなかった。
The subject of the first clause is interpreted as "she", thus, it means "because she went to a room, she wasn't here/there(= this "here/there" is not the room, of course)."

部屋にいていたら、彼女がいなかった。
You mean 行っていたら, right?
This is "contrary-to-fact in the past" as the same meaning as 行っていたなら.

部屋に行っていた間に、彼女がいなかった。
This is invalid. 間に indicates a temporal point in a period, so it should be 部屋に行っていた間に、彼女がいなくなった。. Notice that いなくなった is an action, unlike a state いなかった.

駅に行っていた時。。。お母さんに電話した
駅に行ったら。。。。お母さんに電話した。
It's "while/during" vs. "and then". 駅にいたとき is more common for the former, and the latter can be "contrary-to-fact in the past"; もし駅に行ったなら、お母さんに電話しただろう (i.e., the speaker actually didn't go to the station and didn't call their (or someone's) mother on the telephone).

していて、something した
していたら、something した
したら、something した
I already explained it partially in your previous thread.

The meaning differs depending on the type of verbs "punctual or durative", since the meaning of the ~ている form differs depending on it (on-going action vs. present state resulting from the past action). Have you already learned ~ている form?
 

KashimaKing

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Actually, it's not "easy".


You can use those two expressions, too. The meaning is almost the same. The last one から focuses more strongly on the "reason/cause" than していたら or していて, though.

The main function of the -te form is to connect clauses in the temporal order. The meaning differs depending on the relation between the clauses, so it might be just "and", or it could be "so" just like in that case.


The subject of the first clause is interpreted as "she", thus, it means "because she went to a room, she wasn't here/there(= this "here/there" is not the room, of course)."


You mean 行っていたら, right?
This is "contrary-to-fact in the past" as the same meaning as 行っていたなら.


This is invalid. 間に indicates a temporal point in a period, so it should be 部屋に行っていた間に、彼女がいなくなった。. Notice that いなくなった is an action, unlike a state いなかった.


It's "while/during" vs. "and then". 駅にいたとき is more common for the former, and the latter can be "contrary-to-fact in the past"; もし駅に行ったなら、お母さんに電話しただろう (i.e., the speaker actually didn't go to the station and didn't call their (or someone's) mother on the telephone).


I already explained it partially in your previous thread.

The meaning differs depending on the type of verbs "punctual or durative", since the meaning of the ~ている form differs depending on it (on-going action vs. present state resulting from the past action). Have you already learned ~ている form?
Thank you very much
 

Toritoribe

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Hope you grasp the function of the -tara conditional, and won't ask about it again...
 
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