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itte iru

TheMinion

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My book, Genki I, says that "itte iru" indicates a current state that results from a prior movement, and not movements that are currently in progress.
It lists as an example:

"chuugoku ni itte imasu."
and next to that it says:
"Somebody has gone to/is in China.
Not: Somebody is going to China."

but a few native japanese speakers have disagreed. One said that it could in fact be both "has gone" and "is going", whereas the other said that it could only be "is going".

You can probably see how i'm confused by this. Could someone please shed some light upon this?

(I am also on a computer that is incapable of displaying japanese characters at the moment, and I don't have the CD to install them, so please keep it to romaji if you have to use examples! Thanks!)

-Cameron
 
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82riceballs

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i'm not a native speaker, but i learned that it was only "is going", a present progressive form, i.e. -ing form.
I learned it but i also read: here that it could also mean "has done and is still doing", so maybe ur book is right, just kinda vague.
 

Daniel89

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I'm not a native speaker either, but I have heard from plenty of sources that the -te iru form can at times also indicate an enduring state as a result of an action rather than just the present progressive we know in English. For instance, most of the time kekkon shiteiru (-te iru form of kekkon suru - to get married) is actually used to mean "I am married" rather than "I am in the chapel right now presently having the ceremony done".

Also keep in mind that most of the time in English when we say we are going somewhere, it doesn't really mean that we are on the way right now, riding the airplane as we speak, but more along the lines that we have made plans and intend to go there sometime in the future.
 

Elizabeth

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My book, Genki I, says that "itte iru" indicates a current state that results from a prior movement, and not movements that are currently in progress.
It lists as an example:
"chuugoku ni itte imasu."
and next to that it says:
"Somebody has gone to/is in China.
Not: Somebody is going to China."
but a few native japanese speakers have disagreed. One said that it could in fact be both "has gone" and "is going", whereas the other said that it could only be "is going".
You can probably see how i'm confused by this. Could someone please shed some light upon this?
Only "is going" is an curious response, but anyway the -te iru form as a state resulting from an action in "momentary" or "change of state" verbs was gone through with a fine tooth comb in this thread :

https://jref.com/showthread.php?p=344248
 

TheMinion

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Thanks for all your replies, although I am still at a loss for a definite answer. I will read the thread that Elizabeth posted when I get home this weekend, and can use a pc capable of displaying japanese characters. Thanks much!
 

nice gaijin

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Your difficulty in finding a definitive answer stems from the fact that Japanese is not English, and doesn't operate exactly the same way. Get used to ambivalent translations.

Personally, when I hear 行っています I think "has gone," because it roughly translates to "has left and is now in [China]," but obviously, context is a driving force here.
 

The7thSamurai

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TheMinion

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I've only ever learnt this to mean "has gone", as it the person is currently in that place.
This might give you some clues:
(url was here)
Although be careful because many of those itte imasu's aren't the iku verb. There's another verb with the same kanji that conjugates the same way - 'okonau' - which is a fancy word for "to do".
Ok, thanks! Hmm, that's sort of confusing. How do you know which it is supposed to be if it conjugates the same way and uses the same kanji? Context?
 

Charles Barkley

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Ok, thanks! Hmm, that's sort of confusing. How do you know which it is supposed to be if it conjugates the same way and uses the same kanji? Context?

I wouldnt worry too much. You probably wont see okonau in a textbook for a long time. And its not really used in spoken Japanese, so you'll never have to worry about listening for it. You'll encounter it in newspapers/ads and the like, but it should be clear from context what the sentence is talking about.
 

Elizabeth

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Okonau, like suru, is transitive which means it expresses a situation in which the subject acts on a direct object. The particle used after that object for this relationship is wo. 

Iku is intransitive which means the subject doesn't act on an object but performs an action on its own. Such as going to China. Sentences like "Chugoku ni itte iru" obviously don't have a "wo" particle as you would see with okonau.

It's one way to tell them apart semantically. The easiest is to realize you probably won't be encountering okonau in the immediate future and take Charles' advice not to worry about it too much right now. I think only the "te" and "ta" (plain past) forms conjugate similarly anyhow....
 

nekocat

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今母は買い物に行っています (Mother is going shopping now.)
母はもう買い物に行っています。 (Mother has already gone shopping.)

You can't determine the progressive usage of っている from the perfective usage. It could only be decided by the context or the adverbial phrases.
 

Elizabeth

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今母は買い物に行っています (Mother is going shopping now.)
母はもう買い物に行っています。 (Mother has already gone shopping.)
You can't determine the progressive usage of っている from the perfective usage. It could only be decided by the context or the adverbial phrases.
It can also explain a future action of the self, or another known person that has clearly not yet left, as the subject.

2週間中国に行っています。I will be in China for two weeks.

It may be clearer with行ってかえります(きます、かえってきます) but in terms of grammar both endings are acceptable as far as I understand.


母は二時間買い物に行っています。 Mother will be shopping for two hours. ???
 

shikyo

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I'm not really sure I get this...

In other words what genki says; that 行っている and 来ている indicate the current states that result from prior movements, not movements that are currently in progress - is wrong?

It also gives examples and says "You may want to be careful with what the following sentences mean:"

中国に行っています。
Somebody has gone to/is in China.
Not: She is going to China.

うちに来ています。
Somebody has come over to visit.
Not: Somebody is coming over.
 

TheMinion

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今母は買い物に行っています (Mother is going shopping now.)
母はもう買い物に行っています。 (Mother has already gone shopping.)
You can't determine the progressive usage of っている from the perfective usage. It could only be decided by the context or the adverbial phrases.

Thank you so much, nekocat! That was the most helpful reply!
 

Elizabeth

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今母は買い物に行っています (Mother is going shopping now.)
The word "going" is ambiguous in English. This could mean either :

1. "Mother is shopping now." (Without "going" this sounds most natural).
2. "Mother is about to leave to go shopping."

母はもう買い物に行っています。 (Mother has already gone shopping.)
Possible English interpretations:

1. "Mother has already shopped (but has not yet returned.)" OR "Mother has already gone shopping, (perhaps days ago, for the week) and returned."
2. "Mother has just left to go shopping and is expected to still be on the way."


You can't determine the progressive usage of っている from the perfective usage. It could only be decided by the context or the adverbial phrases.
Unless she is under continual surveillance、 all you can know with certainty in either language is that she's no longer where she was, has not yet returned and is assumed to be either on the way to the store, shopping, or done shopping. :)

でも、英語の現在完了形ではタイミングの使い方がちょっと変 わりやですね。 😊
 
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undrentide

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I'm not really sure I get this...

In other words what genki says; that 行っている and 来ている indicate the current states that result from prior movements, not movements that are currently in progress - is wrong?

It also gives examples and says "You may want to be careful with what the following sentences mean:"

中国に行っています。
Somebody has gone to/is in China.
Not: She is going to China.

うちに来ています。
Somebody has come over to visit.
Not: Somebody is coming over.

As far as 行く and 来る are concerned, ~ている means "the current states that result from prior movements".

To state the movement is on-going, different expression is necessary for these verbs.
中国に行くところです。
うちに来る途中です。
for example.
 

Elizabeth

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As far as 行く and 来る are concerned, ~ている means "the current states that result from prior movements".

To state the movement is on-going, different expression is necessary for these verbs.
中国に行くところです。
うちに来る途中です。
for example.
But that is only to avoid confusion in ordinary conversation, right ? In the case a speaker cannot have knowledge of whether the movement is ongoing or has concluded (whether the plane has landed or not) 中国に行っている I think is not incorrect. 😌
 
 
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undrentide

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But that is only to avoid confusion in ordinary conversation, right ? In the case a speaker have knowledge of whether the movement is ongoing or has concluded (whether the plane has landed or not) 中国に行っている I think is not incorrect. 😅

Well, I'm talking not based on any grammatical theory but just out of my feeling, so it's really hard to explain, but when I hear ~に行っている, I can feel anything but the sense of completion.
Indeed it whether the person has reached the destination or not is not an issue, but the important thing is, the person has gone and (as the result), is not here any more....
I cannot sense any feeling of the person is in the process of going somewhere. Just he's gone.

Same about 来ている. Maybe even stronger.
When I hear (~が)日本に来ている, I feel that the person has already come to Japan.
I cannot imagine that the person in still on the way...

The only exception I can think of is 行っている・来ている is used to describe the repeated action as a habit.
e.g.
彼は毎年日本に遊びに来ている。
私は毎日学校に行っている。

But again there's also a hint of completion, i.e. you cannot the above to talk about the future, at least the person has already come to Japan or been to school.


う~ん、難しい・・・ 😅
 

Buntaro

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Undrentide-san!

So, if you are on a train on your way to school (and you are having a conversation while the train is moving), you would say, "Ima, gakkou e ikimasu," right?
 

Elizabeth

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Well, I'm talking not based on any grammatical theory but just out of my feeling, so it's really hard to explain, but when I hear ~に行っている, I can feel anything but the sense of completion.
Indeed it whether the person has reached the destination or not is not an issue, but the important thing is, the person has gone and (as the result), is not here any more....
I cannot sense any feeling of the person is in the process of going somewhere. Just he's gone.
英語も難しいね。

Has left for China が終了した時には、Has gone to China が開始する時点はないと思いますが Has gone のほうが、いつでも、出発した後の一般的な言い方の感じがしますね。😌  

There's no clear line in English between "Has left for China" and "has gone" but I think "has gone to" can be used loosely from the point at which the person has "taken off for" in the plane, ship or whatever. They are headed in that direction with no possibility of turning back.

"Gone to school" can be used in answer a person's whereabouts anytime after that person has left the house.
 

undrentide

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Undrentide-san!

So, if you are on a train on your way to school (and you are having a conversation while the train is moving), you would say, "Ima, gakkou e ikimasu," right?

If I'm still waiting for the train, or am just about to leave home for school, then I might say
"korekara gakkou e ikimasu"
"imakara gakkou e ikimasu"
"gakkou e ikutokoro desu"

If I'm already on the train and heading for school, I would say
"gakkou e ikutokoro desu"
"gakkou ni iku tochuu desu"

but never, ever say
"gakkou e itteimasu"
 

Elizabeth

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but never, ever say
"gakkou e itteimasu"
And someone else cannot say it about you either, in answer to the question "Where is undrentide-san?" :?
 

undrentide

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And someone else cannot say it about you either, in answer to the question "Where is undrentide-san?" :?

Yes, someone else can use "kanojo wa gakkou ni itteiru" but it does not mean I'm on the way to school, but I've already left and is not with the person who is talking about me! ;-)
 

nekocat

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but never, ever say
"gakkou e itteimasu"
I've hardly ever seen such an insightful discussion as the one between Elizabeth and undrentide!
"itteimasu" can be ambiguous ("completion" or "progressive"), so people must avoid using "itteimasu" when they want to clearly mean they are in the middle of doing it, not wanting to make it sound as if it were a completed action.

(携帯電話で、洋子は電車の中、ひろしは家)
ひろし:いま何してんの?
洋子:いま学校に行ってるところ。(行っているところ/行っている途中)。​

In this sentence, 洋子 doesn't want ひろし to think that she has already gone/been to the school.

つとむ:卵はまだ来ていないの?
洋子:マリが取りに行っています。(取りに行ってるところ/行っている途中)。

If you hear this sentence, you more likely take it to mean "Mari is in the process of fetching the eggs.", than "Mari has already fetched the eggs. She's now back here." This is ambiguous, too. If you want to clearly say that Mari has already fetched the eggs, you should say マリはもう卵は取ってきました。/マリはもう卵を取ってきています。
 
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