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

The difference between た and ていた

NoWayYesWay

Kouhai
Joined
5 May 2021
Messages
14
Reaction score
2
I was searching for the example usage for the word 荒れる in dictionary and I saw this sentence.

その船が荒れた海で揺れているのが見えた。

If I changed this sentence to

その船が荒れていた海で揺れているのが見えた。

Will it changes any nuance of this sentence (I think it will), because I think ていた is fit more well here since it states that the sea was going crazy at that moment and also gives a vibe of continuation.

I've had a problem dealing with る and ている so many times and also again with this one so, please help. Thank you in advance.
 

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Moderator
Joined
22 Feb 2008
Messages
17,310
Reaction score
3,460
Well, actually, it's a bit complicated. The past/past progressive form doesn't always express the tense of the action in a modifying clause. It also can show the temporal order of the two actions; the one in the modifying clause and the one in the main predicate, like the difference between AするときB vs. AしたときB. Please refer to the following thread (a bit long, though).


As for your example sentence, 荒れた海, 荒れる海 and 荒れている海 all work well. One of the reasons is that 揺れている is more likely close to a state, not a punctual action.

荒れていた海 sounds like "the sea had been going crazy before that time, but the sea was not going crazy at that moment", probably because 揺れている is used.
 
Top Bottom