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156. The present continuous

Learn Japanese
Lesson 156: The present continuous

The present continuous verb tense (or present progressive) connotes an action that is ongoing/has not been completed. They are eating lunch is an example of a sentence using this verb tense. In Japanese, verbs are conjugated to the present continuous with the pattern て-form + いる. The verb いる as you may recall means to be (for living things).

You will find that the present continuous is often used in situations in Japanese where it would not be used in English and vice-versa. One of the most common examples of this is with the verb , which means to know. When making sentences like I know the answer or What do you know about computers?, you would normally use the present continuous.

The sentences below are examples of how to use the present continuous.

English Japanese
It is raining today. きょあめっています。
kyou ha ame ga hutte imasu.
I am reading a magazine. わたしざっんでいます。
watasi ha zassi wo yonde imasu.
Jon was learning Karate in Japan ジョンはほんからならっていました。
zyon ha nihon de karate wo naratte imasita.
Do you know the password? パースワードをっていますか?
paasuwaado wo sitte imasu ka?

Lesson contributors

Denholm Nahon
Erik