Mailing List Archive

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [Lingo] verb-iru

On Fri, Jan 9, 2009 at 6:12 AM, steve smith <> wrote:
> Hi
> I'm sure I'll ask this badly because I don't quite know what I'm asking.
>  I've noticed that some verbs just don't show up without iru and I don't
> quite understand what is going on.
> An example would be 知る.  You would ask 「知っていますか」 and not 「知 りますか」, right?

Actually you can ask "知りますか?" - the answer is then "知りません" or "知っています"

>  Same goes for 立つ、混む、座る、曇る、晴れる and I'm sure other verbs.  Why do you use the
> 'ている' for these and not for others?  What makes these special and how can I
> spot them?  Does this question make sense or have I wandered off on some
> tangent?

The thing is that ている is the English continuous form. A verb like 知る
describes a state. If the state is existing and is going on then you
use ている

映画にいく? do you go to the movies?
映画にいく。 I will go to the movies.
映画に行っている。I am going there (literally like being on the move)

Back to 知る - you can ask for it if you know it or if you are knowing
it (知りますか/知っていますか).
In English the answer would be "I know it" or "I am knowing it" while
the first one actually means "I am in the state of possessing the
knowledge about it".

So you can't actually "spot" those verb but when you are learning a
verb /word you have to wrap your mind around what it actually means. I
often have the feeling that I more learn how a verb "feels" then what
it actually means and in translation I try to transfer that feeling.
It is easy for a word like 民主主義 which describes a complex logical
concept because the concept of democracy and 民主主義 are the same (and
they describe some "construct"). With "simple" words it is harder imho
because you can easily use a word in English to describe it but it
actually doesn't grasp it completely (like 知る) - if you have a look in
edict a lot of words usually have several translations and for
understanding a word you shouldn't just take the first one that
Other words are really hard because they describe emotional concepts
which we do not have really expressions for in English (like 懐かしい -
everyone who was in Japan heard it probably a dozen times and knows
when it is used but try to translate it; other words would be stuff
like 甘える and 甘やかす -- there are scientific papers about those two

I hope this explanation helps even so it might seem to wander off a
little bit in the first place but I think that it should help to make
my point clear.


Home | Main Index | Thread Index

Home Page Mailing List Linux and Japan TLUG Members Links