Is this potential form and how can I tell its tense? I got it from this sentence 今日は晴れて、富士山が見える。 which I thought translated to - today it will become sunny and mount fuji san is visible. It actually translates to this - ‘(It) cleared up today and Fuji-san is visible’. and I don’t know how 晴れて became it cleared up today. This is from here http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar/potential
晴れて is just the て-form of 晴れる which is to clear up (as in weather).
Nothing in that sentence is in potential form. That section of the grammar guide is basically explaining 見える and 聞こえる because they often get lumped in with potential form even though they are not potential form.
I think your confusion is coming from the fact that て-form can sometimes be used to indicate a reason, explained here: https://www.learn-japanese-adventure.com/te-form-cause-reason.html
So another translation of the sentence could be “Because it cleared up today, Mount Fuji is visible”.
That would be 晴れられる.
The て-forms in a sentence inherent the tense from the end of the sentence. The tense here is non-past, so in addition to the “cleared up -> visible now” translation the sentence can also mean “it will clear up/become sunny and Mt. Fuji will be visible” as you thought.
The translations are often just one way to put it, you will not learn the “whole truth” coming from English
You could translate it as “It’s clear today” as well. The current sentence in English kind of gives the impression that it was cloudy or rainy yesterday (or earlier in the same day), but we don’t know that from the Japanese sentence alone. That doesn’t make the translation wrong though, it’s possible in that scenario too.
The 今日は makes it clear that there was a change. It would fit in a context like 今月、雨が多かった。昨日までずっと降ってたんだ。 There’s no “but” here, so the は implies it.
は contrasts it with something, but we don’t know what for sure in a single sentence.
Again, not saying it’s wrong, just making a comment about other possible translations that perhaps wouldn’t look as confusing grammatically to a beginner.
Yeah, there’s no context here, only the fact that a change occurred. What change it was can only be guessed.
I don’t think there has to be a change. Let’s say it was clear for weeks, you want to see Mt. Fuji, ask someone, 今日は晴れて、富士山が見える。
It just stresses the today in the sentence.
It’s not needed, just an emphasis - that’s why I said it implies it (and it does so strongly).
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