Difference between these two sencences using 知る

Hello guys

Do you know if there is an important difference between saying:




The genki textbook teaches me to use the first one but why would i use this verb using ~ている if i can just use the past tense?


The past tense means that the state of knowing came to an end in the past. This is unlikely with knowing.

But, for this reason you can say 知りませんでした because your state of not knowing ended.


Things in the past can be ongoing. For example, 走っていました means “I was running”.

In this example, you were in the (ongoing) state of knowing Japanese.

1 Like

知りました, means that the action had already ended. “I knew Japanese.” As in, you have nothing left to know anymore.

知っていました would be better for this sentence.

1 Like

The core underlying issue is that Japanese doesn’t actually have present/future/past tenses, at all. It has completed and uncompleted, and a specific construction to cover (amongst other things) ongoing action.

In this instance, your knowledge is ongoing, hence the -て form, but completed, in the sense that you already “are knowing”, as opposed to “will be knowing”.

1 Like

I’m not sure, but is 知る the right verb here? Wouldn’t 出来る be better? With 知る, it sounds like you “knew of” Japanese.

Yeah, I’ll be honest, I didn’t read the sentence. 知る means “know about”.

分かる is fine though for Japanese language

1 Like

Ohhh, now i get it so this is what they mean when they say thay certain verbs used with ている describe the result of a change, something that retains its significance until the present. You just made it way more clear for me, the book’s explanation was a little confusing. Thanks a lot!!

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.