Past, Present, Future Forms?

Can anyone help me translate this chart to Japanese? Do all these forms exist in Japanese?

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Japanese doesn’t have the perfect aspect. Often the continuous is used for the same purpose as our perfect aspect.

For example “I haven’t eaten yet” would be まだ食べていない (present continuous negative)
For “I have eaten” in a everyday sense, you’d probably just use the past もう食べた
For the “experiential have done” form, it’s past plus ことがある
“I’ve eaten sushi” すしを食べたことがあります

There’s also no inflection that distinguishes present from future.


There is no distinction between present and future tense in Japanese. There is only past and non-past.
continuous form is te-form of verb plus iru. (tabeteiru) =children are eating
you conjugate the iru again for past continuous, (tabeteita) = children were eating
I’m not sure that the perfect and perfect continuous exist, someone else may know better

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Agreed with the other posters.

The future perfect continuous form sounds weird by itself.
For example, let’s translate “By 4 o’clock, the children will have been eating for 2 hours.”


As you can see from this sentence, it’s hard to get a 1:1 translation between the two languages.

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ok so I think I’ve gotten rid of the non applicable forms:

I’m still unsure of those last few though… google translate gave some answers but I’m guessing these forms arent really used commonly?

google translate will always have an answer, and the more you use it the more you will realize that the answer is usually wrong. It is a great resource for translating a single word, but it is completely useless for translating grammar accurately. Another thing to consider is that the meaning of any sentence can be translated from one language to another, but to trying to translate literally from Japanese to English or English to Japanese will give you a head ache, because it can’t always be done. You don’t have to take my word for it either. Copy and paste a Japanese article in google translate and enjoy reading the nonsense.


future simple is same as present, (taberu).
kodomo ga taberu can mean either the kids eat, or the kids will eat.

I put “the children will be eating” in google translate and it translated it to,kodomotachi wa taberu darou.
this means , the children will eat, and the darou implies that you think this will happen

“the children will have eaten” is translated to: kodomotachi wa tabeta darou.
this means “i think the children ate”

"the children will have been eating is translated to : kodomotachi wa tabeteiru deshou.
which means I think that the children are eating.

so yea, don’t trust google translate

sorry about the romaji

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There are five types of verb when it comes to tense: stative verbs, continuous activity verbs, continuous accomplishment verbs, instantaneous achievement verbs, and instantaneous semelfactive verbs.

  • Stative verbs represent, well, a state. They never take the ~ている form because they are already stative. E.g. 出来る - to be able to.
  • Continuous activity verbs are verbs that happen over time with an arbitrary stopping point. When they take the ~ている form, they express the continuous, e.g. 読んでいる - to be reading.
  • Continuous accomplishment verbs also happen over time, but their stopping point is when the verb is ‘complete’. When they take the ~ている form, they normally express the continuous (e.g. 食べている - to be eating), but can express the resultative (which is roughly equivalent to the perfect, but not exactly the same) if they’re modified by an adverb like もう or まだ (e.g. もう食べている - to have already eaten).
  • Instantaneous achievement verbs start and end at the same time (hence “instantaneous”), and represent a change in state. When they take the ~ている form, they express the resultative, e.g. 死んでいる - to have died.
  • Instantaneous semelfactive verbs also start and end at the same time, but do not represent any real change in state. When they take the ~ている form, they express the iterative. E.g. 吠えている - to be barking (repeatedly).

Some verbs can belong to more than one type, though, e.g. 分かる is both a stative verb (“to be in a state of understanding”) and an instantaneous achievement verb (“to change from not-understanding to understanding”). And some are… less than intuitive, e.g. 帰る - to return home - is an instantaneous achievement verb: We don’t factor in the length of time the commute takes; we’re only interested in the instant change in state between being not-at-home and being at-home.

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