Question about ています verb form

Hello, today when I was learning grammar, the ています verb form was introduced to me, the book however just explained the formal verb endings (e.g. 食べています), but didn`t cover the informal verb endings. The example conversation however had verbs, which I assume are the informal ones, so i wanna ask if my thoughts on how to conjugate the informal ones are correct:

One of the the examples was なにをしてるの (what are you doing?), so the same question but in formal would be なにをしていますか, if i`m not wrong.

So I assume that you just have to add the informal verb ending instead of the います. Do you do the same if you want to conjugate the past? So would it be なにをしてたの or なにをしてなかったの?

And what about regular verbs like はらう? How do you conjuate those, since はらってう doesn`t sound very correct to me xD

Im currently using Japanese From Zero 3 and i`m so far pretty happy with it. Will this topic maybe be covered in an other lesson?

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I’m too tired to think about the rest, but with an う ending verb you’d get はらっています, or informally はらってる

The best person to teach you verb conjugations is Japanese Ammo, in my experience, I learned て form real fast, but still don’t understand the explanation in Tae Kim… here’s a playlist of stuff and such, feel free to look around


I haven’t used Japanese from Zero but I’m pretty sure the scope of your question(s) would be covered by multiple other lessons. For starters …

Present affirmative: …V **ている。

Present Negative: …V **ていない。

Past affirmative: …V **ていた。

Past Negative: …V **ていなかった。


ohh, i see, thank you :smiley:

thanks, i´ll definitly check this playlist out

Yeah, the ~ている structure is (the verb in ~て form) + (the verb いる). You appear to have been under the impression that it’s just (the original verb with てい inserted before the final kana), but that’s not it at all.

So, for example:
食べる > 食べている
払う > 払っている
話す > 話している
飲む > 飲んでいる

And so forth. いる conjugates as it usually does, so you can also have て-form (食べていて) and so forth. Note that in casual speech, the い can get dropped, so, say 食べている becomes 食べてる.


have that one the loudest setting but can still barely hear her :confused:

thank you so much, that really helped me :smiley:

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て form song

Here’s a song that my Japanese professor showed us to help remember the te forms for all the different verb endings. It’s also helpful if you learned the ます forms first because you can just switch the て and で to た and だ and then that’s the casual past form of the verb. Also it’s sorta an earworm so I’ve gotten to the point where I couldn’t forget how the song goes if I tried.

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Her first videos (actually a good amount in the beginning) are pretty quiet, and that visual novel-like music is kind of annoying, but if you get though it it’ll be fine

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