The quick or short Language Questions Thread (not grammar)

Yes, the いる in ている is just いる, the verb of existence for animate things. I didn’t think this was especially secret or anything.

In Japanese linguistics, even て is not a part of the word in question, it’s a particle. It’s [verb stem] + the particle て + いる.

てある is て + ある but has a meaning nuance beyond just て + ある and so I don’t think you can slot something else into it like that.


It probably isn’t, it’s just never been explained as such in the sources I’ve used for learning.

Is this specific to the continuous/perfect form or is this true for every every conjugation using the て-form? Or even for every conjugation, full stop, maybe? I’ve never really taken a dive into Japanese linguistics, so I’m probably missing a good bit of the fundamentals in that regard.

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It’s true of the any て-form you see. The reason we can’t see the stem at times is because of a phenomenon called 音便=‘euphonic change’, which means that it changed because it was easier to pronounce. In other words, for example, stuff like 聞いて used to be 聞きて, and 笑って used to be 笑ひて. It’s also true for all the た-forms too, which underwent exactly the same sort of transformation. However, given that a lot of other conjugations exist that don’t use the masu-stem, but instead use other stems, I wouldn’t say that ‘all’ conjugations use this. Just for your reference, the six stems in Modern Japanese are
未然形 (irrealis form, used for negation)
連用形 (declinable-joining form, which is the masu stem and appears in compound verbs)
終止形 (sentence-final form, identical to the next form in most Modern Japanese words)
連体形 (noun-joining form, used in relative clauses)
仮定形 (hypothetical form, used with ば)
命令形 (imperative form, used for orders)

The godan stem-ending vowels for these are A, I, U, U, E, E. (For the Classical Japanese forms, replace 仮定形 with the 已然形=realis.) Ichidan verbs, in contrast, only have one stem, so they don’t change much at all.

I personally just guessed that it had to be the 居る we all know because the て-form is something standalone that doesn’t need to be followed by いる. I broke things down so that it made sense: 〜ている=’to do 〜 and exist (in that state)’. Therefore it’s definitely the continuous tense, whether in the progressive sense or in the ‘current state’ sense. I felt that the existence of 〜てある confirmed it, and so I wasn’t too surprised when I saw いる transforming with keigo. If you’re seen or heard おる replacing いる in this structure, in anime, for example, you’ll realise it’s probably the existence verb. (Relevant VTuber joke:「ポルカおるか?」)


That’s interesting, I’ve never caught it as such (I may have heard it, but if I did, it didn’t register, at least). I was aware of おる as a verb but since I never connected the dots between いる and the progressive I never really considered that a possibility, but it’s helpful to know that this is something that’s done sometimes.

Is there any nuance associated with that substitution? Or is it just a stylistic choice?


Perhaps I’m misremembering, because admittedly, I think it’s not that common to use 〜ておる in anime, even if I’ve definitely heard おる instead of いる as an existence verb.

OK, so, apparently, it tends to lower the status/esteem associated with the person doing the action or the action itself. That means that using it as(〜て)おります is polite – to describe your own actions, I think, or those of your in-group. Interestingly though,(〜て)おられます is an honorific form for describing someone else’s actions, so it doesn’t exclusively lower the status of the person doing the action.

That aside, I always had the impression that おる is preferred in non-standard dialects of Japanese from how I’ve heard it used. Turns out I’m right: おる is apparently preferred over いる in Kansai:


To add another usage to the humble speech (kenjougo) and dialect ones that @Jonapedia already mentioned:
In written language, one can connect two sentences with the masu-stem of a verb (it’s used in roughly the same way as て-form in spoken language). Now if that verb in question happens to be in ~ている form, the masu-stem would be ~てい, and that probably felt a bit weird so in these cases ~ており is used. Here is an example sentence (it’s from Murakami’s 1Q84 in case you wonder):


Other than the first two examples, this does not alter the meaning at all.


Could I get some help identifying this kanji


Must be Chinese.


What does the following mean? It’s from Hyouka’s first chapter.

The preceding context was:
Screen Shot 2021-06-12 at 11.58.54

It helps someone give an explanation if you give some more info about what you don’t understand.

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I was pretty confused at the にも, にも structure, and I completely didn’t understand what とにかく & 示さない meant.

I assume this is the Manga version of 氷菓?
I’ve only read the book, but it looks way too similar to be something else, lol.


  1. 「興味を示す」means “to show interest” in something. Pretty close to the English expression, actually.

  2. To understand the first sentence (にも、にも) you must realize its conclusion is in the second sentence, becoming:
    Not showing interest either in study, in sports or in “love affairs”
    The にも is then just a に asked by the verb and a も to mean “and also”, no special grammar construction.

  3. とにかく works like an “anyway” of sorts. Here it’s being used to make clear that the first sentence was just a couple of examples, but his actual point is that there are people who show interest in nothing (ありとあらゆる)

In the end it’s just Hotaro being fancy to say he is not “pink” as the other high school students who are young and full of life. He is a “gray” soulless person with none of the interests people expect from high school students.
(ok, I added the soulless by myself)


So I’ve run into 七色 twice now and the jisho definition is… long winded? Would it be reasonable to just refer to this idea as a “prismatic” or “rainbow” like coloration, or even just “colorful”?

Where are you seeing that?


I guess it’s a matter of english/perception on my end. That phrasing is just… clunky to me? When I was looking up prismatic I ended up with definitions relating more to the function of prisms and the separation itself rather than just referring to a collection of colors. So I was trying to figure out if that concept could be simplified down a bit.

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Oh, I thought you literally meant you saw “long-winded” as a definition for 七色 and I thought there must be some hang-up somewhere. Never mind then.

I don’t think it really matters how you want to translate it in context, Jisho is just giving you the core meaning. It’s not generically colorful, it’s those 7 colors based on that context. You wouldn’t use that definition verbatim in an English translation of it.


The weblio definitions do emphasize the specific seven colors:

赤・橙(だいだい)・黄・緑・青・藍(あい)・菫(すみれ)(紫)の7種類の色. 太陽光線をスペクトルで分けたときに見られる色。

You know, ROY G. BIV (I’m impressed at how directly that maps across the languages)

In context though, it’s like saying “rainbow-colored” in English. If you talk about something that has those seven colors… then it’s rainbow-colored.

“All the colors of the rainbow” could also be a good, less clinical-sounding English dictionary definition, I think.


Thanks guys! The distinction between generically colorful and emphasizing those colors was what got me. Honestly, I’ve never consciously differentiated between them in English despite there being a big difference (eg. I would never point to say, a dress of blue, red, green, and yellow flowers and refer to that as rainbow). It makes a lot more sense now.

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from an article at nhk easy news


that part 10か11 までに,

the か is short for から?

か means “or” in this context. See alsoか (the entry without kanji).