~した~ - Grammar Discussion

Verb Modified Noun


  • Verb[ている] + Noun
  • Verb[] + Noun

:warning: Can be any verb

  • not just する

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Probably a stupid question, but I am not sure if I really get it.
When is the ~teiru form being used, as opposed to ~ta?
I read it up, but I’m still not sure. Is it only when it’s right now at the moment?
But there is the example of “A pen borrowed from a friend.”
The pen is still borrowed right now, assumed that I have not given it back already, isn’t it? Or does the sentence assume that the pen has already been returned?

Hey and welcome on community forums! :grinning:

This is not a stupid question, rather a good one! :+1:

First, た、ている and ていた。

As you know Verb[ている] means a progressive action(I am eating 食べている), in those verbs case Verb[た] will mean a past(or more precise completed verb), however with a group of words ている doesn’t mean a progressive action, but a resultant state:

  1. Movement words:
    instead of coming, coming back, going will mean being at a goal of the movement.(the state of being there)
    So ロンドンに来ている。 Means I am in London(I have come to London(and I am still there)) instead of I am coming to London.
    ロンドンに行っている。 Means I am in London(I have gone to London(and I am still there)) instead of I am going to London.
    ロンドンに帰っている。Means I am in London(I have returned to London(and not a surprise, I am still there :slight_smile: )

  2. the words that depict the change from one state to another(you can easily spot them by their English translations which include words like become, get, put etc like: become fat太る, become thin痩せる, to get fired up燃える, to get to know知る, to put on着る, to open 開ける, become になる.
    So accordingly, instead of ~ing, their ている forms will mean states: to be fat, to be thin, to burn, to know, to wear, something is opened, something is.

Now to the verb[た]. The verb た simply means that something has happened in ONE POINT in time in the past(or if we want to be more concrete - it has been completed). But we do not have information about whether it was going on for some time, it is not important or we do not want to say.

So for verbs from 2:
太る - to grow fat
太っている will mean to be in the state of being fat and can be translated as “to be fat”,
太った is simple information that at some moment in past someone got fat, or in other words that growing fat took place; and since details are lacking depending on the context might still be fat or not[the change took place in some point in past] can also be translated “to be fat”
太っていた will mean that someone was fat for some time(the state of being fat was going on for some time in the past).


Now let’s move to modify nouns.

Somethingがある + Noun is example of the same thing which can be generalized for every verb, so I will quote the explanation from it:
[障害がある]人 - person [that has an injury]・person [with injury]・[injured] person
the phrase [Aがある] modifies(qualifies) the noun B([Aがある] therefore becomes RELATIVE CLAUSE), or in other words describes the noun, similar to the adjectives creating one bigger noun. Since in Japanese there are no relative pronouns (that, which etc), the phrase simply directly precedes the noun(also like an adjective) that is modified.
Relative clauses have some rules:
1.topic particle は cannot be used
2.subject particle が can be changed to particle の(this in a sense marks relative clause)

So, let’s come back to our 太る(and whole group verbs from 2!).
太る人 person that(who) gains fat
太っている人 person that(who) is (in state of being) fat
太った人 person that(who) got fat(and depending on context might be in state of being fat(person that is fat) which is generally the case)
太っていた人 person that(who) was fat(for some time in the past)

So between 太った人 and 太っている人 and similar, which one is better?
Both are ok.


I see! That was an excellent explanation!
You should link it in the “readings” section of the grammar point.
I will make those examples my custom sentences, to memorize it.
Thank you very much!

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Not a problem, just remember that generally verbs from 2) in た form(while technically it is being unclear) are assumed to be the resultant state when modifying nouns.

I actually realized, I have a follow-up question.
Is 住む a movement word?
Or would it count as a type 2 verb?
so, would 住んだ be an acceptable answer?


住む is not like momentary words(which is the name for the point 2 words from previous post,
決まっている事 / 決まった事
届いている手紙 / 届いた手紙
終わっているテレビドラマ / 終わったテレビドラマ
消えている文字 / 消えた文字
死んでいる虫 / 死んだ虫
知っている噂 / 知った噂
医者になっている人 / 医者になった人
着ている服 / 着た服
燃えている家 / 燃えた家
彼が(今)開けている窓 / 彼が開けた窓
痩せている人/ 痩せた人 etc
are examples - the words that describe change when in non past form(痩せる - to become thin/lose weight) and state in ている form - 痩せている be thin).

住んだ will clearly mean that it has been completed. (and is no more)

This lesson is more about modifying words with verbs in general.

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Thanks, that explained it actually pretty well :slight_smile:

On future explanations it would be nice to get also furigana. I know it is a bit of work to always add it in ones writing, but it does help those who are not that far into the vocab studies yet :slight_smile: (see the daily sentence thread)

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Great suggestion! :+1:

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This is listed in the Tobira path’s chapter two section, but is actually not the same grammar point as described in Tobira. The one in Tobira is specifically をしている and をした when used to refer to a part someone or something has.

Examples from Tobira:

  1. ぞうは長い鼻をしている。
  2. このオペラ歌手は、本当にきれいな声をしていますね。
  3. フレンチブルドッグは短い足をした犬だ。それに、面白い顔をしている。
  4. ヘビのような形をした、泳ぐことができるロボットがあるそうだ。

I am confusing this grammar point with another one, namely 「ている」. Or rather not the grammar point itself, but these two example sentences:

The man who is eating sushi is my older brother.

The woman who is watching the movie is Tanaka-san’s mother, right?

I had some trouble with these sentences before, but by now I understand them.

Now that I’m seeing this new grammar point, I wonder if this isn’t grammatically just the same thing (or an extension of it). Also note the following sentence from this grammar point:

A foreigner living in Japan.

I don’t see anything new in that. It’s just Te-form + いる modifying the succeeding noun. So let me suggest, shouldn’t the above sentences from the other grammar point be moved to this one?

Hello everyone,
I am stuck a little bit, would someone please me explain what difference between:
ナイフで刺されました男性 and ナイフで刺した男性 ? I mean, can I use
Verb[ た] + Noun construction to build up sentences with passive verbs ? Thanks :slight_smile:

@desufikator Welcome to the community!

You most certainly can! However, when you conjugate these verbs they must be in the plain form; you cannot use the ます-form to modify a noun.

“A man stabbed by a knife.” (The man was the one who was stabbed)

“A man who stabbed with a knife.” (The man was the one doing the stabbing)

I hope this helps! Cheers.

Thanks for this explanation! It really helped me to understand this.

One thing I don’t quite get is how the congugation (if that’s the right word) works. Presumably, with -ru verbs, you just replace る with た, ている, or ていた (as with 食べている in the example). But then why is it 太っている rather than just 太ている? And how does it work with u-verbs?


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