Te kita vs te kite iru

have come to understand
Why is the answer わかってきた instead of わかってきている?

I’m no expert, but intuitively because you are not continuously coming to understand something, you come to understand it once and then you understand it.


One of the key differences between using ~てきている vs ~たきた is the nuance on whether something has already ‘completed’ or is ‘moving in that direction’. For the example you mentioned, using 分かってきた would put the nuance that you have completely grasped the understanding of the concept you were trying to understand. On the other hand, 分かってきている would have the nuance that while you’re beginning to understand, your knowledge or understanding of the topic isn’t quite complete yet. Another example of this (although not the most natural usage) would be using seasons. 冬になってきた would place nuance on the fact that winter has completely arrived while 冬になってきている (once again, not the most natural of phrases) would have the nuance of ‘winter is almost here’ similar to the nuance of ‘it’s beginning to feel like winter is here’.


Helpful, thank you!