Japanese Verbs on State Continuation
with Transitive and Intransitive Verbs -
Free Japanese Lessosns: 31

In the previous 2 lessons, you have learned the Japanese verbs on state continuation using て-form + います (te-form + imasu) and transitive & intransitive verbs.

In this lesson we'll look into combining the two to express the resulting state further.

You know that the 4th function of て-form + います (te-form + imasu) is state continuation. It is defined as a certain continuing state which resulted from a certain action in the past.

You can actually use a transitive verb to emphasize that the resulting state is the result of action done by someone.

On the other hand, an intransitive verb is used to emphasize the resulting state, ignoring who did the action.

Sentence Patterns

Let's look at the sentence patterns of Japanese verbs state continuation with transitive and intransitive verbs...

Transitive verb (て-form) あります

Intransitive verb (て-form) います

An Example of Japanese Verb Transitive/Intransitive Pair

To understand the sentence patterns, let's use a simple example. A window in the room is opened currently. Mr Tanaka then closed the window and the window remained closed.

Japanese verbs on state continuation with transitive verb

When the window is closed by Mr Tanaka, you can say たなかさんはまどをしめました (tanaka san wa mado wo shimemashita).

To describe the resulting state where the window has been closed by someone (Mr Tanaka) and still remain closed, you will say...

  • まど  しめてあります。
    mado ga shimete arimasu
    Meaning: The window has been closed (by someone).

In another situation, the wind is so strong that it forces an window in the room to close naturally.

Japanese verbs on state continuation with intransitive verb

In this case, you can say まどがしまりました (mado ga shimarimashita). To describe this resulting state where the window was closed and remain closed, you will say...

  • まど  しまっています。
    mado ga shimatte imasu
    Meaning: The window was closed.

In both the above examples, the resulting states are the same - the windows remain closed. However you will use either of them depending on what you want to describe.

If you want to emphasize on the fact that someone has closed the window in the past and it still remain closed, use Transitive verb (て-form) あります.

If you don't care who closed the window and just want to describe the fact that the window was closed and it still remain closed, use Intransitive verb (て-form) います.

Note that since you are making a description, the particle used is が (ga) instead of を (wo) for the case of Transitive verb (て-form) あります. Therefore it is wrong to say まど  しめてあります (mado wo shimete arimasu).

More Examples of Japanese Verbs Transitive/Intransitive Pairs

Let's use some of the Japanese verbs transitive/intransitive pairs you learned in lesson 30 for more examples.

1. ならべる (naraberu) / ならぶ (narabu)

  • おさら ならべてあります。
    osara ga narabete arimasu
    Meaning: Plates have been arranged by someone / Someone arranged the plates.
  • ひと ならんでいます。
    hito ga narande imasu
    Meaning: People are queuing.

2. けす (kesu) / きえる (kieru)

  • でんき けしてあります。
    denki ga keshite arimasu
    Meaning: Light has been switched off (by someone).
  • でんき きえています。
    denki ga kiete imasu
    Meaning: Light was switched off.

3. つける (tsukeru) / つく (tsuku)

  • でんき つけてあります。
    denki ga tsukete arimasu
    Meaning: Light has been switched on (by someone).
  • でんき ついています。
    denki ga tsuite imasu
    Meaning: Light was switched on.

4. とめる (tomeru) / とまる (tomaru)

  • くるま とめてあります。
    kuruma ga tomete arimasu
    Meaning: The car has been stopped (by someone).
  • くるま とまっています。
    kuruma ga tomatte imasu
    Meaning: The car was stopped.

5. あける (akeru) / あく (aku)

  • ドア あけてあります。
    doa ga akete arimasu
    Meaning: The door has been opened (by someone).
  • ドア あいています。
    doa ga aite imasu
    Meaning: The door was opened.

In conclusion, you can use both Transitive verb (て-form) あります and Intransitive verb (て-form) います to describe the remained state of the same situation.

If you want to emphasize on the person who made the situation, use Transitive verb (て-form) あります. If you just want to describe the situation, use Intransitive verb (て-form) います.

Related Pages

Lesson 18: Verbs.

Lesson 19: Verbs Part 2 - Change dictionary-form to masu-form and nai-form.

Lesson 20: Verbs on give and receive.

Lesson 21: Verbs te-form.

Lesson 22: Verbs on Progress Action, Habitual Action & Occupation.

Lesson 23: Verbs of Motion & How to Make Request in Japanese.

Lesson 29: Verbs on State Continuation.

Lesson 30: Verbs Transitive/Intransitive.

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