Japanese Verbs on State Continuation -
Free Japanese Lessons: 29

You have learned the 3 functions of Japanese verbs て-form + います (te-form + imasu) in lesson 22, which are progress action, habitual action and one's occupation.

In this lesson you will get to learn another function which is state continuation.

In definition this is a certain continuing state which resulted from a certain action in the past.

Japanese verbs used for this function are verbs which describe changes that are more or less instantaneous.

This function is commonly used for 1) Appearance and 2) State.

Japanese Verbs used in Progress Action

Let's look at the following actions...

  • ほんをよんでいます。
    hon wo yonde imasu
    Meaning: reading book
  • テレビをみています。
    terebi wo mite imasu
    Meaning: watching tv
  • おんがくをきいています。
    ongaku wo kiite imasu
    Meaning: listening to music

The Japanese verbs used in the above actions normally require some times and cannot be done instantly. Therefore the above actions become progress actions.

However for the action of "wearing" or きます (kimasu), if you were to make て-form + います, normally this action finish instantly.

Therefore て-form + います is used to show the result of the action, or the resulting state.

So for the following action...

  • せんせいはうわぎをきています。
    sensei wa uwagi wo kite imasu

    Meaning: Teacher is wearing a jacket.

The English definition is also the same.

When you say "Teacher is wearing a jacket", you are saying the appearance of the teacher which is the resulting state of the wearing action. You are actually NOT saying the action of wearing the jacket.

Of course it can be progress action too. For example when you are changing your clothes in your room, you say...

  • いまふくをきています。
    ima fuku wo kite imasu

    Meaning: I am changing my clothes now. (progress action)

Other than the above situation, normally it is used for appearance (resulting state). For instance, someone is wearing a black dress, someone is wearing necklace, someone is wearing glasses, etc.

Japanese Verbs used in Appearance Expressions

Usually in English you use the verb "wear" or "put on" for appearance, regardless that you are wearing a hat, a pair of glasses, a shirt or a trousers.

But in Japanese, depends on what you are wearing, you will need to use different Japanese verbs. I will introduce some of them based on different categories.

1. Upper Body (above waist)

Dictionary form te-form + imasu Romaji
きる きています kite imasu

Things which can be used with this Japanese verb...

  • シャツ (shatsu - shirt)
  • ブラウス (burausu - blouse)
  • ワンピース (wanpi-su - one-piece dress for women)
  • コート (ko-to - coat)
  • セーター (se-ta- - sweater)
  • うわぎ (uwagi - jacket)
  • スーツ (su-tsu - suit)


  • あにはセーターをきています。
    ani wa se-ta- wo kite imasu

    Meaning: My elder brother is wearing a sweater.

2. Bottom (below waist)

Dictionary form te-form + imasu Romaji
はく はいています haite imasu

Things which can be used with this Japanese verb...

  • ズボン (zubon - trousers)
  • スカート (suka-to - skirt)
  • くつ (kutsu - shoes)
  • くつした (kutsushita - sock)


  • ちちはあたらしいくつをはいています。
    chichi wa atarashi kutsu wo haite imasu

    Meaning: My father is wearing new shoes.

3. Top (on head) 

Dictionary form te-form + imasu Romaji
かぶる かぶっています kabutte imasu

Thing which can be used with this verb...

  • ぼうし (boushi - hat)


  • いもうとはぼうしをかぶっています。
    imouto wa boushi wo kabutte imasu

    Meaning: My younger sister is wearing a hat.

4. Glasses

Dictionary form te-form + imasu Romaji
かける かけています kakete imasu

Thing which can be used with this verb...

  • めがね (megane - glasses)


  • せんせいはめがねをかけているひとです。
    sensei wa megane wo kakete iru hito desu

    Meaning: Teacher is the person who is wearing glasses.

5. Accessories

Dictionary form te-form + imasu Romaji
する しています shite imasu

Things which can be used with this Japanese verb...

  • とけい (tokei - watch)
  • ネックレス ( nekkuresu - necklace)
  • ゆびわ (yubiwa - ring)
  • ベルト (beruto - belt)
  • ネクタイ (nekutai - necktie)


  • はははちちからもらったとけいをしています。
    haha wa chichi kara moratta tokei wo shite imasu

    Meaning: My mother is wearing the watch given by my father.

6. Hold/Carry Something (or Possession)

Dictionary form te-form + imasu Romaji
もつ もっています motte imasu

Things which can be used with this Japanese verb...

  • かばん (kaban - bag)
  • ほん (hon - book)
  • かさ (kasa - umbrella)
  • anything you can hold or carry, etc


  • わたしはかさをもっています。
    watashi wa kasa wo motte imasu

    Meaning: I carry an umbrella / I have a umbrella.

Japanese Verbs て-form + います (te-form + imasu) for State

Another common use for Japanese verbs て-form + います (te-form + imasu) is when you are defining the state.

For example when you say...

  • わたしはらいねんにほんにすみます。
    watashi wa rainen nihon ni sumimasu

    Meaning: Next year I will live in Japan.

But if you want to say that you are living in Japan now, you need to use て-form + います (te-form + imasu).

  • わたしはにほんにすんでいます。
    watashi wa nihon ni sunde imasu

    Meaning: I am living in Japan now.

Another good example is the explanation of marriage...

  • わたしはあしたけっこんします。
    watashi wa ashita kekkonshimasu
    Meaning: I will get married tomorrow.
  • わたしはきのうけっこんしました。
    watashi wa kinou kekkonshimashita
    Meaning: I got married yesterday.

Both the above 2 examples are one-time events which will happen or have happened on that particular day.

However if you want to stress the state that you are now married, you will need to use て-form + います (te-form + imasu).

  • わたしはけっこんしています。
    watashi wa kekkon shite imasu
    Meaning: I am married (state).
Japanese verbs on state continuation

Similarly, if you want to say someone is fat or slim (state), you have to use て-form + います (te-form + imasu).

  • わたしはふとっています。
    watashi wa futotte imasu
    Meaning: I am fat.
  • わたしはやせています。
    watashi wa yasete imasu
    Meaning: I am slim.

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 30: Verbs - Transitive and Intransitive verbs.

Lesson 31: Verbs on State Continuation Transitive/Intransitive.

Ready Set Speak Sale! Get up 40% OFF Forever Discount on Premium or Premium PLUS plan! Ends on 19 April 2024

Click Here to Get up to 40% OFF Forever Discount on Premium or Premium PLUS plan and be on the fast track to fluency in Japanese.

The link above is an affiliate link, which means that I would earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you do end up purchasing the related learning course.



Buy me a coffee

Like This Page?

Facebook Comments

Don’t see the comments box? Log in to your Facebook account, give Facebook consent, then return to this page and refresh it.
Enjoy this page? Please tell others about it. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.