Japanese POD 101 Team: Sorry I do not have access to Japanese characters such as Hiragana, Katakana, Kanji with this computer. I hoped that through your Forum, you could help with a question. I am studying Nihongo on my own now, but have attended classes at both the Japan America Society and at college. I travel for a living these days, and so I am working on my own! I ran into a question! Mainichi Nihongo o benkko shimasu. Nihongo o benkyo suro no daisukina desu! My question is: In the second portion of dialogue in chapter 9 of my Genki 1(first edition) textbook, the second sentence says: " Dete Iru hito wa minna otoko no h"ito desu yo"
It appears that "Dete" in this sentence is the "te" form of "Deru"( to appear; to attend) and "iru" is "( a person) is in...stays at" The translation of this sentence is : " The people who appear are all men."
My question is focused on "Dete iru" in the beginning of the sentence. I think I understand why the "te" form of "deru" is being used to link this verb to the rest of the sentence, but I don't understand the need for the verb "iru." Can you break down the sentence, please. Let me know in particular about "dete iru" in the beginning of the sentence and the placement and meaning of these words. Thank you so much!
The ~te iru construction covers two closely related situations. One situation describes something that is happening right now and the other describes the current state of something. Examples of the progressive tense, which describes something that is happening now:-
食べている。 tabete iru. He is eating.
本を読んでいる。 Hon wo yonde iru. She is reading a book.
Examples of describing a current state:-
広島に住んでいる。 Hiroshima ni sunde iru. He lives in Hiroshima.
私は結婚している。 Watashi wa kekkon shite iru. I am married.
知っている。 Shitte iru. I know.
When ~te iru is used for the current state, it can be mistaken for the progressive tense. For example, 太る (futoru) means 'to put on weight' but 私は太っている (watashi wa futotte iru) does not mean 'I am putting on weight', it means 'I have put on weight' or 'I am fat'.
In English, the construction "to be [verb]ing" describes one of four states (or 'aspects' to use the proper grammatical term):-
The inceptive state leading up to the action (e.g. "to be dying").
The progressive state of currently doing the action (e.g. "to be reading").
The resultative state resulting from the action (e.g. "to be standing").
The iterative state of repeatedly doing the action (e.g. "to be knocking").
Japanese -te iru is actually very similar, but with the important differences that it never expresses the inceptive state, and expresses the resultative state with a lot more verbs than English does (e.g. shinde iru means "to have died", not "to be dying").
In this case, we're looking at the iterative state. One thing to know (or notice, since it happens in English, too) about the iterative state is that it's used when a person performs the same action multiple times, but also often used when multiple people perform the same action (e.g. Hitobito wa sensō no sei de takusan shinde iru - "Many people are dying because of the war" - Note in this case we're not translating shinde iru as "has died", but "are dying", because we're talking about multiple subjects. We interpret shinde iru iteratively, not resultatively, and "are dying" iteratively, not inceptively). So in the Genki example:-
Dete iru hito wa minna otoko no hito desu yo The people who appear (are appearing) are all men
Multiple people are appearing (after all, it wouldn't make sense to use minna if hito only referred to one person), so we're using -te iru to say that the action of appearing is happening many times with different subjects.