Grammar Info

N2 Lesson 4: 8/18


-ing, Be -ing


Verb[ます+ つつある


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About つつある

When the particle つつ 'while doing' is combined with ある 'to be', it indicates that someone or something is in the ongoing process of (A). (A) will be a verb in its ます-stem form. This formal grammar structure primarily highlights that (A) is slowly but surely continuing or changing. This 'change' is often in regard to an increase, decrease, expansion, contraction, or something similar.
This pattern can be translated simply as 'to be (A)ing'.
  • 毎年(まいとし)年金(ねんきん)受給額(じゅきゅうがく)()つつあるので、生活(せいかつ)(こま)っている高齢者(こうれいしゃ)()えてきている。
    Every year, more and more elderly people are having trouble making ends meet because their pension benefits are decreasing.
  • 日本(にほん)では物価(ぶっか)()がりつつある
    Prices in general are rising in Japan.
  • 最近(さいきん)はインターネットを使(つか)って()(もの)ができるので、わざわざお(みせ)()って()(もの)をする(ひと)()つつある
    These days, people can shop using the Internet, so fewer people are going out of their way to go to stores to shop.
Caution - Compared to ている, つつある tends not to be used in relation to noticably physical motions, but rather highlights actions that indicate an ongoing state of change (such as the blooming of a flower), rather than simply 'continuing'. This is especially true for verbs that have an obvious end or completion point.
  • (かれ)はりんごを()ている
    He is eating an apple. (Natural Japanese)
  • (かれ)はりんごを()つつある
    He is eating an apple. (Unnatural Japanese)




    It is a pity that the number of wild animals in Africa is decreasing.


    In recent years, the economical relationship between country A and country B is strengthening. However, when it comes to the military, small-scale conflicts close to the border do not cease.


    There are countries that are changing into deserts due to global warming. In addition, there are also island countries that are sinking into the ocean.


    In the 70's, the price of oil was rising rapidly so riding bicycles became a common practice in the Netherlands.


    Fortunately, my disease is healing.

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つつある – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (1 in total)

  • Myria


    I hope this is the right place to add these questions.
    Regarding the sentence

    I answered へっている and was marked wrong. I feel like a hint is warranted here. I usually review with translations/hints off so I went with the first thing that came to my mind. Usually bunpro’s hint/shake system allows me to get to the answer it wants, but somehow it didn’t for this review.

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