Grammar Info

N5 Lesson 10: 2/12

~ている ③

Has/have done, Is ~ing (Repetition)

ている is often shortened to てる. This applies to all tenses, including てる, てて, てた, and even てます


Verb[て]+ いる
Verb[] +


  • Part of Speech

    Conjunctive Particle

  • Word Type


  • Register


  • 品詞


  • 単語の種類


  • 使用域


About ている③

The 3rd most common meaning (in no specific order) that ている is used for in Japanese, is the repetition of common activities. This is for things that are not 'continuing', but happen so often that they are considered to be continuous (like going to work, having a hobby, and similar things).

Due to いる being one of the verbs for 'existing' in Japanese, the ている form is closer to 'continuing to exist in a specific state', rather than (A)~ing in English. In this construction, it can be thought of as 'to be existing in the state of performing a regular activity'.


With this meaning of ている, to make it easier to understand, expressions of time are often used. This can be things like 毎日(まいにち), 毎晩(まいばん), 毎週(まいしゅう), and similar phrases.

Fun Fact

Regularly in novels, manga, and specifically some parts of Japan, とる may be used instead of ている with the same meaning.

  • (おれ)毎日(まいにち)勉強(べんきょう)とる
    I study every day.



  • (おれ)毎週(まいしゅう)金曜日(きんようび)(よる)スーパー()ているのだ

    I go to the supermarket every Friday night. (I am going...)

    When expressing repeated action, the standard form can also be used in many cases having the same meaning. Therefore 行く can also be used here.

    • ふうたろうさん毎日(まいにち)みくさん一緒(いっしょ)歴史(れきし)勉強(べんきょう)ている

      Fuutarou-san studies history every day with Miku. (Fuutarou-san is studying...)

      • 魔王(まおう)さまバーガークイーン(はたら)ています

        The Demon Lord works at Burger Queen. (The Demon Lord is working...)

        • この公園(こうえん)毎週末(まいしゅうまつ)(おお)(ひと)(はし)ています

          Many people run in this park every weekend. (Many people are running...)

          • どうしてスティーブンいつも(くろ)タートルネック()ているのです

            Why does Steven always wear a black turtleneck? (Steven is wearing...)

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            ている③ – Grammar Discussion

            Most Recent Replies (11 in total)

            • semanticman


              I’m having trouble understanding the difference between when the “repetition of common activities” use of ている is different than the “habitual” sense of the basic non-past form.

              In this lesson, we see the example:


              I sleep at 9 every night. (This is a habit of the speaker)

              While in the lesson for non-past, we see:


              My wife watches movies every night.

              And many other examples seem equivalent.

              ている #3 lesson example:


              Grandmother takes medicin...

            • diddy_dante


              Hitomi’s mother is a teacher. (Hitomi’s mother is doing…)

              would just ひとみさんのお母さんは教師です not also be fine? Is the usage of している significantly more common?

              And also (I’m genuinely serious), regarding
              “をやっている can also be used in this case, but it sounds more casual (and might sound a bit rude)”
              Considering やる is also slang for to have sex (according to dictionary (JMdict)), how would you differentiate that Hitomi’s mother is a teacher vs Hitomi’s mother is doing a teacher?

            • semanticman


              This is still unanswered

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