Grammar Info

N5 Lesson 6: 11/13

~た + (Noun)

Verb modified noun, Relative clause


Verb[た](*) + Noun
Verb[ている](*) + Noun

(*) Only verbs in short (plain) form can modify nouns. Do not use polite-ます.


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About Verb[た・ている]+ Noun

In Japanese, if you want to describe something or someone that is performing an action, one of the ways you can do this is through a relative clause. A relative clause is when two phrases are joined into one sentence, rather than two individual sentences. The た (plain-past), or ている (continuous) form of verbs are usually used.

る-Verbs and う-Verbs follow their regular conjugation rules when making a relative clause. In the first example, we can see that 'Takashi-san is a man that lives in Tokyo', is one sentence, rather than 'Takashi-san is a man. He lives in Tokyo'. In English, words like 'that', and 'which' are used to create a relative clause. However, seeing as though these words do not exist in Japanese, the first phrase is simply attached to the noun.


The ます (polite) forms of verbs may not be used when making a relative clause.

  • たかしさんは東京(とうきょう)()んでいました(おとこ)。(Unnatural Japanese)
    Takashi-san is a man who lived in tokyo.




    A student who studied a lot.


    A foreigner living in Japan.


    A pen borrowed from a friend.


    Washed clothes.


    A chair I made.

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Verb[た・ている]+ Noun – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (25 in total)

  • mietolim


    I don’t really understand this grammar point and I feel like there is information missing. Why does 住む become 住んでいる? Specifically, where does the ん come from?

  • Pablunpro



    住む becomes 住んでいる because it is in its ている form, as 住む is one of those verbs that require the ている form to make real sense (you dwell and continue in the state of dwelling in a certain place).

    The comes from the way a む ending verb takes its て form.

    Click on the hyperlinks to learn more on these grammar points.


  • mietolim


    Thank you for the explanation!

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