Started to dance vs. started dancing

Discussion in 'Learning Japanese' started by Andrew Mize, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. Andrew Mize

    Andrew Mize 後輩

    Do the two clauses おどり はじめました and おどって はじめました have different nuances or completely different meanings in general? When would each example be more appropriate? Also what is the name of the form when changing a verb into -ing, like odoru to odori?
  2. Kraise

    Kraise 先輩

    #2 Kraise, Aug 11, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
    I didnt get exactly what you mean but.

    The english "ing" form is similar to the:
    - Verbて+います(ている)
    食べています - 踊っています
    Be careful though, cause its not always an action being done in the present. It can also represent the current state of something ( 死んでいます is "dead" not "dying")

    About 踊り 始めた and 踊って 始めた
    The first is a common construction (verb in 連用 + 始める) that means to start some action. The second is more like you're joining clauses together(considering the subject is you), it sounds odd given what you're trying to achieve (to me ofc).
  3. Toritoribe

    Toritoribe 禁漁期
    Staff Member Moderator

    Yes, the -te form just connects the two clauses in おどってはじめました. This can be used as "started to do something (other than dancing) after/while dancing" if what is started is obvious from the context.

    It's called ren'yōkei(連用形), i-form, -masu stem, etc.. Remember that this form can be used as a noun in some structures, so it's similar to gerund in English in a sense, but it can't be used as the present participle, thus, it can't express for instance the present progressive tense, as Kraise-san explained.
  4. Andrew Mize

    Andrew Mize 後輩

    Thank you! that makes sense

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