~する vs ~している

~する vs ~している

You had a busy day and you feel tired. Which one would you say to your family when you get home?

a. つかれた
b. つかれていた
c. つかれている
d. つかれる

My answer is a. つかれた. つかれる is a verb that means “to get/become tired,” so at the end of the day, you can say “I have gotten tired” = つかれた. This comment indicates that you have gotten tired at work (= past) but that you may recover and feel more energetic after a while (= not necessarily carrying over to the future).

However, if you feel exhausted even after having a rest, then you should say c. つかれている (= the current state). [てform]+いる indicates that that is a continuing condition or action from sometime in the past to sometime in the future.

If your children are noisy, you may have to say:

(= Be quiet because I am tired.)

or you may have to go to bed saying:

(= I’m already going to bed because I am tired.)

If anyone says つかれている, I will be somewhat worried about that person.

Of course, if the verb used is a real action verb, such as みる/みます or する/します, that indicates a continuous action. Like:

テレビを みています。
= I’m watching TV. (as opposed to I watch TV everyday.)

テニスを しています。
=I’m playing tennis. (as opposed to I usually play tennis)

b. つかれていた is the past version of つかれている, which indicates that you were exhausted at one point in the past and that condition lasted for a while but you have recovered since then.

きのうは つかれていたから はやく ねました。
= As I was tired yesterday, I went to bed early.

d. Non-past plain verbs are usually used for a current recurring action (not a continuous action) or an action that is certain to take place in the future. For that reason, つかれる is used to describe a person gets/feels tired repeatedly, rather than “somebody IS tired.”

としを とったから このごろは すぐに つかれる。
= These days I get tired quickly because I’m old.

However, つかれる can also be used like an adjective and it means “tiresome” or “exhausting.”

この しごとは つかれる。
= This job is tiresome.
あの ひとは つかれる ひとだ。
= He is an exhausting person.

2 thoughts on “~する vs ~している

  1. Reply
    [verbてform] + います | EasyJapaneseE
    29 March 2021 at 8:00 am

    […] ~する vs ~している […]

  2. Reply
    Don't use わかっている unless you really mean it! | EasyJapaneseE
    21 July 2020 at 11:01 pm

    […] Monday’s post was about the “[てform]+います” pattern, which is to describe a continuing state […]

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