持て余していた

thetazuo

Senior Member
Chinese - China
持て余していた力を、陽菜さんにもらった勇気を、僕のなかで叫び続けている気持ちを、今こそ全部使い切るために僕は走る。

Hi. Why is 持て余す used in ていた form instead of ている form? Doesn’t 持て余していた sound like he had the strength in the past but he no longer has it now?
Thank you.
 
  • MKwhale

    Member
    Japanese
    お尋ねの前半は
    「ていた」と「ている」の違い
    後半は
    「ていた」を使うとit may connote that he does not have the strength any more?
    ということですね。

    後半の答えはno, it never connote that.です。
    その理由は前半の答にもなり、「ていた」と「ている」はどちらも誤りではありません。
    ただ、書いた人が込めたかった思いが
    「持て余す」については相当の期間に渡り持ち続けたという「完了形」をふさわしいものと捉えていて
    「もらった勇気」は過去のある時点でもらったという「過去形」がふさわしいと捉え
    「叫び続ける」のは自分なので現在進行形がふさわしいと捉えた

    と言う、書き手の捉え方の問題です。
    私が自然だと感じるのもこの捉え方です。

    この文を伝統的日本語である文語・・80年ぐらい前までの書き言葉・・で書くと

    「ていた」と「ている」の違いはなくなり、どちらも
    持て余したる力
    と表現され、このaux. verb「たる」の意味を完了と取るか断定と取るかは読み手の解釈になります。
    あるいは、「ている」に相当するのは
    持て余せる力
    というやや異なる表現となるかもしれません。

    話し言葉は書き言葉よりも気持を即時に表せるように進化したと私は考えています。
    進化の結果、失ったものもかなりありますが。。

    では
     

    thetazuo

    Senior Member
    Chinese - China
    Thank you. Sorry I can’t understand your idea completely, but I’ll try.
    「持て余す」については相当の期間に渡り持ち続けたという「完了形」をふさわしいものと捉えていて
    I may have misunderstood the meaning of 持て余す. So 持て余していた suggests that by the time he started using the strength, the state of his having excessive strength was already over. Right?
     
    Last edited:

    MKwhale

    Member
    Japanese
    Thank you. Sorry I can’t understand your idea completely, but I’ll try.

    持て余していた suggests that by the time he started using the strength, the state of his having excessive strength was already over. Right?
    持て余していたnever suggest his excessive strength has already expired.

    OK. I will rewrite my explanation in English when I can afford to.
    Hold on please.
     

    thetazuo

    Senior Member
    Chinese - China
    Thank you both.
    I have seen your reply email notification, Sola-san. It looks good.
    So
    持て余していた力を...今こそ全部使い切るために僕は走る。
    He had excessive strength earlier (than his running) in the past and now his excessive strength will have been expired (by a certain time in the future). ——> future perfect tense

    持て余している力を...今こそ全部使い切るために僕は走る。
    He had excessive strength earlier (than his running) in the past and now his excessive strength will not expired but will keep up. ——> plain future tense

    Do I get it right?
     

    SoLaTiDoberman

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    No. If I understand you correctly, I think you've misunderstood the things deeper. It has become worse.
    Besides, I don't even know what you're exactly saying.

    I deleted one reply after #4, before #5.
    I didn't want you to be confused. Just forget about the deleted post. And do not respond to it.
    I don't want you to be confused deeper.
    I really believe that you should learn from someone who understands both Chinese and Japanese for your sake, by a paid service if necessary.
     
    Last edited:

    MKwhale

    Member
    Japanese
    I agree with SoLaTiDo-san.

    Your way of guessing things is hard to foresee.


    持て余していた/いる力を...今こそ全部使い切るために僕は走る。

    I cannot imagine how you may think that the difference of いた/いる in the former part changes the tense of the latter part.

    In either case, the tense of latter part can be simple present, progressive present, or future. Modern colloquial Japanese does not care much about the tense. If it is necessary to specify the tense clearly, we add another words such as:

    以前から持て余していた力を・・・present perfect

    たった今も、持て余している力を・・・progressive present


    In this sense the tense of your example can be...

    ていた present perfect or simple present

    ている simple or progressive present

    But this does not matter for us because what is essentially meant is the same while nuances differ a bit.


    As I described in my answer#1, modern Japanese language has developed its ability to describe one’s feelings with ease.

    On the contrary, traditional Japanese of written form kept more stable form of grammar. So, if you are really interested in learning Japanese based strictly on grammar you’d better start with the traditional one.

    As I also wrote in my answer#1, both the持て余していた力and持て余している力are written持ち余したる力in traditional form. And the tense of たるis present perfect or decisive present. Here, たるis a declined form of たり. And this たりis an auxiliary verb to add decisive sense to the preceding verb. Modern colloquial expression of たis considered to have been developed from this たりwhich has no indication of past. In traditional Japanese, past form is 持ち余しき力. And as I said in the preceding lines, modern Japanese た has no such decisive ability of specifying past as traditional き has.

    As you can see now, learning Japanese based solely on grammar is not a good way. If you would like to learn Japanese, I recommend you to start with spoken language which is rather easy for a person who handle Chinese language which has far more characters and complicated phonetic system.

    Actually, most of Japanese people do not understand or fully accept orthodox grammar.
    For instance, 食べれる and 来れるare grammatically wrong. They should be 食べられる and 来られる。But nowadays many Japanese, including people who even engages in literary works, may use these types of language grammatically wrong.
    Therefore I do not recommend you to learn Japanese based too much on grammar even if you learn the language from a Japanese.

    If you are interested in Japanese written in beautiful traditional style, download a text file from the link below.

    即興詩人 (アンデルセン ハンス・クリスチャン)

    This is 即興詩人written by Andersen of Denmark and translated to Japanese by 森鷗外 one of the most talented novelist in Japan.

    Cheers.
     

    thetazuo

    Senior Member
    Chinese - China
    Thank you and your advices, MKwhale-san.
    I cannot imagine how you may think that the difference of いた/いる in the former part changes the tense of the latter part.
    ——> future perfect tense
    ——> plain future tense
    By the above I refer to the former part, not the latter part. But now I know my thinking in #5 is definitely wrong.
    On the contrary, traditional Japanese of written form kept more stable form of grammar. So, if you are really interested in learning Japanese based strictly on grammar you’d better start with the traditional one.
    Works in traditional Japanese are more difficult for me, but I’ll try to learn something from it.

    By the way, doesn’t “relative tense” have any bearing on my question?

    For example, in 食べた後で歯を磨いた。, the relative clause (underlined part) is always in the main clause's past (happened before it), and thus must be in the part form.
     

    MKwhale

    Member
    Japanese
    By the above I refer to the former part, not the latter part. But now I know my thinking in #5 is definitely wrong.
    Now I see what you were getting at.

    As you understand now, いた/いる just expresses speaker's view on how long his/her passion is held, never refer to an expected duration of the passion for the near future.
    And regarding your question of “relative tense”, my answer is no. But It depends on the sort of grammar you would like to take.
    In your example of食べた後で歯を磨いた, both of 食べた and 磨いたare simple past, and two past sentences are described simply in the order of occurrence. So, you can easily exchange the order like歯を磨いた後なのに食べた。 Besides, none of the “relative tense” theory does work in my brain when I handle Japanese. So it sounds like an “dead” theory to me.

    Another interesting topic regarding the past tense is that many languages including Japanese and English apply past tense to describe a supposed situation called subjunctive past. My reasoning tells that we apply the past tense making use of the character of the past that it is decisive or does not change any more. In other words, once supposed, the situation is logically decisive notwithstanding it is actual or not.
    Therefore the expression食べたら歯を磨きなさい can be called subjunctive past making use of the character of た specifying that the situation is decisive.

    Here, let me refer to traditional Japanese again.
    食べたら歯を磨きなさい is expressed 食べらば歯ぞ磨け while
    食べたので歯を磨きます is expressed 食べれば歯ぞ磨く。
    Again, grammar in traditional is strong and stable compared to the one applied to modern.

    Cheers.
     

    Flaminius

    coclea mod
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Perhaps it won't make much difference, but 食べらば sounds off. I will be happy to be corrected by a historical attestation, though. My objection is that the form is an anachronism in that:
    1. It supposes a very modern use of the verb by conjugating it in the godan-paradigm.
    2. The two functions of ba are of the traditional Japanese.
     
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