I was, I am, I will be


Senior Member
Lithuania Czech
In fact, watashi-wa (私は) is very common.

Since the original poster has never visited the forum probably right after the thread was created, there is no knowing what "to be" in his enquiry really means. Yet so far, some posts have been very clear about how Japanese would translate the sentence.

Here is an introductory explanations on the problems in translating into Japanese.

And here is an ingenious translation.
Thank you, Flaminius, for explanation. Excuse, my note concerned Mutichous post, where he wrote: "私はです..."
As I had read a notes, inspirated by book 『日本語に主語はいらない』by 金谷武洋, in case, where is "I am.." in context "I am NAME" "私は.." is not so usual as (私が)(not necessary) NAME です or NAME と申します. In this situation it(私) may sound a little bit egocentricaly, if there is not any other special circumstances, where it may be OK.
  • apmoy70

    Senior Member

    «Ήμουν, είμαι, θα είμαι» [ˈi.mun] (1st p. singular aorist), [ˈi.me] (1st p. singular pres.), [θa ˈi.me] (1st p. singular fut.)

    Ancient Greek:

    «Ἧν, ὤν, ἐσόμενος» hên (ἧν is 1st. p. singular imperfect indicative of the v. «εἰμί» ei̯mí --> to be), ṓn (ὤν is masculine sing. pres. active participle of the v. «εἰμί» ei̯mí --> to be), ĕsómĕnŏs (ἐσόμενος is masculine sing. fut. middle participle of the v. «εἰμί» ei̯mí --> to be)


    Senior Member
    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    In many Romance languages, there is a distinction between the imperfective and perfective forms of the past, so two translations would be possible for "I was".

    Only in Iberia:

    Portuguese: imperf. era || perf. fui
    Galician: imperf. era || perf. fun
    Asturian: imperf. yera || perf. fui
    Spanish: imperf. era || perf. fui
    Aragonese: imperf. yera || perf. estié
    Catalan: imperf. era || perf. (compound form) vaig ser, (simple form, rare) fui
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