521 - つつある

If you're studying for N2, then you're already aware that ~ている is used to denote an action in progress.

What I mean is, ~ている is often the equivalent of the present progressive tense in English (= to be ~ing):

勉強しています(べんきょうしています // I'm studying.
勉強してます(べんきょうしてます // I'm studying.
勉強している(べんきょうしている // I'm studying.
勉強してる(べんきょうしてる // I'm studying.

Note: The conjugation chosen from the four options above will vary based upon the formality of the sentence―a topic for another day. Also, the subject of the translation could be "They're", "He's", etc. depending on context.

I can just about guarantee that you'll see and hear various forms of ~ている pretty much every time you come across the Japanese language.

What you might not come across, however, is the grammatical form we're looking at in this lesson:


JLPT N2: つつある (be ~ing [=present progressive])

つつある is used to show that an action is in progress, is happening right now.

It is not commonly used in spoken language, but you do see it from time to time in written Japanese.

An example:

地球温暖化の影響で、北極の氷が減りつつある
ちきゅうおんだんか の えいきょう で、 ほっきょく の こおり が へりつつある。
Due to global warming, the polar ice caps are diminishing.
Literally: “global warming + の + influence + で, + North Pole + の + ice + が + is diminishing.”

The verb 減る (へる) means "to decrease; to diminish; to abate."

Accordingly, 減りつつある (へりつつある) means "is decreasing; is diminishing; is abating."


👷 Construction 👷

Just looking at that one example listed above, some of you grammar ninjas have probably already figured out how to conjugate this grammatical form:


V ますつつある

So we just take the ます-stem and add つつある.

Easy enough, yeah?


You are flying through this lesson.

You've already reached the final onslaught of example sentences.

Hang in there...

性別の概念は多様化しつつある
せいべつ の がいねん は たようか しつつある。
The concept of gender is becoming broader.
Literally: “gender + の + concept / general idea + は + diversification + is doing.”

電子マネーの普及により、現金を使う機会が無くなりつつある
でんしマネー の ふきゅう により、 げんきん を つかう きかい が なくなりつつある。
Due to the spread of electronic money, opportunities to use cash are disappearing.
Literally: “electronic money + の + diffusion / spread / popularization + により (=due to), cash + を + use + chance / opportunity + が + are disappearing / are being lost.”

消滅しつつあるアイヌ語を守るために、無料でアイヌ語を教えています。
しょうめつ しつつある アイヌご を まもる ために、 むりょう で アイヌご を おしえています。
I teach free Ainu lessons in hopes of protecting the Ainu language, which is going extinct.
Literally: “extinction + is doing + Ainu (language) + を + protect + in order to, + free + で + Ainu (language) + を + am teaching.”


And we're done!

I swear, sometimes N2 and N1 grammar feels a lot easier than N4 and N3 grammar.

Don't you think?

The vocab's a lot harder, though...

Discussion

1 comments