1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Japanese
  4. >
  5. 食べます or 食べています


食べます or 食べています

Hi ! I'm also learning Japanese with Rosetta Stone, and when they had "to eat" or a sentence in which someone was eating, it was always spoken and written as 食べています. Duolingo has it without the てい. Do you need the てい ? Does it change the sentence in any way ?

March 3, 2018



They are two different forms of a verb:

食べます (tabemasu) - plain polite form, meaning "eat", "will eat"

食べています (tabete imasu) - -て form, meaning "is eating" right now, "is in state of eating"

There are also many more uses of the -te form, you can read about how to make it here, and about how to use it here.

It's also used to make compound sentences, Tae Kim's guide also explains more about the -te form.

Don't restrict yourself to learning just through Rosetta, it doesn't really explain grammar. If you want to understand Japanese, you should use other resources for that.

Hope that will help you! :)

Edit: that form appears in Duo course too, just a bit later ;)


They are just the present form and present continuous form, and the usage is not much different from English. If someone come to your table while you are eating, in certain context you would use the simple present tense too.


I’m half Japanese:P I will tell you what will change. 食べますmeans “will eat”, and 食べていますmeans “am eating”. I hope you get it. Ask any questions if you need anything!!

Learn Japanese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.