Ask-a-Teacher: What is the difference between -TE KARA and -TA TOKI?
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Question to Teacher: What is the difference between -TE KARA and -TA TOKI?
Course 3 Lesson 12: Atsuko's Letter (Grammar)
Post Date: 2010-12-15 16:53:37
save to notebook
2009 Oct 17
I was wondering how does a sentence change when using -te kara or -ta toki?
Nihon ni itte kara nihongo no benkyou o hajimetai desu
Nihon ni itta toki ni nihongo no benkyou o hajimetai desu
Thanks in advance ^_^,
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Post Date: 2011-01-05 03:29:43
1997 Aug 25
I like this question.
It's easy to think both of these sentences mean the same thing, but they do not.
The TE form of a verb followed by KARA means "after I do this verb" or "since doing this verb". The exact meaning changes based on the final part of the sentence.
1. Nihon ni itte kara nihongo no benkyou o hajimemasu.
After I go to Japan, I will begin studying Japanese.
2. Nihon ni itte kara nihongo o mainichi benkyou shiteimasu.
After going to Japan, I study Japanese everyday.
As you can see in sentence 1 the speaker has NOT yet gone to Japan.
However in sentence 2 he has already went and returned. So the meaning of any TE KARA grammar changes based on the context.
Now let's look at TA TOKI where you take the TA form (past tense informal) of a verb and add "TOKI" (when).
In this grammar, the action has already happened. The action can NOT be in the future.
1. Nihon ni itta toki nihongo no benkyou o hajimemashita.
When I went to Japan I begin studying Japanese.
2. Nihon ni itta toki 15 sai deshita.
I was 15 years old when I went to Japan.
So to sum it up:
TE KARA = after I do [verb], after doing [verb]
TA TOKI = when I did [verb]