Casual Contraction: ている( = teiru)→てん ( = ten), ておく( = teoku) →とく ( = toku)

casual contraction

「クッキー先生、起きてんの?」

= Cookie Sensei, Okiten no?

= Is Cookie Sensei awake?

「寝てんじゃない?」

= Neten ja nai?

= Isn’t he sleeping?

Hi everyone! I am Cookie.
I would like to teach you very conversational casual Japanese contraction today.
Casual contractions are considered to be bad grammar and many language experts criticize it.
However, we say/hear that a lot in conversation and you will see it in casual writing.
Japanese people don’t always talk or write the way you learned in textbooks.
So when you hear/see something that is different from what you have learned, you may get confused.
Many Maggie Sensei students have asked us about contractions in the comment section.
While it is technically grammatically “wrong”, I wouldn’t say it is bad language. It is a little like “wanna / gonna” in English. And like contractions in other languages we use these Japanese contractions simply because they are easier to pronounce. You don’t need to actually use these forms, and I would advise against avoid using them in your Japanese class. But I think you’ll find them useful to know.

*Dropping ( = i)

Dropping  い  ( = i)  which is called “抜き言葉 (= inuki kotoba) “

~て ( = te iru) / ~で( = de iru)

(casual contraction)

~てる ( = teru)/~でる ( = deru)

(negative form)

~てない ( = te inai) / ~でない ( = de inai)

(casual contraction)

~てない( = tenai) /~でない  ( = denai)

(past tense)

~て  ( = te ita) / ~でた  ( = de ita)

(casual contraction)

~てた  ( = te ta) / ~でた ( = de ta)

*Related lesson: How to use ~ている (=teiru)

Ex. 学校が終わったら公園で待ってるね。

= Gakkou ga owattara kouen de matte iru ne.

= I will wait for you in the park after school.

学校が終わったら公園で待ってるね。

= Gakkou ga owattara kouen de matterune.

***

Ex. あの人、ずっとこっちの方を見てるよ。

= Anohito, zutto kocchi no hou wo mite iru yo.

= He/She/ That  person has been watching you for the whole time.

あの人、ずっとこっちの方を見てるよ。

= Anohito, zutto kocchi no hou wo miteruyo.

***

Ex. 彼女は、昔、一緒に遊んでた友達です。

= Kanojo wa mukashi, issho ni asonde ita tomodachi desu.

= She is a friend I used to play with long time ago.

彼女は、昔、一緒に遊んでた友達です。

= Kanojo wa mukashi, issho ni asondeta tomodachi desu.

***
Ex. もう30分も待っているのにこないから先に食べてるね。

= Mou sanjuppun mo matte iru no ni konai kara saki ni tabete iru ne.

= Since you have kept us waiting for 30 minutes, we will go ahead and eat, OK?

もう30分も待ってるのにこないから先に食べてるね。

= Mou sanjuppun mo matteru noni konai kara saki ni tabeterune.

***

Ex. 毎日、走ってるのにちっともやせない。

= Mainichi, hashitte iru noni chittomo yasenai.

= Though I am running everyday, I can’t lose weight.

毎日、走ってるのにちっともやせない。

= Mainichi, hashitteru noni chittomo yasenai.

***

Ex. どう、最近、日本語の勉強してる?

= Dou, saikin, nihongo no benkyou shiteiru?

= Hey, have you been studying Japanese lately?

どう、最近、日本語の勉強してる

= Dou, saikin, nihongo no benkyou shiteru?

***

Ex. 女心がわかってないなあ。

= Onna gokoro ga wakatte inai naa.

= You don’t understand women’s mind.

女心がわかってないなあ。

= Onnagokoro ga wakatte nai naa.

***

Ex. 昨日は全然、寝てないから、今日は眠い。

= Kinou wa zenzen, nete inai kara, kyou wa nemui.

= Since I didn’t sleep at all yesterday, I am sleepy today.

昨日は全然、寝てないから、今日は眠い。

= Kinou wa zenzen, nete nai kara, kyou wa nemui.

***

Ex. 電車が混んでたから座れなかった。

= Densha ga konde ita kara suwarenakatta.

= The train was crowded so I couldn’t sit down (on the train).

電車が混んでたから座れなかった。

= Densha ga kondeta kara suwarenakatta.

***

Ex. 彼の気持ちはよくわかってたが何も言えなかった。

= Kare no kimochi wa yoku wakatte itaga nani mo ienakatta.

= I understood well how he felt but I couldn’t say anything.

彼の気持ちはよくわかってたが何も言えなかった。

= Kare no kimochi wa yoku wakatteta ga nani mo ienakatta.

***

Ex. そこまで考えてなかった。
= Sokomade kangaete inakatta.

= I didn’t think that far.

→ そこまで考えてなかった

= Sokomade kangaete nakatta.

*******

~て (= te iku) / ~で( = de iku)

(casual contraction)

てく (= teku) /  でく( = deku)

negative form

~てかない ( = te ikanai) / ~でかない ( = de ikanai)

(casual contraction)

~てかない (=tekanai) / ~でかない ( = dekanai)

past tense

~てった ( = te itta) / ~でった ( = de itta)

(casual contraction)

~てった ( = tetta) / ~でった ( = detta)

past negative

~てかなかった ( = te ikanakatta) / ~でかなかった ( = de ikanakatta)

(casual contraction)

~てかなかった ( = tekanakatta) / ~でかなかった ( = dekanakatta)

* Related lesson : ~てくる( = tekuru) / ~ ていく( = teiku)

Ex. 今日、うちで夕ごはん、たべてく?

= Kyou, uchi de yuugohan tabete iku?

= Do you want to have dinner with me at my place?

今日、うちで夕ごはん、たべてく

= Kyou, uchi de yuugohan, tabeteku?

***

Ex. 雨が降るかもしれないから、傘を持ってった方がいいよ。

= Ame ga furukamo shirenai kara, kasa wo motte itta hou ga iiyo.

= It might rain so you should take an umbrella with you.

→ 雨が降るかもしれないから、傘を持ってった方がいいよ。

= Ame ga furukamo shirenai kara, kasa wo mottetta hou ga iiyo.

*********

~て ( = teiru) / ~で( = de iru) + suffix  / だ &です ( = da/desu)

(casual contraction)

~てん ( = ten )/ ~でん ( = den)+  nounsuffix / だ & です ( = da/desu) ( = da/desu)

* So you drop ( = i) and changing ( = ru) to ( = n)

Note: I have already explained how we change ( = no) to   ( = n) in this lesson
Please read or review that lesson if you need to.

Ex. どこで働いてるの? 

= Doko de hataraite iru no?

=  Where do you work?

どこで働いてんの?

= Doko de hataraiten no?

***

Ex. 私が言ってることわかってるの?

= Watashi ga itte iru koto wakatte iru no?

= Do you understand what I am talking about?

私が言ってることわかってんの?

= Watashi ga itteru koto wakatten no?

***

Ex. またあいつ来てるな。(male speech/ rough)

= Mata aitsu kiteiru na.

= He is here again, huh?

またあいつ来てんな。

= Mata aitsu kiten na.

***

Ex. 今度の日曜日、何をやってるの?

= Kondo no nichiyoubi wa nani wo yatte iru no?

= What are you doing next (or this coming) Sunday?

今度の日曜日、何、やってんの?

= Kondo no nichiyoubi, nani, yatten no?

***

Ex. 今、どんな本を、読んでるの?

= Ima, donna hon wo yonde iru no?

= What kind of book are you reading now?

今、どんな本*、読んでんの?

= Ima, donna hon, yonden no?

Note: We often omit a particle (, etc. in conversation)

***

Ex. 誰のことを、考えてるの?

= Dare no koto wo, kangaete iru no?

= Who are you thinking about?

誰のことを、考えてんの?

= Dare no koto wo, kangaeten no?

Ex. いつもマギーのことばかり考えてるよ。

= Itsumo Maggie no koto bakari kangaete iru yo.

= I am always thinking about Maggie.

いつもマギーのことばかり考えてるんだよ。

= Itsumo Maggie no koto bakari kangaeterun dayo.

Note: You don’t say 考えるんよ。( = Kangae run yo)

てお (= te oku)

(casual contraction) とく (=toku)

(negative form)

ておかない ( = te okanai ) 

(casual contraction) かない ( = tokanai)

(past tense)

ておいた( = te oita)

( casual contraction ) いた (= toita)

(past negative)

ておかなかった( = te okanakatta )

 → ( casual contraction)とかなかった (= tokanakatta)

*Related lesson : How to use ~ておく(=te oku)

Ex. もう出かけていいよ。あとは片付けておくから。

= Mou dekakete iiyo. Ato wa katazukete oku kara.

= You can leave now. I will take care of putting things away so….

もう出かけていいよ。あとは片付けから。

= Mou dekakete iiyo. Ato wa katazukettoku kara.

****

Ex. クッキー先生に宿題減らしてって言っておくから。

= Cookie Sensei ni shukudai herashite tte itte oku kara.

= I will tell Cookie-Sensei to reduce the amount of homework, OK?

クッキー先生に宿題減らしてって言っから

= Cookie Sensei ni shukudai herashite tte ittoku kara.

***

Ex. 今は、息子に好きなことをやらせておくよ。(male speech)

= Ima wa, musuko ni sukina koto wo yarasete okuyo.

= I will let my son do whatever he likes for now.

今は、息子に好きなことをやらせよ。

= Ima wa, musuko ni sukina koto wo yarasetoku yo.

***

Ex. あの雑誌、買っておいてたよ。

= Ano zasshi, katte oita yo.

= I bought that magazine for you, you know.

あの雑誌、買っいたよ。

= Ano zasshi, kattoita yo.

OK,

マギー先生、レッスン、作っいたよ。

= Maggie sensei, ressun, tsukutoita yo.

= I went ahead and made a lesson for you, Maggie Sensei.

*******
maggie-senseiマギー先生より = Maggie Sensei yori = From Maggie Sensei

クッキー、起きて!次のレッスンも作っいてよ。まあ、寝せこうかな。

= Cookie, Okite! Tsugi no ressun mo tsukuttoite yo. Maa nesetokou kana.

= Wake up, Cookie!  Prepare the next lesson as well. Oh well, I guess I will let him sleep.
***

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16 Comments

  1. Thank you so much Maggie sensei. Now I understand. Thanks for your fast reply and I’m sorry I didn’ know about this lesson before.

  2. Hi Maggie sensei, could you translate me this sentence? I don’t understand very well the meaning of もったいない here: もったいないと思うとなかなか捨てられない.
    Thank you very much for your attention.

    1. @Giselle

      Hi Giselle
      もったいないと思う = I don’t want to waste
      So もったいない is the feeling that you don’t want to waste something.

      I have a lesson so please check it.

  3. Konbanwa Maggie-Sensei,
    Teru ga teku mitai, toku no “slang” ga “verbs ending with de in their te form” de tsukaemasuka?
    -I’ll write this in English too, since my Japanese is horrible !shoshinsha! 
    Like teru and teku, can the toku slang be used with verbs ending in de when conjugated to that form? Then, would it be used like
    “He reads in preparation :rrrr: Kare ga yonde oku :rrrr: Kare ga yondoku”
    Arigato gozaimasu sensei!

  4. Thank you for another great lesson, besides grammar I love your casualspeechlessons best. I’ve been working on honorifics lately and whats left then is to learn how to talk dirty. I hope you do a lesson on that too sometime… :)

    Some typos, funnily all extra syllables. You have to contract your romaji too, you know! :P
    “Mou sanjuppunb mo matteru…” :rrrr: “sanjuppun”
    “Dare no koto wo, kanngaete iru no?” :rrrr: “kangaete”
    “Ato wa katazuketetoku kara.” :rrrr: “katazuketoku”

    And some questions:

    1. まあ、寝せとこうかな。What kind of contraction is that? 寝させとこう (寝させておこう) I would understand, so is 寝せる the “さ抜き言葉” of 寝させる?
    2. I recently saw 出てけば translated as “Go!”. Is this a contracted ba-form, and if so, I still don’t get the translation?
    3. Concerning contracted -ba forms, I often hear it for 一段 verbs (z.B 見れば–>見りゃ), and in some expressions (そうすれば–>そうすりゃ; そういえば–>そういや), but I wonder, can you use them for all 五段 verbs as well? If so, what would the forms be for 買う、帰る、待つ、話す、書く、泳ぐ、飲む、遊ぶ?

    よろしくお願いします

    1. @Zetsuboumanadeshi

      Thank you so much for spotting the typos. I fixed them.

      1. 寝せておく is more colloquial way to say 寝させておく/寝かせておく。
      (I added the information in the lesson.)
      2. 出てけば is contraction of 出ていけば
      This ば is a suggestion. (出てけば(いいじゃない)⇦出ていけば(いいではないですか))
      Why don’t you leave.

      3. OK, these sound really casual but
      買う→買や
      帰る→帰りゃ
      待つ→待ちゃ
      書く→書きゃ
      泳ぐ→泳ぎゃ
      飲む→のみゃあ
      遊ぶ→遊びゃ

  5. Thank you Cookie-sensei.

    This I heard all the time and never was sure what grammar they represent.

    The hyperlink to “~ておく” is broken.

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