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Shows change/movement A is about to start/end
Used in referring to changes A that aren't based on will/decision of a person (movement of a train, change in seasons, etc.)
2
       している  
The dawn is breaking.
1
その     しよう  している  
The ship is about to set sail.

Getting the sentences
Construction
(Elements in parentheses are optional.)
AVerb: Volitional
している
Basic Examples:
こうしている (the cherry blossoms are starting to bloom)

Related Expressions
V-ようとする
Where this grammar is found


User notes
avatar
Level: 34
(9 years ago)
(よ)う form has conceptually overlapping categories:
1. presumptive (conjecture: ~ is probable: ~ でしょう);
2. volitional / hortative (shall)

Use in patterns where the meaning similar to English "shall" where there is a future element (probability) involved:

It will probably rain

I shall go, let's go

Shall we go?

To express what you are thinking of doing using the pattern ~(よ)うとう (e.g. I am thinking of going, I shall/probably go)

To express (where the subject has a will) "to try to ~" using the pattern ~(よ)うとしている (e.g I am trying to write)

To express (where the subject does not have a will) "be about to ~" using the pattern ~(よ)うとしている (The trees are about to be blown over) (see DAJG p. 474)
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berndbausch
Level: 1
(11 years ago)
Under normal circumstances requires a subject that has a will (human, animal), such as ようとしていた "I was about to go to sleep". Usage for things is polite (? not sure), ironic or poetic. The cherry blossoms example would fall in the latter category.
0

Discussion about this grammar
avatar
berndbausch
Level: 1
According to my wife, it's normally used for actions of people or perhaps living beings, such as ようとしていた "I was about to go to sleep". Usage for things is polite or poetic. The cherry blossoms example would fall in the latter category.
1
11 years ago
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マイコー
Level: 265
Feel free to add that as a usage note above so it is more visible to the other users!
1
11 years ago
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berndbausch
Level: 1
Seems to be part of JLPT N2, though its JLPT level here is currently "not listed".
1
11 years ago
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マイコー
Level: 265
I actually need to do a bit of cleanup with the grammar listings - sometime this week. I will get this taken care of when I do that!
1
11 years ago
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stupidguy
Level: 182

related grammar:

V-ようとする "Be about to A; Try to A" https://www.renshuu.org/grammar/87/V-ようとする

0
2 years ago
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Rdelav
Level: 134

I don't get the "aren't based on will/decision of a person" but then the first example is "mom is about to go to sleep"そろそろようとしている。 She is not deciding that?

0
1 month ago
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マイコー
Level: 265

Those examples should be moved to the ようとする page - I'll get that taken care of soon!

1
1 month ago
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