Learn Japanese “shi te” and “imasu”

Q: Great web site and very helpful. I am currently using rosetta stone which I feel is pretty good but lacking in some areas such as translation. Can you clarify for me the meaning of “shite” at the end of a verb such as “unten”. From what I can deduce is that unten is somewhat analogous to a participle form of a verb used as a noun such as “Driving a car is fun.” Where driving serves as the subject. “Untenshite” would then be driving/operating used as an action verb. Is this correct?

I am assuming imasu means something like “is presently doing” what action is specified. Is this correct?
Thank you,

A:  Hi Randy,

Yeah, the lack of translations is what drives me crazy with Rosetta Stone, which is why I only gave it 3 stars in my review!

So yeah, “するsuru” means something like “to do” and you put it after certain words to make them into a verb, a doing word.

e.g. 運転する = unten suru = to drive

( watch out for ドライブする = doraibu suru = “to go for a drive” not necessarily that you will drive yourself!)

勉強する = benkyo suru = to study

質問する = shitsu mon suru = to ask a question

電話する = denwa suru = to telephone/call someone

結婚する = kekkon suru = to get married.


If you change the “suru” to “して = shite”  it means “do it!” e.g. 運転して = you drive!

質問して = go on, ask a question!

電話して = make that call!

Then, just like you say, if you change the “to study” to “I am studying right now”  it changes from “uten suru” to “unten shiteimasu”

勉強する becomes 勉強しています = benkyo shiteimasu = I am studying.

And 質問する becomes …?

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