[VS-series] 「したまま」 vs 「しながら」 vs 「しっぱなしで」

All three represent the continuation of an action or state and can be connected to sentences that describe other actions performed at the same time. They have slightly different meanings, so let’s take a look at what they mean!


(For conjugation, see the Ta-form [た形].)

It expresses a continuous state of the result of an action. Or another action is performed during the continuous state.

V can be a momentary verb (瞬間動詞).
*Momentary verbs are immediate actions, such as 立つ (to stand), 座る (to sit), 開ける (to open), 閉める (to close), [眼鏡を]かける (to put on glasses), [電気を]つける (to turn on a light), etc., that continue in that state after the action is performed. These verbs basically cannot be used with 「しながら」.

“My sister walked into the room with her sunglasses on.”

“He was so busy that he ate his lunch while standing.”

Negative forms can be used as well

(For conjugation, see the Nai-form [ない形].)

“I went outside without my jacket on.”

“I drove without glasses on.”

Adjectives can be used, too

ナ形容詞 (Na-adjective)


“The old kimono remained in a clean state.”

イ形容詞 (I-adjective)


“I ate yesterday’s leftovers as they were cold. (I didn’t heat them up before eating.)”

Nouns can be used when it describes states


“Startled by the sirens, I went outside in my pajamas as I was.”

“If you eat pork while it’s raw, it will upset your stomach.”

“The scenery around here is just as it used to be.”


(For conjugation, see the Masu-form [ます形].)

It expresses performing some action while performing another action. (Two actions are going on at the same time.)

cannot be a momentary verb (瞬間動詞).

“He was riding his bike while humming a song.”

“I like to watch Netflix while doing the dishes.”


(For conjugation, see the Masu-form [ます形].)

It means to perform another action while the result of one action is still continuing, as in したまま. Or, the action itself continues. Basically, it often expresses “a negative state opposite to the state that it should be”.

a continuation of the result of the action

“I went on a trip without turning off the air conditioner.”
We get the impression that they should have turned off the air conditioner but forgot to do so.

“I went on a trip with the air conditioner on.”
We get the impression that they are just stating facts. Depending on the context, it could be positive or negative. There could be a positive reason, for example, “to prevent houseplants from dying due to the summer heat”.

a continuation of the action itself

“I have been walking since this morning, and I am tired.”

“It’s been a while, so we’ve been singing karaoke for four hours today.”


Translate the following sentences into Japanese by using one of「たまま」「ながら」「っぱなし」.

“I slept with the light on.”

→ As「電気をつける」is a momentary verb, you can’t use it with ながら.

“It’s not good for your eyes to study while the room remains dark.”

→「ながら」 and 「っぱなし」cannot be connected to adjectives.

Key points

I would like to express the continuation of the result of a verb ending in a moment, an adjective, or a noun.
I would like to express that two actions are going on at the same time.

I would like to express the continuation of the result of a verb that ends in a moment or the general verb action itself.
I would like to express the continuation of a negative thing