What is the difference between ‘verb てform’ and ‘verb たform + り’?

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Question

What is the difference between ‘verb てform’ and ‘verb たform + り’?

Answer

  • 私はももをたべ、水をのん、本をよみます。
  • 私はももをたべたり、水をのんだり、本をよんだりします。

Both of them mean “I eat peach, drink water and read books.”

However, the first sentence tells that the person does those things in that order. In other words, the first thing to do is to eat peach. The second thing to do is to drink water. The third thing to do is to read books. It has to be that order if you list verbs, using て form. Time sequence matters

On the other hand, the order of doing things does not matter if you list verbs using たり form, which is the second sentence above. So readers don’t know what the person does first, second or third. It is used when you want to say what you do without time sequence.