I'm pretty sure sometimes I hear people say things like tabeteru rather than tabeteiru. Is it correct to say this casually? Or am I mishearing things?
Yes, you can use ѕнι𝓉teru rather than ѕнι𝓉teiru when we talk.
You are hearing correctly.
I am a Japanese.
We usually use our native language without thinking about grammar. And I can not explain it gramatically. But I know that ѕнι𝓉teru is a spoken expression and informal expression. We can only use it with friends, family members, etc. Never to our teacher.
I think it is some kind of abbreviation.
Just like "wanna" in stead of "want to " or "gonna" instead of " going to".
So you'll never hear ѕнι𝓉teru from an announcer or a news caster.
Shitteiru is written expression. We don't use ѕнι𝓉teiru or tabeteiru as spoken expression. If you say ѕнι𝓉teiru, it sounds unnatural.
Formal spoken expression might be ѕнι𝓉te-imasu or zonnjite-imasu.
And one thing more I should mention is that ѕнι𝓉teru tabeteru are Tokyo-ben. (dialect of Tokyo or Kanto region)
Tokyo is the capital of Japan. So it might be difficult to understand by foreign person, but there is dialect of Tokyo.
In Tokyo, a student may say to his/her teacher, "ѕнι𝓉teru,ѕнι𝓉teru".
It may be OK because it is in Tokyo.
Saying,"Watashi-wa ѕнι𝓉teru" sometimes sounds a little unnatural . (But sometimes it is OK, language is truly difficult.)
Without subject, only "ѕнι𝓉teru" is more natural.
Saying, I know that, "Sore-wo ѕнι𝓉teru" is a little unnatural. "Sore ѕнι𝓉teru" is more natural. Because Tokyo dialect tend to like shorter expression. They like abbreviation, I think.
I wish this might be your help! Good Luck!
As masaotomy said, casual conversations in Japanese tend to have contractions in words. So if you learn how Japanese formally and especially writing formally, then at first enɡɑɡing in casual conversations might take some getting used to.
Generally, any word that ends with iru may be contracted to ru.
Also, sometimes pronunciation might be exaggerated (long vowels) or small tsu added.
totemo -> tottemo
Another thing you might here that I associate much more with casual spoken Japanese is -tte when referring to something. In English, I would equate this to "you know" or "speaking of", but those aren't quite right. You place -tte after what you are talking about.
Example: You know Mexican food, it's kind of spicy isn't it?
mekishiko no ryouri tte chotto karai deshou?
tabeteiru is correct spelling. but we say 'tabeteru' in daily conv. though we need to write 'tabeteiru' when write japanese sentence.
kiiteiru -> kiiteru
ѕнι𝓉teiru -> ѕнι𝓉teru
miteiru -> miteru
hanaѕнι𝓉eiru -> hanaѕнι𝓉eru
neteiru -> neteru ....etc.Source(s): majored in japanese literature
this is word contraction and is very common in the language. This is used in informal conversation only, and not in written.