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All About Verbs

Part 1: Verb Groups
One of the characteristics of the Japanese language is that the verb generally comes at the end of the sentence. Since Japanese's sentences often omit the subject, the verb is probably the most important part in understanding the sentence. However, Verbs forms are considered to be difficult to learn. The good news is the system itself is rather simple, as far as memorizing certain rules. Unlike the more complex verb conjugation of other languages, Japanese verbs do not have a different form to indicate the person (first-, second, and third-person), the number (singular and plural), or gender.

Japanese verbs are roughly divided into three groups according to their dictionary form (basic form).

Group 1: ~ U ending Verbs
The basic form of Group 1 verbs end with "~ u". This group is also called Consonant-stem verbs or Godan-doushi (Godan verbs).

Group 1 Verbs

hanasu
話す to speak

kaku
書く to write

kiku
聞く to listen

matsu
待つ to wait

nomu
飲む to drink



Group 2: ~ Iru and ~ Eru ending Verbs
The basic form of Group 2 verbs end with either "~iru" or "~ eru". This group is also called Vowel-stem-verbs or Ichidan-doushi (Ichidan verbs).

Group 2 Verbs

~ iru ending
kiru
着る to wear
miru
見る to see
okiru
起きる to get up
oriru
降りる to get off
shinjiru
信じる to believe



~ eru ending
akeru 開ける to open
ageru
あげる to give
deru
出る to go out
neru
寝る to sleep
taberu
食べる to eat

There are some exceptions. The following verbs belong to Group 1, though they end with "~ iru" or "~ eru".

hairu
入る to enter
hashiru
走る to run
iru
いる to need
kaeru
帰る to return
kagiru
限る to limit
kiru
切る to cut
shaberu
しゃべる to chatter
shiru
知る to know

Group 3: Irregular Verbs
There are only two irregular verbs, kuru (to come) and suru (to do).

The verb "suru" is probably the most often used verb in Japanese. It is used as "to do," "to make," or "to cost". It is also combined with many nouns (of Chinese or Western origin) to make them into verbs. Here are some examples.

benkyousuru
勉強する to study
ryokousuru
旅行する to travel
yushutsusuru
輸出する to export
dansusuru
ダンスする to dance
shanpuusuru
シャンプーする to shampoo






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All About Verbs

Part 2: Verb Conjugations

Dictionary Form

The dictionary form (basic form) of all Japanese verbs end with "u". This is the form listed in the dictionary, and is the informal, present affirmative form of the verb. This form is used among close friends and family in informal situations.

The ~ masu Form (Formal Form)

The suffix "~ masu" is added to the dictionary form of the verbs to make sentence polite. Aside from changing the tone, it has no meaning. This form is used in situations required politeness or a degree of formality, and is more appropriate for general use.




The ~ masu Form minus "~ masu" is the stem of the verb. The verb stems are useful since many verb suffixes are attached to them.



Present Tense

Japanese verb forms have two main tenses, the present and the past. There is no future tense. The present tense is used for future and habitual action as well. The informal form of the present tense is the same as the dictionary form. The ~ masu form is used in formal situations.

Past Tense

The past tense is used to express actions completed in the past (I saw, I bought etc.) and present perfect tense (I have read, I have done etc.). Forming the informal past tense is simpler for Group 2 verbs, but more complicated for Group 1 verbs. The conjugation of Group 1 verbs varies depending on the consonant of the last syllable on the dictionary form. All Group 2 verbs have the same conjugation pattern.



Present Negative

To make sentence negative, verb endings are changed into negative forms (The ~ nai Form).



Past Negative

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All About Verbs

Part 3: The ~ te Form


The ~ te form is a useful form of the Japanese verb. It does not indicate tense by itself, however it combines with other verb forms to create other tenses. It has many other uses as well. To make the ~ te form, replace the final ~ ta of the informal past tense of the verb with ~ te, and ~ da with ~ de.



Here are some other functions of the ~ te form.

(1) Request: the ~ te form kudasai




(2) The present progressive: the ~ te form iru or imasu (formal)



It is also used to describe a habitual action and a condition.

(3) Listing successive actions

It is used to connect two or more verbs. The ~ te form is used after all but the last sentence in a sequence.



(4) Asking permission: the ~ te form mo ii desu ka.

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F / blahaahaha^w^
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Posted 5/2/08
thanks hayo0o!!!! this helps a lot!
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Posted 5/3/08
anytime
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32 / F / just besidE MickY...
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Posted 8/6/08
sugoi~~~ i love it..thanks a lot for sharing~~
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23
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Posted 8/15/08
thx...
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23 / M / in me mind
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Posted 9/3/08
this is gonna take awhile to write down...
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Posted 9/14/08
konbanwa =)

domo arigatooooo hayo-chan !!

i really liked this lesson
but there's somethings i can't understand lolz^^
anyway thanks for the lesson n i'll see the other lessons :)
ja ne ^^"
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Posted 9/14/08

nagam wrote:

konbanwa =)

domo arigatooooo hayo-chan !!

i really liked this lesson
but there's somethings i can't understand lolz^^
anyway thanks for the lesson n i'll see the other lessons :)
ja ne ^^"


if there's something u dont get tell me plz ^^
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Posted 9/15/08
hmm iam lil baka!! somimasen

well i understand the present tenes we put "imas" to the verb and the past we put"imashita",right?


but,didnt understand this when should replace"ku" with "ita" and "gu" with "ida" is it the past tenes too?!!

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