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Conjugation disaster

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Conjugation disaster

Postby Kogun » Wed 02.08.2006 2:55 am

Is anyone here fluent at conjugation during speech? It takes me so long just to figure out how to do it in my head. For example, first I have to think of the class of the verb. Class 1 (う) verbs, class 2 (る) verbs, and class 3 (irregulars). Then I have to think of the correct way to conjugate it...

But it doesn't stop there. There are 4 different ways to get て form from class 1 verbs. Everyone else in my class seems to be catching onto these quickly but it's all still a big jumble for me and most of the time I take so long while thinking to myself when I'm called on, my teacher just moves onto another student.

But I didn't post just to complain. Plain form verb conjugations are my weakest point in the Japanese language. (one of my teachers even once told me I am a conjugation disaster) Jokingly of course, but it's true. So I was wondering if anyone had some tips/pointers on how you learned and memorized? Or perhaps time is the only answer... I just wish I could keep up with the rest of the class. :|
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RE: Conjugation disaster

Postby mandolin » Wed 02.08.2006 3:29 am

I am using Tae Kim's Grammar Guide to learn grammar. Conjugation is also my weakest point, but I have found his site to be very easy to understand.

I've only been devoting a little time to grammar, however, preferring to continue my kanji/vocab study for the time being. Perhaps you will get the assistance you need by reading through his stuff.

And, of course, come back here and ask questions, I'm sure someone will be able to help. :)
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RE: Conjugation disaster

Postby hiraikotsu » Wed 02.08.2006 3:30 am

here's what i got from the idiot's guide:

There r 4 types of Te-forms.

Type 1: Just add "te" to the stem if stem is
- and [e]-ending stem
or - contains only 1 syllable
or - ends with shi

Type 2: If stem ends with -i, -chi, or -ri, replace those syllables with the double consonant and add -te.
eg, "ai" (meet) becomes "atte"
"machi" (wait) becomes "matte"
"kaeri" (go home) becomes "kaette"

Type 3: If stem ends with -mi, -bi, or -ni, replace those syllables with -N and add -de.
eg, "nomi" (drink) becomes noNde
"yobi" (invite) becomes yoNde
"shini" (die) becomes shiNde

Type 4: If stem ends with -ki, replace it with -i and add -te.
If stem ends with -gi, replace it with -i and add -de.
eg, "kaki" (write) becomes kai-te
"oyogi" (swim) becomes oyoi-de.

Still a mouthful? The author even provided a useful little song to go along with it (sung to the tune of "Clementine").. haha...:D
i-chi-ri tte (type 2)
mi-bi-ni Nde (type 3)
ki ite (type 4)
gi ide (type 4)

Kogun, with this little song, u'd become the conjugation miracle overnight :)
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RE: Conjugation disaster

Postby mandolin » Wed 02.08.2006 3:32 am

Great, now I am going to have that stuck in my head for months..... P)
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RE: Conjugation disaster

Postby colind » Wed 02.08.2006 4:20 am

haha I also was taught that song by my crazy japanese teacher. She likes to use wind up sushi and says it still alive to entertain the class.
Anyway, about the -te form or in fact any conjugation, it just becomes more natural the more you use it and see it.
I remember when I first learnt the -te form. I also took a lot of time to conjugate the verbs, but some time after, I can confidentely tell you that it pretty much comes naturally. So keep working at it, write sentences, read more and soon you will find it getting easier.
頑張って! :D
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RE: Conjugation disaster

Postby SaigoNoBan » Wed 02.08.2006 7:00 am

Kogunさん,

I have your same problem, and I guess just about every beginner does. I am still very slow, but it was even worse a couple of months ago.

Summing up...Practice practice practice!;)
Write things in Japanese, talk to yourself in Japanese, listen to Japanese Video/Radio/Audio files from the net, use the chat rooms...Sooner or later it will come natural!

よろしくお願いしますね!
Max
とうとう戻ってきました!^_^ お待たせしました
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RE: Conjugation disaster

Postby sgtkwol » Wed 02.08.2006 11:38 am

Tell me if I'm right, doesnt contemporary speech use more て form verbs combined with いますfor current actions, and いました for past actions? Reguardless of my first question's answer, reading will help put these ideas into your head in a more "realistic" manner.
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RE: Conjugation disaster

Postby Kogun » Wed 02.08.2006 6:48 pm

Thanks very much everyone.:D The website was helpful by the way, since it's been difficult for me to find a good explanation of all the grammatical rules and so forth. I'll keep it at.

haha I also was taught that song by my crazy japanese teacher. She likes to use wind up sushi and says it still alive to entertain the class.


My first Japanese teacher used to like to use songs too. I'm not sure if she made it herself or not but there was one she used to have us sing with all the different directional words. But I can only remember the last line... soto ato asokooo... or something like that while we had to do hand gestures. Anyway, we felt like a bunch of kindergarteners singing it though haha.
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RE: Conjugation disaster

Postby Sachi » Wed 02.08.2006 7:16 pm

About your problem (if you're still having trouble, that is! ^^). A good way to memorize verb conjugation is just practicing. When you learn a verb, memorize it as a class 1/2/3 verb right away. Then, test yourself often. i.e. Think of a random verb and just try conjugating it into different forms. Maybe that will help you learn the patterns easier?
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RE: Conjugation disaster

Postby Kogun » Wed 02.08.2006 9:16 pm

Yeah, that's the way I've been practicing for awhile now. But the number of verbs and conjugations are just so vast. I suppose this is something that just takes a major amount of practice though. どもありがとう。
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RE: Conjugation disaster

Postby keatonatron » Wed 02.08.2006 10:25 pm

It really just takes time. My advice is to just practice saying the verbs you use a lot, and the rest will eventually follow. For example, write a list like:

よむ よんだ よんで
かく かいた かいて
かう かった かって
いく いった いって (This one is irregular!!!)
いう いった いって
する した して
くる きた くて

Just read over the list whenever you have spare time. When you don't feel like actually looking at it, just think of a verb in the plain form as quick as you can, then try to figure out the other forms in your head (and if you're alone, say them out loud as soon as you figure it out).

Everyone has the same problem when they start out. I was like you at first, then I moved onto relying a lot on memorized combinations. If I wanted to say the past of およぐ I could remember およいだ really quickly, but if I wanted to say the past of いそぐ(which I didn't use much), I'd still have to think about it (however, I could think "およぐ also ends in ぐ, and it becomes およいだ, so いそぐ must be いそいだ!). Anyway, from that point I just got better and better to the point where I could conjugate anything easily.
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RE: Conjugation disaster

Postby Seijiro Hiko » Thu 02.09.2006 12:09 am

I should have never read this...
now I'll have that "Clementine Conjugation" song stuck in my head!:D
<sigh>

It is a pretty neat song though..
Anyway, I've found the best way to work through verb conjugation in any language is just to practice extensively.
I like to translate just about whatever I hear into Japanese just to keep it fresh in my mind and also to identify what I don't know
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RE: Conjugation disaster

Postby shikamarufoo » Thu 02.09.2006 1:56 am

hiraikotsu wrote:


Still a mouthful? The author even provided a useful little song to go along with it (sung to the tune of "Clementine").. haha...:D
i-chi-ri tte (type 2)
mi-bi-ni Nde (type 3)
ki ite (type 4)
gi ide (type 4)



lol My teacher made us remember that song too...but there was a little more...
after "gi ide"
it would go
"except for okimasu okite,
ikamasu itte."

I have lots of trouble with conjugation as well, but I haven't gone much into it yet. First I have to learn more vocab:).
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RE: Conjugation disaster

Postby keatonatron » Thu 02.09.2006 2:40 am

except for okimasu okite


How is okimasu (okiru) an exception?
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RE: Conjugation disaster

Postby Harisenbon » Thu 02.09.2006 9:56 am

I'm a bit late to the advice party, but the way that I got the congugatios in my head, was by just repeating them over and over.

My Japanese teacher had a little chant for each of the (basic) conjugations.
Plain Negative Past Past-Negative
Kind of like how Japanese student do I MY ME MY

When you're walking or sitting or just have some time to kill, give yourself a verb and then conjugate it under your breath. A couple years of that and you'll be able to whip out conjugations out like nobody's business.
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