Japanese Verb Endings...

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Japanese Verb Endings...

Post by sakura » Thu 07.14.2005 3:40 pm

I really, REALLY need help on these *starts foaming at the mouth* Can someone tell me how to start out with these? Im very confused on knowing what letters to take out of a word and then trying to add the new ending. I also went to a site that seems pretty good for learning JVE: http://www.epochrypha.com/japanese/verb ... rview.html
It shows the different stems and they seem to have the past, present etc. But the disclaimer implies that somethings on that site might be wrong. Can anyone help me on this? Arigatou ^^

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RE: Japanese Verb Endings...

Post by Pig on the wing » Thu 07.14.2005 4:14 pm

im sure someone else can fill you in properly, but for starters, there are three types of verbs, the irregular ones, the ones that end in IRU or ERU (taberu, miru, for example) and the ones that end in
: [U, TSU, RU], [NU, MU, BU], [KU], [GU], [SU].
These letters (in the second, it's the RU) are the endings, and these are the only ones that change then you conjugate the verbs.
The reason for the brackets above is that verbs with these endings usually conjugate the same way, they are replaced with the same endings when you want to, say, make past-form out of them.
Not too sure about the polite verbs, though, as i haven't been studying them yet. (maybe i should, though..)
Sorry if you already knew this and i took you for a fool, or if i explained it badly (or am completely wrong, even), im sure there will be someone else here soon to clear it up.

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RE: Japanese Verb Endings...

Post by MenomaMinx » Thu 07.14.2005 4:35 pm

save yourself a lot of headaches -- buy 501 Japanese verbs fully conjugated in all the forms that in addition by Roland A. Lange

ISBN 0-7641-0285-0

I know, Barron's by some miracle actually managed to publish a decent Japanese book. I'm just as shocked as you are ;-)

Seriously though, out of the 50 or so specialty books I own, this is definitely in the top five for everyday useful :-)

I also consider it a must for anyone who does translation regularly, as even if your word's not in there, a word that shares the exact same ending as the word your trying to translate will be, thus making a Rosetta Stone out of the book in a way.

The only downside it uses a nonstandard romanization of Japanese for all of the words which can be a pain in the ass, but only applies to two syllables {shi =si and tsu =tu} so the situation is nowhere as bad as it could be.. It clocks in at nearly 600 pages, and each verb get its own page. Extraordinarily simple layout so even absolute beginner could use it :-)
Last edited by MenomaMinx on Thu 07.14.2005 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Japanese Verb Endings...

Post by CviCvraeVtMoriar » Fri 07.15.2005 12:00 am

There are the endings: -iru, -eru, -su, -ku, -gu, -tsu, -ru, u, -nu, -mu, and -bu.

These are the V3 endings (In the syllabaries, phonemes ending in -u are the third down.)

V3 -> V2-masu:
To change a verb to the V2-masu ending, look at the ending of the verb and see whether in ends in -iru/-eru (There are certain false -eru/-iru endings). If it does, drop the ru. Otherwise, change the last phoneme (hiragana symbol) to its -i form.

The masu is an enclitic appended to the V2 form of a verb to indicate politeness and is used around those whom you do not know well or around those who are of a superior social status.


こたえる (V3) ---> こたえ ---> こたえます
かす (V3) ---> かし ---> かします
まつ (V3) ---> まち ---> まちます

suru ---> shi
kuru ---> ki

V3 -> V2-te

V2-te correpsonds roughly with the English present progressive, or the gerundive - -ing.

Here is a professionally made conversion chart :) :


suru ---> shite
kuru ---> kite

V3 -> V2-ta

V2-da is the plain past tense of verbs - as opposed to the polite V2-mashita form.

Yet another highly-quality conversion chart :) :


suru ---> shita
kuru ---> kita

V3 -> V1-nai:
To change a verb to the V1-nai ending, look at the ending of the verb and see whether in ends in -iru/-eru (There are certain false -eru/-iru endings). If it does, drop the ru. Otherwise, change the last phoneme (hiragana symbol) to its -a form. (note: -u endings belong to the わ column not the あ column, so change -u to -wa.)

This V1-nai form is the plain negative form of the verb - as opposed to the polite V2-masen form.


くれる (V3) ---> くれ ---> くれない
そろう (V3) ---> そろわ ---> そろわない
思う(V3) ---> 思わ ---> 思わない

suru ---> shinai
kuru ---> konai

The plain negative past tense form is V1-nakatta.

Derivative verbs:



-iru/-eru? yes: insert -rare- before ru. no: change last syllable to the -a form of the same column, then add -reru.

miru ---> mirareru
kasu ---> kasareru
kau ---> kawareru

suru ---> sareru
kuru ---> korareru

Watashi-ni-ha sono-uta-ga eigo-de utawareta. As far as things being done by me is concerned, the song was sung (by me) in English.

Sono-uta-ha eigo-de utawareta. As for the song, it was sung in English.

Contrast this with: Ore-ga/Ore-ha (depending on emphasis) uta-o eigo-de utatta. I sang the song in English.

Potential (this is the passive with an element of potentiality added - I believe):

-iru/-eru? yes: insert -rare- before ru. no: change last syllable to the -e form of the same column, then add -ru.

miru ---> mirareru
kasu ---> kaseru
kau ---> kaeru

suru ---> dekiru
kuru ---> korareru

Ore-ni-ha daremo tasukerarenai to omounda. (a quote from クラウド from FFVII AC. Thanks, Schattenjedi.) Literally, "As for by me, I think that noone can be helped."

Watashi-ha kanji-ga kakeru. As for me, kanji can be written.
Anata-ha jitensha-ni noreru ka? As far as you are concerned, can riding by bicycle be done?

Kare-ha sakan-no-you-ni oyoge-masu. As far as he is concerned, swimming like a fish can be done.


-iru/-eru? yes: insert -sase- before ru. no: change last syllable to the -a form of the same column, then add -seru.


miru ---> misaseru
kasu ---> kasaseru
kau ---> kawaseru

suru ---> saseru
kuru ---> kosaseru

O-matase-shi-mashita. Sorry I made you wait.
Watashi-ha kanojo-o nakase-mashita. I made her cry.
Kanojo-ha inu-ni doggu-fuudo-o tabesase-mashita. She made/let her dog eat food.
Bengoshi-ni mondaiten-o chousa-sase-masu. I will have my lawyer investigate the issue (I will cause to my lawyer the doing the investigation the issue.)

Some of the uses of V3 are:

V3-tsumori-desu intend to do something

V3-hazu-desu ought/supposed to do something

V3-tokoro-desu To be about to/on the point of doing something. I am about to take a walk

V3-sou-desu They say that he/she does/will do something. It expresses heresay and is not what the speaker has observed or noted for himself. Kanojo-wa kuru-sou-desu. They say she is coming.

V3-you-desu It seems that he/she does/will do something

V3-rashii-desu He/she is likely to do something.

V3-n-desu Explanatory (i.e. Why are you in such a hurry? Kanojo-to au-n-desu. I am going to meet her (And that's the reason.)

V3-deshou I think he/she will do something or I think something will happen.

V3-kata-ga-deki-masu A complicated way to express one's ability to do something based on the potential form of the verb, suru.

watashi-ha nihon-go-o hanasu-koto-ga-deki-masu. I can speak Japanese.

V3-koto-ga-ari-masu There are situations when "blank happens".
Kono-tokei-ha tomaru-koto-ga-ari-masu. There are situations when this clock stops/This clock sometimes stops.

V3-koto-ni-shi-mashita I/we/you/he/she have/has made up my/our/your/his/her mind to "something". nihon-e iku-koto-ni-shi-mashita. I have made up my mind to go to Japan/I have decided to go to Japan.

V3-koto-ni-nari-mashita Circumstances have turned out in such a way as "something". tsugi-no-kaigi-ha kyouto-de hiraku-koto-ni-nari-mashita. The result is that we will hold the next meeting in Kyoto.

V3-kamo-shire-masen Literally, "It is not known whether or not 'something'". It is equivalent to "may". Watashi-ha kuru-kamo-shire-masen.

Some of the uses of V2:

V2-yasui(-nikui-)-desu It is easy to "something" (yasui). It is hard to "something (nikui).

V2-sou-desu (not V3-sou-desu) This expresses what the speaker himself has observed - what he thinks. Ame-ga furi-sou-desu. It looks like rain (to me).
Kare-ha o-kane-ga ari-sou-desu. He seems to be rich.

V2-tai-desu I want to "something". Expresses only what the speaker wants and can be used of a second person in a question. Ringo-ga tabe-tai-desu. I want to eat an apple. Nani-ga tabe-tai-desu-ka? What do you want to eat?

V2-tagaru/V2-tagari-masu Expresses the desire of a third person. Kare-ha tabe tagari-masu. He wants to eat.

V2-mashou This is equivalent to the optatives of other languages. I.e. : Let's "something". Shoukuji-ni iki-mashou. Let's go and eat.

V2-nasai Polite imperative ending

V2-ni-iku/iki-masu To go in order to "something"

V2-ni-kuru/ki-masu To come in order to "something"

V2-ni-kaeru/kaeri-masu To return in order to "something"

V2 is also used in compound verbs (V2+V3), as mi-naosu. Miru is to see, and Naosu is to cure/fix/mend. Together they mean to give something a second look/to discover new merits.

V2 is also used as a noun:

hanasu to speak ---> hanashi speech, story
nagameru to look on ---> nagame view
okonau to act ---> okonai behaviour
kangaeru to think ---> kangaeru thought

Some of the uses of V2-te:

V2-te-ii-desu Literally, "-ing is good". Konya eiga-o-mi-ni itte-ii-desu. Going to the movie tonight is good/you may go to the movie tonight.

V2-te-wa(ha)-ike-masen Enpitsu-de kaite-wa-ike-masen. You must not write with a pencil. Sonna-hon-o yonde-wa-ike-masen. You must not read such a book.

V2-te-i-masu The literal translation is not at all at odds with the English idiom. I/we/you/she/he/it is "something"-ing. It's is used with an action in progress; habitual or repeated actions; states of being; and resultant circumstances of actions.

Watashi-ha aruite-iru. I am walking
Watashi-ha kitte-o astumete-iru. I collect stamps.
Watashi-ha toukyou-ni sunde-iru. I live in Tokyo.
Denki-ga tsuite-iru. The light is on.

This last example is very strange. Here, denki is the subject of a verb which is supposed to be acting upon it, thus it should be the object, not the subject. Another bizarre thing is that iru is only supposed to be used with animate objects.

V2-te-oki-masu This one is strange indeed. Oku means "to put". So this phrase as a whole means "to put doing something". When translating, however, it should be deciphered to mean "to leave something as it is," or "to do something beforehand." Kippu-o katte-oki-mashita. I have bought a ticket in advance. Kinko-ni shimatte-oki-masu. I will put it in the safe.

V2-te-miseru/mise-masu To show how to do something (literally, "to show doing something". Watashi-no-namae-o katakana-de kaite-miseta. I showed them how to write my name in Katakana (literally, "I showed the writing my name with katakana" )

V2-te-iku/V2-te-kuru/V2-te-iki-masu/V2-te-ki-masu To go/come doing something. Watashi-ha kasa-o motte-iki-masu. I will leave taking my umbrella with me (literally, "As for me, I come, having my umbrella" ) The reason for "iku," to come, being in this setence is the emphasis of my coming to a place, rather than leaving one; in the speaker's mind, a clear destination, the place wither he is going, is conceived. There is probably a more natural and cogent explanation for this; but I gave it my best.

V2-te-kudasai Pen-o kashite kudasai. Please lend me your pen. Watashi-to kekkon-shite-kudasai. Please marry me.

Some of the uses of V2-ta:

V2-ta-hou-ga-ii-desu/da. This literally means: The way of your having done something is good. Despite that the verb is in the past tense, it is used of the present and future. Anata-ha ima-sugu itta-hou-ga-ii-da. You had better go at once (literally, "As for your, the way of having gone immediately is good." )

V2-ta-koto-ga-ari-masu Literally, "There is the fact of having done something". This corresponds closely to the perfect definite (e.g., I have gone), as opposed to the historical perfect or the preterite (e.g., I went). Sono-eiga-o mae-ni mita-koto-ga-aru. I have seen this movie before (literally, "The fact of having seen this movie before is." )

Some of the uses of V1-nai:

V1-nai-de-kudasai This is the negative form of V2-te-kudasai.

V1-nai-dewa-irare-masen/irarenai. Literally, "The not doing of something is not possible." Warawanai-dewa-irarenakatta. I couldn't help but laugh/I couldn't help laughing. ("Not laughing was not possible." )

I hope this has been somewhat more elucidating and perspicuous than some of the charts you've been looking at. (I didn't actually bother to take a look at them.)
Last edited by CviCvraeVtMoriar on Fri 07.15.2005 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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