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verb tutorial

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verb tutorial

Postby RPGGamer » Thu 01.12.2006 7:29 pm

Japanese verbs do not conjugate based on Person, Gender or number. For example you use the verb taberu whether you want to say I eat, you eat, he eats, she eats or they eat.

However, there is no word for Not in Japanese so to substitute, Japanese verbs also have a negative form.

There are 4 forms of a Japanese verb:

Dictionary form: You see this form when you look up words in the dictionary. It’s kind of like an infinitive in English, but without the to. It’s also called the informal or plain form because you use it when speaking informally – to friends or family. It can however, serve other functions.

Negative form: The opposite of the dictionary form. If the dictionary form means I do, the negative form means I don’t.

Stem Form: This is the shortest form of a verb, but it cannot be used by itself, you need to add suffixes to it to be able to use it.

Te-Form: Called the te-form because most end in te or de. This form is most commonly used in combination with other auxiliary verbs. By itself, it’s understood as an informal request.

Just like in English verbs come in Regular and Irregular format. However, there are 2 types of Regular verbs, ru-verbs and u-verbs.

Ru-verbs: Almost all verbs whose dictionary form ends in eru or iru.

Stem Form: Shortest form of the Ru-Verb, always ends in e or i.
Dictionary Form: Take the stem form and add the ending ru.
Negative Form: Take the stem form and add nai.
Te Form: Take the stem form and add te.

U-verbs: The dictionary form of all U-verbs end in u, ku, gu, su, tsu, nu, bu, mu and ru. U-verbs work exactly the same as Ru-verbs except they modify the ending letter or remove it before they work like Ru-verbs.

Please note that in Japanese 1 letter equals a consonant vowel combination e.g. ru. Only Vowels and the consonant n are allowed to be by themselves.

Stem Form: Always ends in i.
Dictionary Form: Take the stem form and replace the ending i into u.
Negative Form: Take the stem form, replace the ending i into a (if it’s a vowel, vowel ending then replace the ending i into wa) and add nai.
Te Form: If the stem ends in shi, add te. If the stem ends in ki, replace with ite. If the stem ends in gi, replace with ide. If the stem ends in ni, bi or mi, replace with nde. If the stem ends in i, chi or ri, replace with tte.

Irregular verbs: There are very few irregular words in Japanese compared to English and only 2 verbs deviate far enough from the above pattern to require special attention, suru and kuru.


Past and Present Tense: Unlike English, Japanese has no future tense, only Past and Present. The Present tense is used for both Present and Future so the example verb taberu is not only I eat, but also for I will eat. The context in which the verb is used will usually tell you whether it is Present or Future tense. The Dictionary Form and Negative Form explained above are in the Present Tense.

To express a verb in the Past Tense just take the Te Form of a verb and change the ending vowel to a. To express a verb in the negative Past Tense, take the Negative Form of a verb and replace the ending i with katta.

Speaking Politely: Verbs also have a polite/neutral form and to express them, all you need to do is take the stem form and add one of the following verb endings:
masu for Present Tense
masen for Negative Present Tense
mashita for Past Tense
masendeshita for Negative Past Tense
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RE: verb tutorial

Postby Hatori » Thu 01.12.2006 9:06 pm

wow! that helps A LOT! i'm not that good with Japanese verbs right now. lol, so this helps ^_^
我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。
lol
~ハトリ~
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RE: verb tutorial

Postby skrhgh3b » Thu 01.12.2006 10:16 pm

The language-learning geek in me wants to pick this post apart. Maybe I should write my own tutorial for beginners? (^_^;
♪夢も見たくない 幸せなんか要らない
恋もしたくない お金なんか要らない
ぼくに必要な眠りを眠らせておくれ♪
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RE: verb tutorial

Postby spank » Fri 01.13.2006 12:03 am

oh man.....i thought there were 5 forms. one for each vowel of the japanese syllabary :o
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RE: verb tutorial

Postby AJBryant » Fri 01.13.2006 1:27 am

Stem Form: This is the shortest form of a verb, but it cannot be used by itself, you need to add suffixes to it to be able to use it.


Note: There is no "single" stem form. There is the "pre -masu" stem, and the "pre -nai" stem. For example, take "motsu." In that, the "pre -masu" stem is "mochi-" (ie. mochimasu – masu = mochi); the "pre -nai" stem is "mota-" (i.e., motanai – nai = mota).

Tony
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RE: verb tutorial

Postby Xavierre » Fri 01.13.2006 2:03 am

Thanks alot for the info and explaination.... Now i can understand better... However how to differentiate when to use which form, i'm refering to those form with te, or ru, etc.... :)
日本語is so difficult yet so interesting and attractive! (\",)
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