て Form

■ The て form of verbs and adjectives has many usages. It is used for simple commands (do something), linking sentences as a conjunction (and), and to show an action that is currently occurring (present participle -ing).

 How to Use:

Before we look at usage, let's first go over the verb and adjective forms separated by affirmative and negative tenses.

Affirmative Verbs Form: Add to the simple past tense of the verb. This form is surprisingly regular. Simply change the ending to and ending to .

() ate (simple past)
change the た to て

() please eat

() read (simple past)
change the だ to で
() please read

Negative Verb Form: Addで to the simple negative form.

()ない  to not eat
add で
()べない Don't eat.

()ない  to not read
add で
()まない Don't eat.

Affirmative Adjective Form: For i-adjectives, change the into くて. For -na adjectives, simply add .

high; expensive:
(たか)becomes (たか)くて

有名(ゆうめい) becomes 有名(ゆうめい)

Negative Adjective Form: For i-adjectives, change the ない into なくて. For -na adjectives, you change the auxiliary verb after the adjective.

not high; not expensive:
(たか)くない becomes (たか)くなくて

not famous:
有名(ゆうめい)ではない becomes 有名(ゆうめい)ではなくて

Study Notes:

Simple Commands: Use the form as a way to utter a command. If this is too direct, add ください to make it more polite.

ケーキを()べてください。 Please eat the cake.
スーパーに()って。 Go to the supermarket.

And here are examples of how to command someone to not do something:

ケーキを()べないでください。 Please do not eat the cake.
スーパーに()かないで。 Don't go to the supermarket.

Linking Sentences (conjunction): It can also be used as a conjunction "and" or "and then…"

I went to the movies and met a friend.

I could have written that as two sentences:
(わたし)は、映画館(えいがかん)()きました。友達(ともだち)()いました。But combining them with the て form sounds more natural.

Another example:

I returned home and drank a beer.
[home | returning | beer | drank]

And here are two more examples using the negative form:

I went to bed without eating supper.
[supper | not eating | slept]

The tickets are not expensive and easy to buy.
[ticket | not expensive and | easy to buy]

Present Participle—Action is Currently Occurring: This is the -ing form. This is used with いる or the more polite version います (to be) after the - form to indicate continuing action. What are you doing now?

Now, (I) am studying Japanese.
[しています is the て form of する (to do) and
いる (to exist; to continue)]

まだ (not yet) is often used with the negative:

The mail hasn't arrived yet.
[as of yet | mail | not arrived]

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