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Some Useful Japanese Verb Forms; Part 2

In my last Japanese blog, I gave you lots of endings you can use with ichidan verbs in Japanese. Ichidan verbs are the verbs that end with “iru” or “eru” in the infinitive form (jikibi no katachi), the form you will find in the dictionary. In this blog, I will explain what to do with the godan verbs. Godan verbs are any verb that is not an ichidan verb and not one of the two irregular verbs, suru and kuru. In the blog after this one, I will tell you what to do with suru and kuru as well as give you some other important information about verb endings and adjectives. For now, let’s talk about godan verbs.

Godan Verb Forms

The Infinitive Form (jibiki no katachi): Again, this form should not be used at the end of the sentence. You can find the verbs in the dictionary in this form, and you need this form to make the other forms. It is a very basic form.

hanasu = to speak, to talk, tobu = to fly, to jump, toru= to take, wakaru= to understand, to know, , naru = to become, noboru= to climb, to go u[, nomu = to drink, omou= to think, tatsu= to stand, arau= to wash, au= to meet, ganbaru= to do well, hairu = to enter, iku = to gp, iu = to say, kaku = to write, to draw, to paint, kau= to buy, kiku = to hear, to listen

kono hito wa kankokugo wo hanashimasu. = This person speaks Korean./ Kono hito wa eigo wo hanasu koto ga dekimasu. = This person can speak English./ Kono hito wa nihongo wo hanasu kotga dekimasen. = This person can’t speak Japanese.

The “masu” form: This is the form that you can use for simple present tense and future tense. It is used at the end of the sentence. You can leave the subject pronoun out with this form and let them guess the subjec from the context just like they guess the tense from the context.

speak, speaks, will speak, talk, talks, will talk = hanashimasu, fly, flies,will fly, jump, jumps, will jump = tobimsu, understand, understands, will understand, know, knows, will know = wakarimasu, become, becomes, will become = (ni) narimasu, climbs up, climb up = noborimasu, drink, drinks = nomimasu, think, thinks = omimasu, stand up, stands up = tachimasu, wssh, washes = arimasu, meet, meets = aimasu, do well, does well = ganbarimasu, enter, enters = hairimasu, ikimasu= go, goes, say, says = iimasu, write, writes, draw, draws, paint, paints = kakimasu, buy, buys = kaimasu, hear, hears, listen, listens = kikimasu.

o cha wo nomimasuka? = Do you drink green tea? / Hai, nomimasu. = Yes, I drink it.// Iie, nomimasen. = No, I don’t drink it.

Question form for simple present tense and future tense: You just add “ka” to the “masu” form. Again, you can leave the subject out and let them understand from context. These verbs can be considered conjugated into any person in English.

do you talk, does he talk, to you speak, does he speak, will you talk, will you speak – hanashimasuka?, does he fly, do you fly, will you fly, will I fly, will she fly, will he fly, will we fly, will they fly = tobimasuka?, do you understand, does he understand, will he understand, etc.= wakarimasuka?, do you become, does he become, will you become =( ni) narimasuka?, do you drink, does he drink, will you drink, etc. = nomasuka?, do you think, does he think, will think, etc. = omoimsuka?, does he stand up, do you stand up, will you stand up?, etc. = tachimsuka?, do you wash, will you wash, etc. = arimasuka?, do we meet, do I meet, do you meet, will you meet, etc. = aimasuka?, do you draw, does he paint, will you write, etc. = kakimasuka? , will you buy, does he buy, do I buy = kaimasuka?, do you hear, does he hear, will he hear?, etc. = kaimasuka?, do you hear, does he hear, will he hear = kikimasu

hikoki de tobimashitaka? = Did you fly on an airplane?// Hai, hikoki de tobimashita. = Yes, I flew on an airplane.// Iie, hikoki de tobimasendeshita. = No, I didn’t fly on an airplane.

“Mashita,” Simple Past Tense form:

spoke, talked = hanashimashita, flew, jumped = tobimashita, understood, knew = wakarimashita, became = ((ni) narimashita, drank= nomimashita, thought = omoimashita, stood- tachimashita, washed = arimashita, met = aimashita, wrote, painted, drew = kakimashita, bought = kaimashita, heard, listened = kikimashita

Question Form for Past Tense: Simply add “ka” to the past tense form.

Did you speak?, Did you talk?, Did he speak?, Did we speak?, etc. = hanashimashitaka? //Did you fly? = tobimashitaka?// Did you drink?= nomimashitaka?// Did you understand? = wakarimashitaka?//Did you listen? or Did you hear? = kikimashitaka?//Did you wash? = arimashitaka?

An alternate Past Tense: Again, you are going to hear this one, but don’t use it. You need to learn to understand it, though.

Did you understand? = wakata?/ Yes, I understood. = Hai, wakata!

kuruma de ikimasuka? = Do you go by car?// Hai, kuruma de ikimasu. = Yes, I go by car.// Iie, kuruma de ikimasen. = No, I don’t go by car.

A Negative Form for Simple Present Tense: This is a polite form, so you can use this one. Again, any pronoun can be assumed to be used when you use these verbs. There is no difference in person. Just learn the patterns, and use the patterns in this blog with all godan verbs.

I don’t speak, he doesn’t speak, I don’t talk = hanashimasen. I don’t fly, I don’t jump, she doesn’t jump = tobimasen, I don’t drink, you don’t drink, she doesn’t drink = nomimasen, I don’t understand = wakarimasen, I don’t hear = kikimasen, I don’t buy = kaimasen.

Wakarimashitaka? = Did you understand?// Hai, wakarimashita. = Yes, I understood.// Iie, wakarimasendeshita. = No, I didn’t understand.

Past Tense Negative:

didn’t speak, didn’t talk = hanashimasendeshita, didn’t fly, didn’t jump = tobimasendeshita, didn’t understand, didn’t know = wakarimasendeshita, didn’t drink = nomimasendeshita, didn’t buy = kaimasendeshita, didn’t hear = kikimasnedeshita, didn’t meet = aimasdendeshita, didn’t walk = arukimasendeshita, didn’t go = kikimasendeshita

Kono hito tachi wa hanshite imasu. = These people are talking.

The “te” form: This is the form you need if you want to make present and past progressive and the request form. Some of these have to use “de” instead of “te.”

hanashite imasu = am, is, are talking, speaking, / hanashite imasen = isn’t speaking, hanashite imashita = wash speaking, were speaking, hanashite kudasai = please speak, talk/ nonde imasu = am, is are drinking, nonde imasen = isn’t aren’t am not drinking, nonde imashita= was, were drinking, nonde kudasai = please drink. tate imasu = I am standing, you are standing, he is standing, etc. tate imashita = I was standing. tate kudasai = please stand.

Kami ni hanshite kudasai. = Please talk to God.// wasuranai de kudasai. = Please don’t forget. ///Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

“Please don’t” form: This combines the “nai” with the “te” form, but he “te” becomes “de.”n You change the “ru” from the jikibiki no katachi (infinitive form) to “ra.”

Please don’t talk, or don’t talk= hanasanai de kudasai. Please don’t go= ikanai de kudasai, Please don’t understand = wakarani de kudasai. Please don’t take = toranai de kudasai. tobanai de kudasai = don’t fly, don’t jump, kikanai de kudasai = please don’t listen. nomanai de kudasai = please don’t drink. tatani de kudasai= please don’t stand.

kohi wo nomatai desuka? = Do you want to drink coffee?// Hai, kohi wo nomatai. = Yes, I want to drink coffee.// Iie, kohi wo nomimasen. = No, I don’t drink coffee.

The “want to” form: You do the same thing to the infinitive of the verb as you did when you changed it to the rude negative, but instead of putting “nai,” put “tai.” Remember the subject pronoun is optional, and the same form can be used for every person.

hanasatai = I want to talk, he wants to talk, we want to talk, nomatai= I want to drink, they want to drink, etc. tobatai= I want to fly. I want to jump, ikatai= I want to go, wakaratai= I want to know, I want to undersand, arukatai = I want to walk. (ni) naratai = I want to become.

kono hito tachi wa tomodachi ni narana kereba narimasen. = These people must become friends.

The “must” or “have to” form: Again, make a double negative and put an “if’ in the middle.

I must go = ikana kereba narimasen., I must speak, he must speak, we must speak, etc. = hanasana kereba narimasen. He must fly, She must jump, I have to jump = tobana kereba narimasen, I must walk, you have to walk = arukana kereba narimasen. I must become = (ni) narana kereba narimasen. I have to drink = nomana kereba narimasen. tatana kereba narimasen = I must stand, I have to stand, you have to stand, we must stand, etc.

Watashi no tomodachi to hanasu kotoga dekimasuka? = Can I talk with my friend?/ Hai, tomodachi to hanasu koto ga dekimasu. = Yes, you can talk with your friend./ Iie, tomodachi to hanasu kotga dekimasen. = No, you can’t talk with your friend.

The “can” form:

hanasu kotoga dekimasu = I can talk, I can speak, he can talk, she can speak, etc. aruku kotoga dekimasu = we can walk, he can walk, I can walk, etc. (ni) naru kotoga dekimasu = I can become, he can become, we can become, etc. iku kotoga dekimasu = I can go, you can go, we can go, etc. arau kotoga dekimasu = I can wash, you can wash, they can wash, etc. tobu kotoga dekimasu = I can fly, you can jump, etc. omou kotoga dekimasu = I can think, etc.

The can’t form: It is the same as the “can” form except you change “dekimasu” to dekimasen.” aruku kotoga dekimasen = I can’t walk. hanasu kotoga dekimasen = I can’t talk.

Watashtachi wa kiku toki ni, ureshi no hitotachi ni narimasu. = When we listen, we become happy.

The “When clause” form: Again, you need the jibiki no katachi (the infinitive form) + toki +ni

hanasu toki ni = When I speak, when he speak, when we talk, etc. aruku toki ni = when I walk, when we walk, etc. wakaru toki ni = when I understand, when he knows, etc. tobu toki ni = when I fly, etc. (ni) naru toki ni = when I become, etc.

Watashitachi wa hanasu to tomodachi ni narimasu. = If we talk, we become friends.

Making an “if” clause: I explained how to use “ba” for the conditional in the last blog. This time, we will use “to” for “if.” Use the jibiki no katachi before the “to” to make an “if clause.”

hanasu to = If I talk, If he talks, If we speak, etc. (ni) naru to = If I become, If he becomes, etc. wakaru to = If you understand, If he understands, If I know, etc. aruku to = if I walk, if we walk, etc. tobu to= If we fly, If I fly, if they jump, etc. dekiru to = If I can, If he can, etc. kiku to = If you hear, etc.

This explains using godan verbs in several forms. There are more forms, but these are basic forms. In the last blog, I explained how to use ichidan verbs in basic forms. In the next one, I will explain what to do with the irregular verbs and give you some more verb forms and adjective forms that are useful.


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