Japanese Verbs

Groupings | Forms | Conjugation

Overview - Verb Groupings

Japanese verbs can be classified in several ways.
The two most important classifications in learning Japanese verbs, group belonging and transitive or intransitive, are introduced here.

Classification according to conjugation

Japanese verbs have inflection. They are classified into three groupings according to the way they are conjugated.
Verbs in the same group follow the same rule when making various verb forms (with some exception).

Group 1 : most i-ending verbs (iki-masu, kaki-masu, ai-masu)
Group 2 : all e-ending verbs (tabe-masu, ake-masu, de-masu)
some i-ending verbs (mi-masu, i-masu, kari-masu)
Group 3 : two verbs; shimasu and kimasu (to come)

Transitive verbs and Intransitive verbs

Japanese transitive and intransitive verbs are written using the same Kanji but are read differently in many cases.

In our materials, they are entered separately; "vt." is used to indicate transitive verb, "vi." for intransitive verb.

ex. kowashimasu (vt.) 壊します Transitive verb
kowaremasu (vi.) 壊れます Intransitive verb

Kodomo wa jitensha o kowashimashita.

My child broke a bicycle.

Jitensha wa kowaremashita.

A bicycle broke.

Overview - Verb Conjugation

In our materials, we pick up 17 verb conjugation forms.
To make each form, other than the masu form, there are certain rules which must be followed depending on which group a verb belongs to.

masu form masu masu form affirmative
masen masu form negative
mashita masu form past affirmative
masendeshita masu form past negative
Plain form root form Plain form affirmative (dictionary form)
nai form Plain form negative
ta form Plain form past affirmative
nakatta form Plain form past negative
Other forms te form
Conditional form (ba form)
Potential form
Imperative form
Volitional form
Passive form
Causative form
Causative passive Long form
Causative passive Short form

Groupings | Forms | Conjugation

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