Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Japanese Verbs Types, Plain Form, ~う (U), ~る (RU)

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Japanese verbs basic forms ends in "u", to be more precise, "u" is an ending of the last syllable of the basic verb form.

There are 3 types of verbs in Japanese. Why there are divided to 3 types will become clear in next few posts:

Group 1: ~ U ending verbs, such as:

hanasu (話す) - to speak
kaku (書く) - to write
kiku (聞く) - to listen
matsu (待つ) - to wait
nomu (飲む) - to drink

Here is a how some of the often used U-verbs or Godan-doushi (Godan verbs) sound:


Now let's try some in sentences:
* Mama wa mise de banana o kau. (Mom buys/will buy bananas at the store.)
* Jim wa manga o yomu. (Jim will read a comic book.)
* Ojii-san wa sugu kaeru. (Grandpa will return soon.)

The function of "o" is to indicate the object of a verb. When you hear the particle o in a sentence, you know that the word before "o" is an object of the verb that comes after "o".


Group 2: ~ Iru and ~ Eru ending verbs:

~ Iru ending verbs

kiru (着る) - to wear
miru (見る) - to see
okiru (起きる) - to get up
oriru (降りる) - to get off
shinjiru (信じる) - to believe

~ Eru ending verbs

akeru (開ける) - to open
ageru (あげる) - to give
deru (出る) - to go out
neru (寝る) - to sleep
taberu (食べる) - to eat

Here is a list of some often used Iru/Eru-verbs or Ichidan-doushi (Ichidan verbs):


Here are a couple of example sentences:

* Watashi wa ringo o taberu. (I'll eat an apple.)
* Naomi wa terebi o miru. (Naomi will watch TV.)

There are some exceptions. The following verbs belong to Group 1, though they end with "~ iru" or "~ eru".

hairu (入る) - to enter
hashiru (走る) - to run
iru (いる) - to need
kaeru (帰る) - to return
kagiru (限る) - to limit
kiru (切る) - to cut
shaberu (しゃべる) - to chatter
shiru (知る) - to know


And, There Are Irregular Verbs!

While there are only two irregulars,
kuru (to come) and
suru (to do),
the verb "suru" is the most often used verb in Japanese. It is used as "to do," "to make," or "to cost". It is also combined with many nouns (of Chinese or Western origin) to make them into verbs. Here are some examples.

* benkyousuru (勉強する) - to study
* ryokousuru (旅行する) - to travel
* yushutsusuru (輸出する) - to export
* dansusuru (ダンスする) - to dance
* shanpuusuru (シャンプーする) - to shampoo)

This "u"-ending form is very simple Japanese form, and also very juvenile or "familiar." Only kids or people speaking with family or friends would use this plain form.

Before actually trying out the language you need to learn the Base 2 forms and the polite endings that go with them. We will be learning about those in the next posts.

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