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Transcript
The Basic Structure of Japanese Verbs
名前:________1の__
(Yookoso! textbook pages 181-183) Informational Reading and Guided Practice
1. In Chapter 2, you learne dhow to conjugate (change the form of ) adjectives to form the
negative. Look at the below chart and examples. Fill in the conjugates based on which type of
adjective you see.
Type of
Adjective
い-adj
な-adj
English
Japanese
Negative form*
big
大きい
大きくない・大きくありません
small
小さい
小さ______・小さ_______
loud
うるさい
うるさ_______・うるさ______
quiet
しずかな
しずかじゃない・しずかじゃありません
clean
きれいな
きれい______・きれい_______
ハンサムな
ハンサム______・ハンサム______
handsome
*That was review, by the way. Please make sure that you understand the above forms.
2. You have already studied several Japanese verbs, including ききます (listen) はなします
(speak) あいます (meet) あります (exist), etc. The verbs here end in ます because these
are the polite forms of these verbs. However, in order to look up any of these verbs (or more
importantly other verbs) in a Japanese dictionary, you need to know the verb’s dictionary form,
which is listed in the following chart. Each dictionary form consists of two parts, a root and an
ending.
Polite
Form
CLASS 1
Dictionary
Form
Meaning
Root
Ending
き
聞く
to listen
聞
き
く
あ
会う
to meet
会
あ
う
はな
す
あ
る
よ
む
聞きます
会います
はな
はな
話す
to speak
あ
有る
to exist
有
よ
読む
to read
読
食べる
to eat
食べ
ね
寝る
to go to sleep
寝
み
見る
to see
見
き
着る
to wear
着
起きる
to wake up
起き
話します
有ります
読みます
話
CLASS 2
た
食べます
寝ます
見ます
着ます
お
起きます
た
る
る
み
る
き
る
お
ね
る
3. Notice the different endings between the two groupings of verbs. The ending of the first group is
variable, while the second group is always る. In this textbook (and commonly), the first group of verbs
are called CLASS 1 verbs, while the second group of verbs are called CLASS 2 verbs. The simple (but
not fool proof) rule for distinguishing between these two classes is this: if the root of a verb ends with a
syllable from the い-column of the hiragana syllabary chart (i-column: い、き、し、ち、etc) or the えcolumn (e-column: え、け、せ、て、etc) +
る, then it is a CLASS 2 verb. Otherwise, it is a CLASS 1
verb.
CLASS 2 verbs
あ
い
う
た
お
べ
食
お
起



え
+る
見
み
+る
き
+る
食べる to eat
見る to look/watch
起きる to wake up
4. The dictionary form of all CLASS 1 verbs ends in one of the syllables in the う-column of the hiragana
syllabary chart. (NOTE that ある ends in る, but its root does not end in a syllable from the い-column nor
the え-column, so it is not a CLASS 2 verb.
CLASS 1 verbs
あ
い
う
え
お
あ
会
う
(あ row)
く
(か row)
す
(さ row)
つ
(た row)
む
(ま row)
る
(ら row)
ぐ
(が row)
to meet
か
書
to write
はな
話
to speak
た
立
to stand
よ
読
to read
あ
to exist
およ
泳
to swim
く
5. In addition, there are two irregular verbs in Japanese 来る (to come) and する (to do). In this
textbook (and commonly) these irregular verbs are called CLASS 3 verbs.
You will have to memorize the conjugation of these verbs individually. ALL compound verbs with する
belong to CLASS 3: うんどうする (to exercise), でんわ する (to make a phone call),
れんしゅう
する (to practice), and so on.
Here are how some common verbs are classified:
CLASS 1
あら
洗う to wash
い
行く to go
き
聞く to listen
はな
話す to speak
の
飲む to drink
はたら
働 く to work
やす
休む to rest
CLASS 2
た
食べる to eat
お
起きる to wake up
CLASS 3
する to do
く
来る to come
で
出かける to go out
で
出る to leave/exit
か
変える to change
み
見る to see; watch
き
着る to wear; put on
の
乗る to ride
6. The three primary meanings expressed in every Japanese verb form are tense, politeness, and
affirmation/negation.
Tense
There are two basic tenses in Japanese: past and nonpast. The past tense is used to express past
actions and events (I played baseball, He remained in the hospital, etc). The nonpast tense is used to
express present, habitual, and future actions and events (I get up at 6:00 every morning, I will go to
school later, I’m going to study tomorrow, etc).
Politeness
Japanese verbs also take different forms depending on the degree of politeness the speaker or writer
wishes to show the listener or reader. As you’ve been learning, polite form is used to address people with
whom one is not well acquainted or to speak impersonally with in-group people (such as one’s superior).
In addition, it is used to address most out-group people, in personal letters, TV news, and most public
speeches. The polite form is the appropriate speech register among adult speakers who are getting to
know each other.
On the other hand, plain form is used when speakers address very familiar people on the same social
level, such as close friends. It is also used in diaries and in newspaper articles. And as you will see later,
verbs in certain positions in a sentence must be in the plain form.
Affirmation/Negation
In Japanese, verbs take different endings depending on whether they are affirmative or negative.
In addition, different grammatical elements are added to the end of verb forms to express such meanings
as ability and probability. The resultant forms consisting of verbs and grammatical elements also
conjugate in terms of the three primary meanings (tense, politeness, and affirmation/negation).