Type II verbs

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In Japanese, the term Type II verb (also known as a る-verb or ru-verb) refers to many verbs that end in , including all that end in -iru (special exception for certain homophones of the verb いる) and most that end in -eru. Type II verbs are also sometimes known as 一段 (ichi-dan, 1 column) verbs due to the fact that the final る is removed to add endings to the word, as opposed to 五段 (go-dan, 5 column or Type I) verbs, which rotate between all the vowels associated with the consonant sound of the final kana (for more information, see Type I verbs#Vowel Changes).


Verb Chart

The chart below shows the ending changes that take place for Type II verbs.

Nonpast 〜る
Past 〜た
-masen deshita
Conjunctive 〜て
-nai de
-masen de
Conditional 〜たら
-masen deshitara
Provisional 〜れば
-masu nara
-masen nara
Potential 〜(ら)れる
Passive 〜られる
Causative 〜らせる
Volitional 〜よう
-nai you ni shiyou
-nai you ni shimashou
Conjectural 〜るだろう
-ru darou
-nai darou
-ru deshou
-nai deshou
Sequental 〜たり
-masen deshitari
Imperative 〜ろ
-ru na
〜なさるな~-nasaru na

Polite Stem

The stem of a Type II verb is created by removing the 〜る (-ru) ending from the dictionary form of the word.


Nonpast Tense

The present tense in Japanese also serves as the future tense, and thus for technical reasons is usually referred to as the nonpast tense. In plain speech, it is simply the dictionary form of the verb. For example, the verb 食べる (taberu, to eat) remains unchanged if we just want to say "I eat" (私は食べる。Watashi wa taberu.) In polite speech, also known as ます-form (masu-form), we take the verb stem (食べ, tabe) and add ます (masu) to the end of it, thus creating 私はたべます。 (Watashi wa tabemasu.)

Creating the Future Tense

As the present tense also doubles as the future tense, either of the examples above could also be translated as "I will eat", with the context of the situation determining the time frame. If it is necessary to explicitly indicate that the action taking place is in the future, つもりです (tsumori desu) may be added after the dictionary form of the verb (thus, 私は食べるつもりです。, Watashi wa taberu tsumori desu.). This construction places the event in the future by stating that it is what the speaker plans to do. In casual speech, the です at the end may be dropped or changed to its plain form, .

Negative Form

The negative form is created by replacing the 〜る (-ru) ending of the dictionary form with 〜ない (-nai).

Conjunctive Form

Te conjunctive form serves two purposes in Japanese:

  1. To link two verbs together
  2. To link two sentences together

To create the conjunctive form of a verb, replace the 〜る (-ru) ending of the dictionary form with 〜て (-te).

Imperative Form

There are three common ways of forming the imperative in Japanese, each with their nuances:

  1. Use the conjunctive form (て form)
  2. Add なさい (nasai)
  3. Replace the 〜る (-ru) ending of the dictionary form with 〜ろ (-ro)

Using the て Form

The conjunctive form is the gentlest way of making a request or issuing an order in Japanese. While the conjunctive form can be used on its own, this is generally seen as rather both more casual and more feminine in tone. A more formal request using the conjunctive form, as well as one that men would be expected to use, would place the verb 下さい (kudasai, imperative of "to receive") after the conjunctive form of the verb (e.g. 食べる would become 食べて下さい (tabete kudasai). Another, more casual, alternative for men would be to substitute くれ (kure) for 下さい (kudasai).

Using なさい

Replace the 〜る (-ru) ending of the dictionary form with 〜なさい (-nasai).

〜ろ -ro

Changing the 〜る (-ru) ending of the dictionary form to 〜ろ (-ro) is considered the harshest and most clear means of issuing an order in Japanese. It is generally considered to be extremely rude, and is almost never heard used by women.

Negated Imperative

There are two primary ways to issue an order not to do something in Japanese:

  • Use the negative conjunctive (〜ないで, -nai de) ending instead of the regular one, optionally following it with 〜下さい (-kudasai) or 〜くれ (-kure)
  • Adding 〜な (-na) after the dictionary form of the verb
    • For a more formal alternative, you can replace 〜る (-ru) in the dictionary form with 〜なさるな <i>(-nasaru na) instead

Conditional Form

To create the conditional form of a verb, replace the 〜る (-ru) ending of the dictionary form with 〜たら (-tara).

Causative Form

To create the causative form of a verb, replace the 〜る (-ru) ending of the dictionary form with 〜させる (-saseru).

Passive Form

To create the passive form of a verb, replace the 〜る (-ru) ending of the dictionary form with 〜られる (-rareru).

Honorific and Humble Forms

See Also

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