Type I verbs

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In Japanese, the term Type I verb (also known as an う-verb or u-verb) refers to all verbs that do not end in , and certain ones that end in る but do not fall under the Type II classification. Type I verbs are also sometimes known as 五段 (go-dan, 5 column) verbs due to the fact that the final う (u) in the word changes to all the other vowels at some point or another, depending on the form you're changing it to.

Contents

Verb Chart

The chart below shows the ending changes that take place for Type I verbs. For ease of representation, the chart is in romaji. As the defining feature for 5-row verbs is that the final -u changes into each of the other 4 vowels depending on what ending is being attached, the chart bases the endings on the final -u. Variations from this paradigm will be shown in italics underneath the base paradigm.

Plain,
Affirmative
Plain,
Negative
Polite,
Affirmative
Polite,
Negative
Nonpast -u -anai
(-nnai,
-ran)
-imasu -imasen
Past -ita
(-tta,
-nda)
-kanakatta -imashita -imasen deshita
Conjunctive -ite
(-nde)
-anakute
(-anaide)
-imashite -imasen de
Conditional -itara
(-ttara,
-ndara)
-anakattara -imashitara -imasen deshitara
Provisional -eba -anakereba -imasu nara -imasen nara
Potential -eru -enai -emasu -emasen
Passive -areru -arenai -aremasu -aremasen
Causative -aseru -asenai -asemasu -asemasen
Causative-
Passive
-aserareru -aserarenai -aseraremasu -aseraremasen
Volitional -ou -anai you ni shiyou -imashou -anai you ni shimashou
Conjectural -u darou -anai darou -u deshou -anai deshou
Sequental -itari
(-ttari,
-ndari)
-anakattari -imashitari -imasen deshitari
Imperative -e -u na -i nasai -i nasaru na

Vowel Changes

A あ

Changes to -a for:

I い

Changes to -i for:

U う

Remains as -u for:

E え

Changes to -e for:

O お

Changes to -o for:

Polite Stem

The stem of a Type I verb is created by changing the /ɯ/ sound at the end of the verb's dictionary form to an /i/ sound. The resulting changes would be as follows:

No Japanese verbs end in , , or . is reserved for use as a negation suffix in classical Japanese, and thus does not appear at the end of any Japanese words in dictionary form. (fu) used to be seen at the ends of verbs in classical Japanese, however the spelling reform following World War II changed it to う (u) in all words it appeared in.

Tense

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 行く (iku, to go) remains unchanged if we just want to say "I go" (私は行く。) In polite speech, also known as ます-form (masu-form), we take the verb stem (行き, iki) and add ます (masu) to the end of it, thus creating 私は行きます。 (Watashi wa ikimasu.)

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 go", 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 verb (thus, 私は行くつもりです。, Watashi wa iku 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

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, you first need to change the stem as appropriate, and then add (te) to the end. The stem changes are as follows:

  • う, つ, and る change into a small tsu ().
    • 買う (kau) becomes 買って (katte)
    • 持つ (motsu) becomes 持って (motte)
    • 分かる (wakaru) becomes 分かって (wakatte)
  • く and ぐ change into い (i)
    • 書く (kaku) becomes 書いて (kaite)
    • 泳ぐ (oyogu) becomes 泳いで (oyoide)
  • す changes into し (shi)
    • 話す becomes 話して (hanashite)
  • ぬ, ぶ and む become , and add (de) to the end instead of て
    • 死ぬ becomes 死んで (shinde)
    • 読む becomes 読んで (yonde)

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. Change the ending vowel from /ɯ/ (u) to /e/ (e)

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. 行くwould become 行って下さい (itte kudasai). Another, more casual, alternative for men would be to substitute くれ (kure) for 下さい (kudasai).

Using なさい

Changing the Stem Vowel

Changing the stem vowel sound from /ɯ/ (u) to /e/ (e) 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. Using our example words, the imperative would be formed as follows:

  • 買う (kau) becomes 買え (kae)
  • 書く (kaku) becomes 書け (kake)
  • 泳ぐ (oyogu) becomes 泳げ (oyoge)
  • 話す (hanasu) becomes 話せ (hanase)
  • 持つ (motsu) becomes 持て (mote)
  • 死ぬ (shinu) becomes 死ね (shine)
  • 呼ぶ (yobu) becomes 呼べ (yobe)
  • 読む (yomu) becoems 読め (yome)

Negated Imperative

Conditional Form

Causative Form

Passive Form

Honorific and Humble Forms

See Also

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