Course: 1 Lesson: 12 – Japanese verbs

Course 1 Lesson 12
Party! Party!
 About This Lesson このレッスンについてSubmit a Question
Natsumi Sensei



To learn how to conjugate verbs into polite forms.
To learn how to use the particle .


The dictionary form of a verb is the most important form. Put effort into memorizing each of them. Also, pay attention to the FORMULA given to conjugate the verbs. It will come in handy no matter how much Japanese you know.
 New Vocabulary 新しい単語Submit a Question
By clicking on the button, you can hear how each word is pronounced. You can add any word, sentence or phrase to your "Notebook" by clicking on the word and then the save icon.
Japanese English Word Type
なにご what language question
なにじん what nationality question
rosanzerusu Los Angeles place
rasubegasu Las Vegas place
shikago Chicago place
kariforunia California place
kanada Canada place
かんこく Korea place
mare-shia Malaysia place
-し (city name) city suffix
-しゅう (state name) state suffix
-けん (prefecture name) prefecture suffix
-ご (country name) language suffix
-じん (country name) nationality suffix
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 New Phrases 新しいフレーズSubmit a Question
Here in the NEW PHRASES section you don't have to think about the grammar of each phrase. Simply memorize these phrases to increase your conversation skills.
1. おひさしぶり です.
It's been a long time.
2. なにご が はなせます か.
What languages can you speak?
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 Grammar 文法Submit a Question
The Grammar sections of each lesson give you the building blocks necessary to speak Japanese properly. Make sure that you read and understand each section.

12-1. Languages and nationalities

By adding (language) and じん (people) after a country name, you can say that someone is, for example, a Russian person or speaks Spanish. If someone is Russian, they are roshiaじん. “Spain,” in Japanese, is “ supein,” so to say “Spanish language,” you say “ supeinご.”

doitsu = Germany doitsuご = German (language) doitsuじん = German (people) amerika = America えいご = English language – Note: “English” is NOT amerikaご. amerikaじん = American (people) itaria= Italy itariaご = Italian (language) itariaじん = Italian (people)

1. Supeinご が はなせます か.
Can you speak Spanish?
2. たなかさん は ちゅうごくご が すき です.
Mr. Tanaka likes Chinese language.

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12-2. Conjugating verbs into the polite form

All verbs can be easily conjugated from the dictionary form of the verb. Since it is easier to learn the polite version of the verbs first, we will discuss the informal versions later. First let’s look at the verbs we will learn in this lesson.

Dictionary Form English Verb Verb Type
いく to go regular
くる to come irregular
かえる to return, to go back regular
わかる to understand regular

To conjugate the dictionary forms into other forms, the hiragana chart will be useful. This is a shortened chart – not all the hiragana are listed.









































The forms
Notice how the rows on the chart above have been labeled , , , , and form. You may have noticed that every dictionary-form verb in this lesson ends with a hiragana in the form row (the green sound buttons). It isn’t just a coincidence, because all Japanese verbs in their dictionary form end with a hiragana in the form! For example, the verb いく (to go) ends in , which is form. If you move up one row (with the blue sound buttons), the form of いく is いき. It is to this stem that we are going to add some verb endings. This pattern will be used in many verb conjugations to come. The conjugation rules are different depending on the type of verb being conjugated.
Verb types
Each verb in this lesson has been labeled as regular or irregular. The majority of Japanese verbs – perhaps more than 80% – are regular verbs. We call them "regular" because there are so many of them and they all follow the exact same conjugation pattern. Generally, irregular verbs do not follow any logical rule. Irregular verbs must be memorized. There are other types of verbs that will be explained as they come up. In this lesson we will focus on the polite form of the verbs.
Making the conversation
To make the polite versions of regular verbs, the final hiragana of the dictionary form needs to be changed into the form. For example, the dictionary form for "to understand" is わかる. The is changed to . Remember only move up and never across in the chart when changing to the form.

After changing the dictionary form into the form, all you need to do is add one of the following endings to complete the verb:

Present / Future
Present / Future
will~, do~,
am going to~
ません でした
didn't ~
Conjugation Formula for Regular Verbs

form of the verb + ending
1. いきます.
I will go. / I go. / I am going to go.
2. いきません.
I am not going. / I don't go. / I won't go.
3. かえりませんでした.
I didn't return.
4. かえります.
I will return. / I return. / I am going to return.
5. わかりません.
I don't understand.
6. わかりました.
OK. / I understood.

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The only verb in this lesson that isn’t regular is くる (come). It is conjugated as follows.

verb Present / Future
Present / Future
to come
きます きません きました きません でした
Mini Quiz
Click the to reveal the Japanese.
1. I am not going.
2. I will not return.
3. I went.
4. I didn't understand.
5. I didn't return.
6. Mr. Nakata is not coming.
7. I have understood.

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12-3. More verb conjugation practice

Remember, it doesn’t matter what the verb is, ALL DICTIONARY FORMS end with an form hiragana. Look at the following verbs and notice that they all end in form. Try to conjugate them using the rules you learned above.

1. よむ
to read
2. きく
to hear, listen, ask
3. はしる
to run
4. およぐ
to swim
5. しぬ
to die
6. ころす
to kill
7. まわす
to rotate

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12-4. Location particles and

and (although written as , it’s pronounced as ) are both location and destination particles. They are placed after locations. In English, and can both mean “to.” There are differences where and are used. is used when going to an exact location, as in, “I am going to France” ( furansu に いきます). The particle is used when going in a direction, as in “I am going to the south” ( みなみへ いきます). In modern Japan most Japanese people freely mix and without regard to grammatical rules. It would not be wrong to say furansu へ いきます. The key point to remember is that locations require a location marker. In order to prevent confusion, in future lessons we will use as the standard location and destination marker.

1. とうきょうに
to Tokyo
2. がっこうに
to school
3. ぎんこうに
to the bank
4. にほんに
to Japan

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12-5. Marking time and making questions

We learned above that is used as a location / destination particle. It is also used to mark time in a sentence. For example: “I will go in March.” would be さんがつ に いきます. The particle can NEVER be used to mark time. As a time marker, can mean “in,” “at,” “on.” You can use twice in a sentence, once to mark time and once to mark the destination.

1. いちがつに
in January
2. かようびに
on Tuesday
3. ろくじに
at six o'clock

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1. ふつか に とうきょう に いきます.
I will go to Tokyo on the 2nd.
2. Sumisuさん は いちがつ に amerika に かえります.
Mr./Mrs. Smith will return to America in January.
3. きょねん の ごがつ に ちゅうごく に いきました.
I went to China in May of last year.

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You will notice that verbs come last in Japanese sentences, and that just by adding the sentence is changed into a question.

Example Q&A
1.       どこ に いきます か.
    にほん に いきます.

 Where are you going?
 I am going to Japan.
2.       いえ に かえりました か.
    いいえ、 ともだち の いえ に いきました.

 Did you go home?
 No, I went to a friend's house.
3.       いつ、きます か.
    さんがつ に いきます.

 When are you coming?
 I will go in March.
4.       なんにち に いきます か.
    ふつか に いきます.

 On which day of the month are you going?
 I am going on the 2nd.

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A time marker is usually not necessary in the Japanese sentence if “in,” “on,” or “at” are not present in the English sentence. The following sentences do not need .

1. きのう、いきました.
I went yesterday.
2. あした、いきます.
I will go tomorrow.
3. きょう、いきません.
I won't go today.

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12-6. Using the verb わかる

When using わかる to say that you understand something, you must use (the subject marker).

1. わたし は にほんご が わかります.
I understand Japanese.
2. かれ は えいご が わかりません.
He does not understand English.

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 Question and Answer 質問と答えSubmit a Question
Each question is presented with several potential answers. To test your pronunciation, try each question and answer out loud before you click the sound button.

1. いつ かえります か.
ごがつ に かえります.
にじゅうににち に かえります.
When are you coming back?
I will return in May.
I will return on the 22nd.
I am not coming back.
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2. いきます か.
いいえ、 いきません.
Are you going?
Yes, I am going.
No, I am not going.
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3. どこ に いきます か.
みやざきし に いきます.
ともだち の いえ に いきます.
ひょうごけん に いきます.
Where are you going?
I am going to Miyazaki City.
I am going to a friend's house.
I am going to Hyogo prefecture.
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4. とうきょう に いきます か.
はい、とうきょう に いきます.
いいえ、 とうきょう に いきません.
いいえ、 おおさか に いきます.
Are you going to Tokyo?
Yes, I am going to Tokyo.
No, I am not going to Tokyo.
No, I am going to Oosaka.
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5. Pa-ti- に きます か.
いいえ、 いきません.
Are you coming to the party?
Yes, I am going.
No, I am not going.
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6. いつ かえります か.
にちようび に かえります.
あした かえります.
When are you coming back?
I will return Sunday.
I will return tomorrow.
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7. にほん に いきました か.
いいえ、 いきません でした.
Did you go to Japan?
Yes, I went.
No, I didn't go.
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8. べsuさん は pa-ti- に きます か.
いいえ、 いきません.
Is Beth coming to the party?
No, she is not going.
Maybe she will go.
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9. いつ kanada に かえりました か.
すいようび に かえりました.
When did you return to Canada?
I didn't return.
I came back on Wednesday.
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 Mini Conversations ミニ会話Submit a Question
Click the sound button to listen to each part of the conversation. Pay attention to the context description to understand the different styles of speaking to friends and strangers.
1.  A conversation between friends.
A:     どこ に いきます か.
B:     おじいさん の いえ に いきます.
A:     おじいさんのいえ は どこ です か.
B:     Rasubegasu です.

A:  Where are you going?
B:  I am going to my grandfather's house.
A:  Where is your grandfather's house?
B:  In Las Vegas.

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2.  A conversation between old friends.
A:     おひさしぶり です.
B:     いつ かえりました か.
A:     おととい かえりました.

A:  It's been a long time?
B:  When did you return?
A:  I came back the day before yesterday.

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3.  A conversation between friends.
A:     いつ amerika に かえります か.
B:     すいようび に かえります.
A:     あなた の おかあさん も かえります か.
B:     はい、おかあさん も かえります.

A:  When are you coming back to America?
B:  I will go back on Wednesday.
A:  Is your mother also coming?
B:  Yes, my mother will also come.

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4.  A conversation between friends.
A:     だれ が pa-ti- に きます か.
B:     よしこさん と けいこ さん です.
A:     よしこさん と けいこさん は だれ です か.
B:     わたし の ともだち です.

A:  Who is coming to the party?
B:  Yoshiko and Keiko.
A:  Who are Yoshiko and Keiko?
B:  My friends.

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5.  A conversation between friends.
A:     いつ amerika に いきました か.
B:     Amerika に いきません でした.
A:     じゃあ、どこ に いきました か.
B:     かんこく に いきました.

A:  When did you go to America?
B:  I didn't go to America.
A:  Well then where did you go?
B:  I went to Korea.

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 Comprehension 読解Submit a Question
Read the sentences below out loud, then click the play button to listen. If you don't understand the reading selection, go back and review the grammar in this lesson.
ここ は amerika の shikagoし です.

まりさん は じゅうがつみっか に にほん に いきました.

きのう shikagoし に かえりました.

まりさん と ともだち の よしこさん は あした pa-ti- に いきます.

まりさん の ふく は しろ です.

よしこさんの は orenji です.

あした は harouィ-n です.

まりさん は pa-ti- が だいすき です.

くがつ に よしこさん の おとうさん の たんじょうびのpa-ti- に いきました.

Purezento は ごほん の にほん の bi-ruでした.

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 More Practice 補充練習Submit a Question
In this section we will practice what was taught in the lesson and reinforce what was taught in prior lessons. Any new words or expressions are listed in the section.
A:     たなかさん、こんにちは.
B:     Sumisuさん、こんにちは。きょう は あつい です ね.
A:     はい、あつい です.
B:     どこ に いきます か.
A:     いま から がっこう に いきます.
B:     なん の がっこう です か.
A:     にほんご がっこう です.
B:     そう です か。わたし は いま から しごと に いきます.

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New words and expressions
いまから from now / from now on
なん の? What? Which? What kind of?
きょう は あつい です ね. Today sure is hot.
 Lesson Quizzes クイズSubmit a Question
The quizzes will test your understanding of the material taught in each lesson. You can take each quiz as many times as you want to. The correct answers will be show at the end of the quiz.
 Related Videos 関連ビデオSubmit a Question
The video(s) below help explain what is taught in this lesson. It is recommended that you first complete the lesson and then watch the video(s).

 New Words Submit a Question
 New Words 2 Submit a Question
 Chizu Challenge Submit a Question
 YesJapan Kana Attack! Submit a Question
 YesJapan Strike! Submit a Question

There are currently no questions for this lesson.