What are verbs
Introducing Japanese verbs and the first set of verbs: る-verbsNeed help?
See, Look at, Opinion
Exit, Leave, Go out
To look at, To watch, To see
To go out
What are verbs
Verbs are a type of word which describe the action (go, eat), occurrence (become, happen), or state of being (exist, know) of something. There are three categories of Japanese verbs: る-verbs, う-verbs and irregular verbs. Much like adjectives, verbs can change form. When a verb changes form it is called conjugation.
The different categories of verbs have different conjugation patterns that you will need to learn. When learning verbs, you should take a mental note of what type of verb it is. Much like です and adjectives, verbs in Japanese only have past and non-past tense. We will first learn how to conjugate verbs to non-past tense, which is used to express habitual and future events. Past tense will be taught later on the course.
The dictionary form of verbs in Japanese will always end with the vowel う, either as a character by itself (う) or as part of another character (く, む, る, etc).
When the dictionary form of a verb ends with る, it is probably (but not always) a る-verb. If a verb ends with another character such as う or む then it is definitely not a る-verb.
When conjugating verbs, only part of the verb actually changes. We will call the section that doesn't change the non-conjugation part (NCP). For the verb 出かける, the NCP is 出かけ and for the verb 見る, the NCP is the 見. The NCP of a る-verb is everything before the last letter る and will always end in either い or え. This could be the vowel by itself, or a character such as べ which still ends with the vowel え. Let's take a look at the non-past forms for る-verbs using the verb 食べる as an example:
As you can see, you simply append the NCP of the verb with the conjugating part to create the completed form.
There is another part of verbs that you should keep in mind for future lessons: the stem. We will define the stem of a verb to be everything before the ます in the polite affirmative form. For る-verbs, this is the same as the NCP.