う-verbs and irregular verbs

The second and third set of verbs: う-verbs and irregular verbs

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Outline

KanjiVocabularyう-verbs and irregular verbs

Kanji

Rest

Going, Conduct, Row

Come, Next, Due

Vocabulary

休む

To be absent, To take a day off, To rest

行く

To go

する

To do

来る

To come

う-verbs and irregular verbs

う-verbs

う-verbs are the second category of verbs that we will learn. All verbs that don't end with are う-verbs. Some verbs which end with are also う-verbs.

When learning る-verbs, we learned about the non-conjugating part (NCP) and the stem of the verb. For る-verbs, these were the same. For う-verbs, they are slightly different. The stem of the verb is still everything before the ます in the polite affirmative form, just like for る-verbs. But the NCP is now everything before the final character and the consonant of the final character of the dictionary form.

The NCP of is therefore ik, and the NCP of is yasum. Because there aren't any Japanese characters for consonants such as k or m by themselves, we will be writing the NCPs of う-verbs using romaji rather than hiragana. Let's take a look at the non-past forms for う-verbs using the verb as an example:

Form
NCPik
Plain affirmative〜う行く
Polite affirmative〜います行きます
Plain negative〜あない行かない
Polite negative〜いません行きません

You'll notice in the above table that the stem for the verb is . This is because the stem of a verb is everything before the ます in the polite affirmative form.

When conjugating う-verbs, the final character of the NCP will change. Because the NCP only contains the consonant, when it is combined with the lone vowels of the conjugating parts, a new character is formed. k and are combined to form , and k and are combined to form , etc.

Irregular verbs

The final category of verbs only contains two items: する meaning “to do” and meaning “to come”. These are both very common verbs and are often used together with other verbs and nouns to form compound verbs. Compound verbs will be covered in a later lesson, but for now lets just learn the conjugation patterns for these verbs. There is no rule for the NCP of irregular verbs, you'll just need to learn the conjugation patterns individually. The stems of irregular verbs are still everything before the ます in the polite affirmative form: for the verb する and for the verb 来る.

Formする
Plain affirmativeする
Polite affirmativeますします
Plain negativeないしない
Polite negativeませんしません

Questions

Just like other grammar points we have learned so far, the question marker particle can be added at the end of a sentence to form a question sentence. Let's take a look at some example sentences below:

  • きますか?
  • Will you go?
  • べますか?
  • Will you eat? (What they are offered to eat is implied.)

While くか and べるか are grammatically correct, the plain form plus the か particle sounds rude. When casually asking something to friends, く? or べる? with higher intonation on the last character is often used instead.

New verbs

Just like in English, new Japanese verbs are constantly being created to keep up with technology and culture. The word "google" in English can mean to look something up online, in Japanese a new word, ググる, was created with the same meaning. Let's take a look at some new verbs below:

JapaneseMeaningOrigin
ポチるTo order something onlineAn onomatopoeic sound of clicking a button (ポチ) + る
オケるTo go to karaokeオケ from カラオケ + る
ハモるTo sing in harmonyハモ from ハーモニー + る
タクるTo take a taxiタク from タクシー + る

All of these verbs end with , but they are actually う-verbs.

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