Verbs in past tense

Conjugate each type of verbs into the past tense forms

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Outline

KanjiVocabularyVerbs in past tense

Kanji

Death, Die

Stand up, Rise

Bend, Music, Curve

Arrive, Wear

Vocabulary

死ぬ

To die, To pass away

学ぶ

To learn, To study

立つ

To stand, To stand up, To rise

曲がる

To turn, To bend

着く

To arrive at

Verbs in past tense

In this lesson, we will learn how to conjugate each type of verb into the past tense form.

Polite forms

The polite past form of all types of verbs are very similar to their related polite non-past forms. For any types of verbs, the polite non-past affirmative ending ます becomes ました in the past tense, and the polite non-past negative ending ません becomes ませんでした in the past tense. This is shown in the table below:

NCPNon-past tensePast tense
る-verb
Polite affirmative食べべます食べました
Polite negative食べ食べません食べませんでした
う-verb
Polite affirmativeikきます行きました
Polite negativeik行きません行きませんでした
Irregular verbs
する       
Polite affirmative-しますしました
Polite negative-しませんしませんでした
Polite affirmative-ますました
Polite negative-ませんませんでした

Plain forms

The plain past forms of verbs conjugate differently, so let’s take a look at each verb type below:

る-verbs

The plain past forms of る-verbs are simple: you just need to add た to the NCP for affirmative forms and なかった for negative forms.

NCPNon-past tensePast tense
Plain affirmative食べべる食べた
Plain negative食べ食べない食べなかった

う-verbs

Negative

Plain past negative forms conjugate the same for all う-verbs, which is done by adding あなかった to the NCP:

Dictionary formNCPNon-past tensePast tense
Add あないAdd あなかった
ik行かない行かなかった
tats 立たない立たなかった
まなmanab学ばない学ばなかった
Affirmative

The plain past affirmative forms conjugate differently depending on the last character.

う-verbs that end with the character す take the conjugating part した:

  • はなす → 話した

う-verbs that end with the character う, つ, or る take the conjugating part った:

  • う → 会った
  • つ → 立った
  • がる → 曲がった

う-verbs that end with the character む, ぶ, ぬ take the conjugating part んだ:

  • やすむ → 休んだ
  • まなぶ → 学んだ
  • ぬ → 死んだ

う-verbs that end with the character ぐ take the conjugating part いだ:

  • およぐ → 泳いだ

う-verbs that end with the character く take the conjugating part いた:

  • く → 着いた

The verb く is the only exception from the rules above and its plain affirmative past tense is った.

Irregular verbs

Affirmative

The plain past affirmative forms of the two irregular verbs are:

  • する → した
  • る →
Negative

The plain past negative forms of the two irregular verbs are:

  • しない → しなかった
  • ない → なかった
Complete Lesson
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