Up until now, I thought Japanese verbs were pretty easy. Put them at the end of the sentence. Add a “masen” or something to make it negative. But no… they aren’t just that simple!
In NihongoMaster I learned that there are “polite” verbs and dictionary verbs. No problem, I can handle that, it’s Japanese after all. Next, I learn there are three types of dictionary verbs!
Wait, those terms do look familiar! I just never knew what they meant! In my WaniKani, かわる、”to replace”, the description says it is a “Godan Verb”. (See the Part of Speech section below.) My eyes used to glaze over this information before, now it’s starting to make sense. I wondered why some I learned the verb for “to understand” was slightly different than the “understand” I’ve been using in grammar lessons.
I learned the basic rules about Dictionary Form, Stems, the ます polite form, and the meanings for various verb forms. Seemed pretty easy to absorb… I took the lesson drills and aced the 50-question quiz on them.
I’m know I have a ton more to learn about Japanese Verbs, but for now, I’ll just get really familiar with the following rules:
Just memorize all forms.
These verbs all end in “いる” or “える”. To create the verb stem, subtract the る, then add ~ます.
The dictionary form ends in a “u” sound. To determine the polite form, first form the stem by keeping the first consonant sound and changing that last “u” sound to an “i”, then add ます!
I’ve made it a habit to read my Human Japanese app on my tablet in bed, and I must be pretty well synched up by now, because the lesson I read last night was ALSO about the different verbs!
Everything is starting to come together!