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Japanese is Possible!
Week 12

Part 12

  • Types of Verbs
  • Verb Endings
  • Useful Words
  • Example Sentences
  • Anime Videos and Music

Types of Verbs

There are three groups of verbs in Japanese - Irregular, Ichidan, and Yodan. Ichidan and Yodan verbs (all but TWO verbs) use the same verb endings, and you conjugate them the same way. However, there is a subtle difference between the two groups.

Irregular Verbs

I bet I scared you by telling you there was a whole GROUP of irregular verbs! Actually, there are only two.

suru - to do (used with 100's of verbs)
kuru - to come

Ichidan Verbs

Verbs in this group end with -eru or -iru. Verbs from this group include:

deru - to go out
taberu - to eat
miru - to look, watch
ochiru - to fall

Yodan Verbs

This group contains every verb except for those that belong to the Irregular and Ichidan groups. Here you find your familiar -RU, -TSU, -U, KU, -GU, -SU, -BU, and -MU verbs.

au - to meet
tatsu - to stand
suwaru - to sit
hairu - to enter

There are some Yodan verbs that look a lot like Ichidan verbs. Be forewarned. ^_^ I would suggest copying this list down and putting it in a safe place. That way, when there's a verb that you aren't sure about, you can refer to this list! Some of these verbs don't belong in the "must learn" category, by the way.

I will now list them. Remember, these are Yodan verbs!

chiru - to fall, scatter
hairu - to enter
kiru - to cut
hashiru - to run
iru - to need
kaeru - to return
kagiru - to limit
keru - to kick
mairu - to come/go
nigiru - to grasp
shiru - to know

As you listen to Japanese more and become more familiar with it, you'll develop an ear for what "sounds" right.

Verb Endings

The basic verb endings (-ITA, -SHITA, -TTA, etc) have already been discussed. However, I thought I'd share with you the way I memorized them.

You simply memorize these 4 sentences - they are quite mesmerizing after a while! Then when you conjugate a verb, you just recite these sentences to yourself. It's a lot like the "ABC" song, because people often use that to remember the alphabet.

U TSU RU tta
MU NU BU nda
KU GU ita da

By the way, have you noticed what all the verb endings have in common? "A" seems to mean past tense, and "E" is the here and now.

Useful Words


mokuteki - intention, purpose
shitsumon - question
michi - road, path
kokoro - heart, spirit
isu - chair
soto - outside
uchuu - outer space
hate - end


au - to meet
tatsu - to stand
suwaru - to sit
hairu - to enter
niau - to suit, look good on
deru - to go out
taberu - to eat
miru - to look, watch
ochiru - to fall
hajimaru - to begin


zutto - the whole time

Example Sentences

oneesan wa boku wo mite iru.
big sister (subject) I (who) looking
My big sister is watching me.

zutto matte ita no desu yo!
I've was waiting the whole time!

matte iru - is waiting

You can conjugate IRU like any other verb. -TA is the normal past ending for -RU verbs. Conjugating IRU in this way changes the meaning from "is waiting" to "was waiting". Isn't that going to come in handy!

kono isu ni suwatte ita.
this chair (location) was sitting
(He) was sitting in this chair.

soto e dereba ii desu.
outside (toward) if you go out, good is
It's ok to go outside.

ano mise ni haireba shinu zo.
that store (into) if you enter, die (rough ending)
If you enter that store, you'll die!

koko ni tatte kudasai.
here (location) stand please
Please stand here.

boku to au made, deru na.
I (with) meet until, go out (don't)
Don't leave until I can meet you.

deru na - don't go out
The "na" ending can be added to any verb to mean don't ____.
It's very abrupt, and only a male would ever use it.

Anime Videos and Music

The first episode of Hime-chan no Ribbon has been converted to RealPlayer format for you to download! Now you can hear Japanese in action, even if you don't own any Anime.

Part 1 (6.9 MB)
Part 2 (6.7 MB)
Part 3 (6.8 MB)

If you want tons of other Anime videos like this, you can stop by:

Anime in RealPlayer format

If you want MP3's, here is an important link:

ESP Japanese MP3s

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