Mastering Japanese verbs is probably one of the most important skills you need to become fluent in Japanese. Knowing how to conjugate Japanese verbs will allow you to describe actions, desires, situations and a lot more.
Most people think that learning Japanese verbs is very difficult. This is NOT true! Learning Japanese verbs is easy. In fact, it is much easier to learn than English. Conjugating Japanese verbs is very systemized, so all you need to do is remember a few rules.
My goal is to provide you with the most comprehensive, detailed, and easy to understand guide to help you learn Japanese verbs.
In this guide, we’ll learn how to conjugate verbs based off of the hiragana chart.
Required knowledge: Mastery of hiragana. If you haven’t mastered hiragana yet, check out our absolute beginners guide to learn it.
- Getting Started: An Quick Introduction to Japanese Verbs
- Japanese Verb Stems and Suffixes
- How Do You Tell the Difference Between a Group 1, 2, and 3 Verb?
- Conjugating Japanese Verbs: 6 Basic Conjugations Based on the Hiragana Chart
- The 6 Verb Conjugations We’ll Cover in This Guide
- I. The 3rd Row: Plain/Dictionary Form – 辞書形 (Jisho-Kei): Do/Will Do
- II. The 1st Row: Negative Form – 否定形 (Hitei-Kei): Won’t / Don’t Do
- III. The 2nd Row: Masu / Polite Form – ます形 (Masu-Kei): Do / Will Do
- IV. The 4th Row: Imperative Form – 命令形 (Meirei-Kei): Do!
- V. The 4th Row + ば (ba) : Conditional Form 条件形 (Jouken-Kei): If ~
- VI. The 5th Row: Volitional Form – 意向形 (Ikou-Kei): I Will ~ / Let’s ~
Getting Started: An Quick Introduction to Japanese Verbs
Before we learn how to conjugate and use Japanese verbs, we need to know 2 things.
- Japanese verbs are made up of parts.
- There are 3 types of Japanese verbs.
1. Japanese Verbs Are Made up of 2 Parts
- The stem, or the beginning part of a verb.
- The suffix, or ending (last syllable or last character) of a verb.
So everything that comes before the last character of a verb is its stem.
Japanese Verb Stems and Suffixes
|Verb (Dictionary Form)||Verb Stem||Verb Suffix|
|食べる (taberu): to eat||食べ (tabe)||る (ru)|
|行く (iku): to go||行 (i)||く (ku)|
|寝る (neru): to sleep||寝 (ne)||る (ru)|
*Why it’s Important
When we learn to conjugate verbs, we will only be changing the suffix (ending) of the verb. We will also use the stem form of verbs to conjugate some verbs.
2. There Are 3 Types of Verbs in Japanese
- Group 1 verbs: Also known as う-verbs (u-verbs) or 五段動詞 (godan doushi)
- Group 2 verbs: Also known as る-verbs (ru-verbs) or 一段動詞 (ichidan doushi)
- Group 3: verbs: Also known as irregular verbs or 不規則動詞 (fukisoku doushi)
*Why it’s Important
The way to conjugate verbs is different for each group.
How Do You Tell the Difference Between a Group 1, 2, and 3 Verb?
This can be a little tricky in the beginning.
First, let’s start off by looking at group 1, or u-verbs.
Group 1 / う-Verbs
To find out if a verb is a group 1 verb, we look at the suffix (ending) of its dictionary form.
Group 1 / う – Verbs Ends With:
- う (u)
- く (ku)
- ぐ (gu)
- す (su)
- つ (tsu)
- ぬ (nu)
- ぶ (bu)
- む (mu)
- る (ru)
Examples of Group 1 Verbs
- 思う (omou): to think
- 聞く (kiku): to hear
- 脱ぐ (nugu): to take off (clothes, shoes, etc.)
- 話す (hanasu): to speak
- 待つ (matsu): to wait
- 死ぬ (shinu): to die
- 選ぶ (erabu): to choose
- 飲む (nomu): to drink
- 作る (tsukuru): to make
Group 2 / る-Verbs
What’s a ru-verb you ask? It’s a verb that ends in る (ru). Easy right?
Not so fast.
Didn’t I just say that う-verbs can end in る (ru)?
If both group 1 and group 2 verbs can end in る (ru), how do you tell the difference?
I hate to tell you this, but there are no hard and fast rules that work 100% of the time. However, there is a guideline we can follow.
Usually, a Group 2 Verb Ends in える (Eru) or いる (Iru)
- 食べる (taberu): to eat
- 見る (miru): to see
- 寝る (neru): to sleep
Here’s Where Things Will Get a Little Confusing
This doesn’t work all the time. Some verbs end in “eru” and “iru” but are actually う-verbs. You’ll have to remember which group these verbs belong to by memorization.
Some of the More Common Group 1 Verbs Ending in る (Ru) Are:
- 入る (hairu): to enter
- 走る (hashiru): to run
- 帰る (kaeru): to return (home)
- 知る (shiru): to know
- 喋る (shaberu): to talk
- 要る (iru): to need
- 滑る (suberu): to be slippery
- 切る (kiru): to cut
- 減る (heru): to decrease
- 限る (kagiru): to limit
- 蹴る (keru): to kick
Group 3 / Irregular Verbs
There are only 2 irregular verbs in Japanese (thank goodness!).
- する (suru): to do
- 来る (kuru): to come
Why Are They Irregular Verbs?
Because when we conjugate these two verbs, both the stem and suffix can change.
For every other verb, only the suffix will change when we conjugate it.
Things will get much clearer when we learn to conjugate verbs…which is up next!
Conjugating Japanese Verbs: 6 Basic Conjugations Based on the Hiragana Chart
In this guide, we’ll look at 6 basic verb conjugations based on the 5 rows of the hiragana chart.
The 6 Verb Conjugations We’ll Cover in This Guide
Why These 6 Verb Forms?
Group 1 / う-Verbs, also known as godan doushi (literally mean 5-step verbs) makes it easy to learn these verb conjugations. They are all based on the 5 rows of the hiragana chart. We’ll also learn how to change group 2 and irregular verbs to these forms as well.
Verb Conjugation Chart: Group 1 Verbs
To make it easier for us to understand, we need to modify the hiragana chart. Since we know that all group 1 verbs end in う (u), く (ku), ぐ (gu), す (su), つ (tsu), ぬ (nu), ぶ (bu), む (mu), or る (ru), we can create a chart just using these groups.
This is the chart we will be using to conjugate group 1 verbs into the 6 forms listed above.
Let’s start by looking at the 3rd row of this verb conjugation chart.
I. The 3rd Row: Plain/Dictionary Form – 辞書形 (Jisho-Kei): Do/Will Do
Let’s first start with the plain form, also known as the dictionary form of verbs.
Just like the name implies, this the form of a verb you would find listed in a dictionary.
All of the examples above are listed in plain form. If we look at the verb conjugation chart above, all dictionary verbs end with a suffix from the 3rd row (う-row).
Examples of Verbs in the Plain/ Dictionary Form
- 買う (kau): to buy
- 飲む (nomu): to drink
- 入る (hairu): to enter
- 寝る (neru): to sleep
- する (suru): to do/play
How the Plain / Dictionary Form is Used
A verb in the plain/dictionary form can express the present and future tense. It can mean either “to do” or “will do (future tense).”
For example, the verb 食べる (taberu) can mean either to eat or will eat.
行く (iku) can either mean to go or will go.
The dictionary form of verbs are used in casual conversations, usually between friends and people who have the same or lower social status than you.
Let’s take a look at some examples.
Sentences Using the Plain/Dictionary Form
Example 1: 日本に行く。(Nihon ni iku): I will go to Japan.
Example 2: おすしを食べる。(Osushi o taberu): I (will) eat sushi.
Example 3: 車を買う。(Kuruma o kau): I will buy a car.
Answering Questions with the Dictionary Form
Sometimes, you can answer someone’s question by just saying a verb in the plain form.
Question: お昼ご飯は食べますか？ (Ohiru gohan wa tabemasu ka?): Will you eat lunch?
Answer: うん、食べる。(Un, taberu): Yes, I will eat (lunch). (Literally “Yes, eat.”)
We’ll take a look at the formal/polite version (masu form) of verbs below.
II. The 1st Row: Negative Form – 否定形 (Hitei-Kei): Won’t / Don’t Do
What is the Negative Form?
The negative form in Japanese is used when you want to express that you won’t or don’t do something.
Here Are Some Examples:
|Dictionary Form||Negative Form|
|泳ぐ (oyogu): to swim||泳がない (oyoganai): do not / will not swim|
|飲む (nomu): to drink||飲まない (nomanai): do not / will not drink|
|食べる (taberu): to eat||食べない (tabenai): do not / will not eat|
Let’s learn how to make the negative form in Japanese. Yoooshi!
1. The Negative Form: Group 1 / う – Verbs
To change a group 1 verb into a negative verb, all we need to do to take a look at our hiragana chart.
We know that the plain or dictionary form of a verb ends with a suffix from the 3rd row of the hiragana chart.
To change a verb into the negative form, you need to go from the 3rd row (う- row) to the 1st row (あ – row).
Steps to Change Group 1 Verbs Into the Negative Form
1. Replace the suffix from the 3rd row (う – row) with the suffix from the 1st row of the hiragana chart (あ-row).
Example: 飲む (no-mu) —-> 飲ま (no-ma)
2. Add “ない (nai)” to the end. “ない” means “no” or “not” in Japanese.
Example: 飲ま + ない (noma + nai) => 飲まない (nomanai): do not / will not drink
Examples: Changing Group 1 Verbs to the Negative Form
|Dictionary Form||1st Row Suffix||+ ない (Nai)||Negative Form|
|話す (hanasu)||話さ (hanasa)||+ ない||話さない (hanasanai): do not / will not speak|
|入る (hairu)||入ら (haira)||+ ない||入らない (hairanai): do not / will not enter|
**An Exception to the Rule
When we change verbs in that end it “う” (e.g., 思う (omou): to think, 買う (kau): to buy, 会う (au): to meet, 歌う (utau): to sing, etc.), the suffix in the 1st row would normally be “あ.”
However, for the negative form, “あ” changes to “わ.”
The negative form of the verb 思う (omou) is NOT 思あない (omo-a-nai).
It’s 思わない (omowanai).
|Dictionary Form||1st Row Suffix||+ ない (Nai)||Negative Form|
|思う (omou)||思わ (omowa)||+ ない||思わない (omowanai): do not / will not think|
Sentences Using the Negative Form: Group 1 Verbs
Example 1: コーヒーを飲まない。 (Kōhī o nomanai): I do not / will not drink coffee.
Example 2: 今日は学校に行かない。(Kyou wa gakkou ni ikanai): I will not go to school today.
2. The Negative Form: Group 2 / る-Verbs
Changing る-verbs into the negative form is ever easier than う-verbs.
All you need to do is take the stem form of the verb and add ない (nai) to it.
Examples: Changing Group 2 Verbs to the Negative Form
|Dictionary Form||Stem Form||+ ない (Nai)||Negative Form|
|食べる (taberu)||食べ (tabe)||+ ない||食べない (tabenai): do not / will not eat|
|見る (miru)||見 (mi)||+ ない||見ない (minai): do not / will not see
Sentences Using the Negative Form: Group 2 Verbs
Example 1: 朝ごはんは食べない。(Asagohan wa tabenai): I do not / will not eat breakfast.
Example 2: 今日はジャケットを着ない。(Kyou wa jaketto o kinai): I will not wear a jacket today.
3. The Negative Form: Group 3 / Irregular Verbs
The two irregular verbs, する (suru): to do and 来る (kuru): to come, have special forms that you’ll just need to memorize.
The stem, す (su), changes to し (shi).
Add ない (nai) to this, and we get:
Example: し (shi) + ない (nai) = しない (shinai): do not do / will not do
The stem of the verb 来る (kuru) is “ku,” but this will change to “ko” when we turn it into the negative form.
However, the kanji character is the same for both readings: 来 (ki) / 来 (ko).
Add ない (nai) to this and we get 来ない (konai) as the negative form.
Example: 来 (ko) + ない (nai) = 来ない (konai): will not come
Sentences Using the Negative Form: Group 3 Verbs
Example 1: バレーボールをしない。(Barēbōru o shinai): I do not / will not play volleyball.
Example 2: 彼は来ない。(Kare wa konai): He will not come.
III. The 2nd Row: Masu / Polite Form – ます形 (Masu-Kei): Do / Will Do
What is the Masu Form?
The “masu” form (pronounced “mahs”) is used in formal or polite speech. It is the formal and polite version of the dictionary form.
Example 1: 思う (omou): to think (casual) ==> 思います (omoimasu): to think (formal polite)
Example 2: 食べる (taberu): to eat (casual) ==> 食べます (tabemasu): to eat (formal/polite)
Differences in Usage: Plain Form vs. Masu Form
Plain Form (Casual)
- Used among friends
- Sounds “friendly” due to its casualness
- Natural in everyday conversations
- Used in certain grammar patterns
Masu Form (Formal / Polite)
- Used when talking to someone with a higher social status than you (e.g., your boss, your customers, your teacher, etc.)
- Can create psychological “distance” between you and someone you know well due to its formalness
1. The Masu Form: Group 1 / う-Verbs
To change a う- verb into the “masu” form, we change the suffix by using the 2nd row of our hiragana chart (い-row). Then we add “ます” to the end of the verb. And presto! You created the masu form of a verb.
Examples: Changing Group 1 Verbs to the Masu Form
|Dictionary Form||2nd Row Suffix||+ ます(Masu)||Masu Form|
|話す (hanasu)||話し (hanashi)||+ ます||話します (hanashimasu): to speak/will speak|
|入る (hairu)||入り (hairi)||+ ます||入ります (hairimasu): to enter/will enter|
|思う (omou)||思い (omoi)||+ ます||思います (omoimasu): to think/will think
Sentences Using the Masu Form: Group 1 Verbs
Example 1: 日本に行きます。(Nihon ni ikimasu): I will go to Japan.
Example 2: お茶を飲みます。(Ocha o nomimasu): I (will) drink tea.
Example 3: ジョニー・デップはかっこいいと思います。(Jonī・Deppu wa kakkoii to omoimasu): I think Johnny Depp is good-looking.
2. The Masu Form: Group 2 Verbs / る- Verbs
To change a group 2 verb into the masu form, all you need to do is add “ます” to the stem form.
Examples: Changing Group 2 Verbs to the Masu Form
|Dictionary Form||Stem Form||+ ます (Masu)||Masu Form|
|食べる (taberu)||食べ (tabe)||+ ます||食べます (tabemasu): to eat|
|見る (miru)||見 (mi)||+ ます||見ます (mimasu): to see|
Sentences Using the Masu Form: Group 2 Verbs
Example 1: おすし１００貫を食べます。(Osushi hyakkan o tabemasu): I will eat 100 pieces of sushi.
Example 2: 今日は早く寝ます。(Kyou wa hayaku nemasu): I will sleep early today.
3. The Masu Form: Group 3 / Irregular Verbs
To make the masu form for irregular verbs, do the following:
Just like the negative form, the stem “す” changes to “し.” Then add “ます.”
Example: する —> し (shi) + ます (masu) = します (shimasu)
The kanji character “来” has three readings: 来 (ku) / 来 (ki) / 来 (ko).
The stem of the verb 来る (kuru) is “ku,” but this will change to “き (ki)” when we turn it into the masu form. Then add “ます.
Example: 来る —> 来 (ki) + ます (masu) = 来ます (kimasu)
Sentences Using the Masu Form: Group 3 Verbs
Example 1: イチローさんと野球をします。(Ichiro-san to yakyuu o shimasu): I will play baseball with Ichiro.
Example 2: 明日ブラッド・ピットさんは日本に来ます。(Ashita Buraddo Pitto-san wa Nihon ni kimasu): Brad Pitt will come to Japan tomorrow.
IV. The 4th Row: Imperative Form – 命令形 (Meirei-Kei): Do!
In English, the imperative form is used when you have a request or a command. When the imperative form is used with the word “please,” in English, it can even sound polite.
- Please let him in.
- Please give me some time to think about it.
This is very different from the way the imperative form is used in Japanese.
How the Imperative Form is Used in Japanese
However, the nuance of imperative verbs in Japanese sounds much more commanding and even harsh. It is never used when you want to make a polite request to someone. It is used when you want to command or demand that someone do something.
For example, if you’re in the library and someone is making a lot of noise, you can tell them “黙ってください。” (Damatte kudasai). This translates to “Be quiet!” This statement, while it is a request, is quite bold and even rude, because there are other “nicer” ways to ask someone to be quiet.
However, when you use the imperative form, it makes your sentence sound very commanding. Imperative form: 黙れ！(Damare!): Shut up!
1. The Imperative Form: Group 1 / う-Verbs
To make the imperative form, take the stem form of a verb and attach the suffix from the 4th row (え-row).
Examples: Changing Group 1 Verbs to the Imperative Form
|Dictionary Form||4th Row Suffix||Imperative Form|
|言う (iu)||え (e)||言え (ie): Say (it)!|
|歩く (aruku)||け (ke)||歩け (aruke): Walk!|
|聞く (kiku)||け (ke)||聞け (kike): Listen!
Example Sentences Using the Imperative Form: Group 1 う-Verbs
Example 1: 早く走れ！(Hayaku hashire!): (Hurry up and) run fast!
Example 2: あっち行け！(Acchi ike!): Go away!
Example 3: お母さんの言うことを聞け！(Okaasan no iu koto o kike!): Listen to your mother!
2. The Imperative Form: Group 2 / る-Verbs
To change a る-verb into the imperative form, take the stem form of the verb and add either ろ (ro) or よ (yo) to it.
Examples: Changing Group 2 Verbs to the Imperative Form
|Dictionary Form||Stem Form||4th Row Suffix||Imperative Form|
|食べる (taberu)||食べ (tabe)||ろ( ro) / よ (yo)||食べろ (tabero) / 食べよ (tabeyo): Eat (it)!|
|見る (miru)||見 (mi)||ろ (ro) / よ (yo)||見ろ (miro) / 見よ (miyo): Look!|
|寝る (neru)||寝 (ne)||ろ (ro) / よ (yo)||寝ろ (nero) / 寝よ (neyo): (Go to) sleep!|
Example Sentences Using the Imperative Form: Group 2 / ろ-Verbs
Example 1: どこ見てんだよ！ こっち見ろ！ (Doko mitendayo! Kocchi miro!): What are you looking at? Look here!
Example 2: おい。。。遊ぶな！ちゃんと食べろ！ (Oi…asobu na! Chanto tabero!): Hey…don’t play around! Eat nicely!
*Notice that the speech level is very informal. Since you are giving a command to someone (probably of lower or equal status than you), speaking using polite forms would sound strange.
3. The Imperative Form: Group 3 / Irregular Verbs
Let’s take a look at how to make the imperative form for the 2 irregular verbs.
Take the stem of the verb, す (su) and change it to し (shi). Then add ろ (ro) to the end of the verb.
する (suru)： し (shi) + ろ (ro) = しろ (shiro): Do
*There is a second way to make the imperative form for する. If you wanted to use the suffix よ (yo) instead of ろ (ro), then you need to change the stem し (shi) to せ (se).
せ (se) + よ (yo) = せよ (seyo): Do
The stem form of 来る (kuru) is 来(ku), but for the imperative form it will change to 来 (ko) even though the kanji is the same (来). Then add い (i) to the end of it.
来る (kuru)： 来(ko) + い(i) = 来い (koi): Come
Example Sentences Using the Imperative Form: Group 3 / Irregular Verbs
Example 1: 早く宿題をしろ！(Hayaku shukudai o shiro!): Hurry up and do your homework!
Example 2: こっち来い！ (Kocchi koi!): Come here!
V. The 4th Row + ば (ba) : Conditional Form 条件形 (Jouken-Kei): If ~
As seen above, using a suffix from the 4th row of the hiragana chart will change a verb into the imperative (command) form.
By using this same suffix and adding “ば (ba)” to it, we can create the conditional form of a verb.
What is the conditional form you ask?
Basically, it is an “if” statement. If A happens, then B happens. / If you do A, then B takes place.
How the Conditional Form is Used in Japanese
The conditional form can be especially useful when speaking Japanese. Anytime you want to say “if you do this, then this will happen” statements, you can use “ば (ba)” conditional form of verbs. For example, “If you don’t study hard, you will fail your test.” Check the sentences below for more examples.
How to Change a Verb Into the Conditional Form: Group 1 / う-Verbs
To make the conditional form, take the imperative form of a group 1 verb and add “ば (ba)” to the end of it.
Examples: Changing Group 1 Verbs to the Conditional Form
|Dictionary Form||Change to Imperative Form||+ば(ba)||Conditional Form|
|書く (kaku)||書け (kake)||+ ば||書けば (kakeba): If (I) write.|
|行く (iku)||行け (ike)||+ ば||行けば (ikeba): If (I) go.|
|言う (iu)||言え (ie)||+ ば||言えば (ieba): If (I) say.|
Example Sentences Using the Conditional Form: Group 1 / う-Verbs
Example 1: 明日雨が降ればディズニーランドに行かない。(Ashita ame ga fureba, Dizunīrando ni ikanai): If it rains tomorrow, I’m not going to Disneyland.
Example 2: このバイクを買えば、必ず妻が文句を言う。(Kono baiku o kaeba, kanarazu tsuma ga monku o iu): If I buy this motorcycle, my wife will surely complain.
The Conditional Form: Group 2 / る- Verbs
Creating the conditional form for group 2 / る-verbs is easy.
All you need to do is take the stem of the verb and add “れば (reba)” to it.
Examples: Changing Group 2 Verbs to the Conditional Form
|Dictionary Form||Stem Form||+ れば (reba)||Group 2 Conditional Form|
|食べる (taberu)||食べ (tabe)||+ れば||食べれば (tabereba): If (I) eat.|
|見る (miru)||見 (mi)||+ れば||見れば (mireba): If (I) see.|
|寝る (neru)||寝 (ne)||+ れば||寝れば (nereba): If (I) sleep.|
Example Sentences: Conditional Form – Group 2 / る- Verbs
Example 1: 毎日ファーストフードばかり食べれば寿命が縮むよ。(Mainichi fāsuto fūdo bakari tabereba, jumyou ga chijimu yo): You’ll shorten your lifespan if you only eat fast food every day.
Example 2: 今日遅く寝れば、明日起きられないよ。 (Kyou osoku nereba, ashita okirarenai yo): If you sleep late today, you won’t be able to wake up tomorrow.
The Conditional Form: Group 3 / Irregular Verbs
To change the irregular verbs to the conditional form, you’ll add “れば (reba)” to the stem form of the verb.
|Dictionary Form||Stem Form||+ れば (reba)||Group 3 Conditional Form|
|する (suru)||す (su)||+ れば||すれば (sureba): If (I) do.|
|来る (kuru)||く (ku)||+ れば||来れば (kureba): If (I) come.|
Example Sentences: Conditional Form – Group 3 / Irregular Verbs
Example 1: この部屋を綺麗にすれば、チョコをあげるよ。(Kono heya o kirei ni sureba, choko o ageru yo): If you clean this room, I’ll give you chocolate.
Example 2: マイクさんが来れば、晩ご飯を作ります。(Maiku-san ga kureba, bangohan o tsukurimasu): If Mike comes, I’ll make dinner.
VI. The 5th Row: Volitional Form – 意向形 (Ikou-Kei): I Will ~ / Let’s ~
The volitional form expresses the speaker’s will to do something, as in “I will exercise.” Notice that this is different from the plain form of verbs.
While sentences using the plain form of verbs can be translated using “will” (e.g., I will go home now.) this is to express the future tense of a verb. It doesn’t stress the speaker’s will, or what they WILL do. Verbs in the volitional form shows your intention to take action to do something.
- Dictionary / Plain Form Verbs: お茶を飲む。 (Ocha o nomu): I drink tea.
- Volitional Form: お茶を飲もう。 (Ocha o nomou): I will drink tea.
The Volitional Form: Group 1 / う-Verbs
Take the verb stem and add the suffix from the 5th row (お-row) of the hiragana chart. Then add う (u) to the end of it.
Examples: Changing Group 1 Verbs to the Volitional Form
|Dictionary Form||Stem Form||5th row (お-row) Suffix||+ う (u)||Volitional Form|
|行く (iku)||行 (i)||行こ (iko)||+ う||行こう (ikou): I will go. / Let's go.|
|飲む (nomu)||飲 (no)||飲も (nomo)||+ う||飲もう (nomou): I will drink. / Let's drink.|
|取る (toru)||取 (to)||取ろ (toro)||+ う||取ろう (torou): I will take. / Let's take.|
Example Sentences: Volitional Form – Group 1 / う-Verbs
Volitional Form: I Will ~
Example 1: アンジェリーナ・ジョリーにラブレターを書こう。(Anjerīna・Jorī ni raburetā o kakou): I will write a love letter to Angelina Jolie.
Example 2: もう疲れたから帰ろう。(Mou tsukareta kara kaerou): I’m tired already so I will go home.
Volitional Form: Let’s ~
The volitional form also expresses invitation or suggestion.
Example 1: お茶でも飲もう。 (Ocha demo nomou): Let’s drink some tea (or something).
Example 2: 映画館に一緒に行こう。 (Eigakan ni issho ni ikou): Let’s go to the movie theater together.
The Volitional Form (よう): Group 2 / る- Verbs
Making the volitional form for る- verbs is simple.
All you need to do is take the stem form of the verb and add “よう(you). ”
Examples: Changing Group 2 Verbs to the Volitional Form
|Dictionary Form||Stem Form||+ よう (you)||Group 2 Volitional Form|
|食べる (taberu)||食べ (tabe)||+ よう||食べよう (tabeyou): I will eat. / Let's eat.|
|寝る (neru)||寝 (ne)||+ よう||寝よう (neyou): I will sleep. / Let's sleep.|
|見る (miru)||見 (mi)||+ よう||見よう (miyou): I will see. / Let's see.|
Example Sentences: Volitional Form Group 2 / る- Verbs
Example 1: 最近寝不足だから今日は早く寝よう。(Saikin nebusoku dakara kyou wa hayaku neyou): I haven’t been getting enough sleep lately, so I’m going to sleep early today.
Example 2: お菓子をたくさん食べよう。(Okashi o takusan tabeyou): I will eat a lot of sweets. / Let’s eat a lot of sweets.
The Volitional Form (よう): Group 3 / Irregular Verbs
Here’s how to make the irregular verbs into the volitional form.
- する (suru) —-> しよう (shiyou): I will do/play. / Let’s do/play.
- 来る (kuru) —-> 来よう (koyou): I will come.
Example Sentences: Volitional Form – Group 3 / Irregular Verbs
Example 1: 公園で鬼ごっこをしよう。(Kouen de onigokko o shiyou): Let’s play tag in the park.
Example 2: 今日晩ご飯を食べた後で運動をしよう。(Kyou bangohan o tabeta ato de, undou o shiyou): I will exercise after I eat dinner today.
Example 3: 明日もまたここに来よう。(Ashita mo mata koko ni koyou): I will come here again tomorrow.
That’s it! You now know the basics of conjugating Japanese verbs! Check out our learning Japanese page if you want to learn more. Good luck with your Japanese!