Japanese Lesson 15 – Some types of verbs in Japanese

I have already explained the basic sentence patterns in Japanese.
There is one thing I didn’t try to explain.
It is Japanese verb.

The verb group in the frames of Japanese sentence is put at the end of the sentence.
It is a feature of Japanese.

Now, you are learning Japanese sentence with “masu” which is an auxiliary verb of politeness to have a practical conversation.
I have shown only the result of change by connecting a verb and “masu”.
In this page, I explain the change of verbs summarily.

Base form of Japanese verb

The last character of Japanese verbs is always “u”.
Let’s look at the examples I have explained.

iku (go), taberu (eat), oshieru (teach), iru (stay)

Change of Japanese verb

Japanese verb is changed according to the word connected after the verb.
There are six kinds of changes grammatically.
But one of them are always the same as base form, so there are five changes in essence.

In this section, I introduce three changes you need soon.
(Each name of the form is not formal name in grammar book but the name I created.)

1) Base form & (Verb) + (Noun) [Base-form]
2) (Verb) + (“masu” or Main auxiliary verb) [Masu-form]
3) (Verb) + (“nai” or Special auxiliary verb) [Nai-form]

The cases of 2) and 3) cover all Japanese auxiliary verbs.
So, if you learn these, you can make most patterns of Japanese sentence.

Types of Japanese verb

All Japanese verbs are divided into some types of the inflection.
There are three main types and a few irregular verbs, and each of verbs belongs to them.

Type.1 : u-type

This type is relatively popular, and above “iku” belongs to this type.
The last “u” changes to different vowel in the cases of 2) and 3).

1) ik-u [Base-form]
2) ik-i [Masu-form]
3) ik-a [Nai-form]

I show some verbs of u-type.


Nai-form of a verb “kau” has a syllable of “wa” as the inflection.
Originally, “kau” was “kawu”. With the passage of time, “wu” and “wi” had turned to “u” and “i”.
Please check the table in Lesson-1. The last syllable of this verb is W row in the table.

Type.2 : eru-type

The verb of this type has “eru” at the end of the base form.
Above “taberu” and “oshieru” belong to this type.
The last “eru” changes to “e” in both 2) and 3).

1) tab-eru [Base-form]
2) tab-e [Masu-form]
3) tab-e [Nai-form]

I show some verbs of eru-type.


Type.3 : iru-type

The verb of this type has “iru” at the end of the base form.
Above verb “iru” shows just the change of this type.
Because I think simple verb “iru” is a little difficult to understand for you, I explain this type using a verb “miru” (see, look).
This is similar to eru-type and the last “iru” changes to “i” in both 2) and 3).

1) m-iru [Base-form]
2) m-i [Masu-form]
3) m-i [Nai-form]

I show some verbs of iru-type.


Type.4 : special type

There are only two irregular verbs.
They are “kuru” (come) and “suru” (do).
These are very basic verbs, so please learn them.


Let’s check some examples by Frame-A.

Frame-A is constructed with “masu”.
Of course, you must use Masu-form of each verb.

I read this book. (u-type)

Watashi wa kono hon o yomi masu.

I buy the book in Tokyo. (u-type)

Watashi wa sono hon o Tookyoo de kai masu.

I visit Kyoto in Japan. (eru-type)

Watashi wa Nihon de Kyooto o otozure masu.

I sleep in this hotel. (eru-type)

Watashi wa kono hoteru de ne masu.

She wears the Kimono in Kyoto. (iru-type)

Kanojo wa sono kimono o Kyooto de ki masu.

I get off Shinkansen train at Kyoto. (iru-type)

Watashi wa Kyooto de shinkansen o ori masu.

She comes to Japan. (Special type)

Kanojo ga Nihon e ki masu.

She does dance. (Special type)

Kanojo wa dansu o shi masu.

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