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Different Verb Forms


Samurott Master
9 Apr 2014
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K, so recently, I started hooking up a japanese verb book and started learning. However, there r SO MUCH forms to memorize! And more than half of them, I dont even know what they are or what they are for.

So, if anyone can help me, can someone describe or explain what the following forms are FOR/WHEN USE. (Why they are used?)







-Causative Passive

Also, I know what the TE form is for (permission and asking, right? If not, please correct me...im always willing to learn from my mistakes ^-^) . However, how do you express permission?

Lets say you're trying to say "Wait!"
Which would be "Matte!"

But in permission, how do you say "Can (I) wait?"?
Will it be "Matte?", "Watashi wa matte?" or something else?

Thanks <3


Quietly exploding
27 Nov 2012
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I wouldn't try to tackle them all at once. Better to learn them in steps, mastering each step as you go.

For your one specific question:
Matte mo ii desu ka?
Is it alright if I wait?

Matasete kudasai.
Please let me wait.

I would generally just use the first one though.

Master the ~te and ~nai forms, then move on to the passive and causitive, and so on. One day at a time.

Mike Cash

15 Mar 2002
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You need a textbook which actually teaches, explains, and drills things one at a time in a sensible order and builds your skills. Reference books won't do that and can overwhelm you.


4 Sep 2010
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You can find a free grammar resource here: start [The Nihongoresources Grammar book]

Slightly off-topic, but personally, I prefer to get an overview of a new topic first, instead of finding out there's even more after I thought I had understood it. Take my English lessons from the school I attended as an example: We were told about the existence of the 'future perfect' ("will have done") only after several years. Is it so hard to tell people that there are 3 (or 2) tenses (past, present, future) and 3 aspects (none, progressive, perfect) yoy can combine to form 9 compound "tenses"?

As for Japanese, it really helped me that the above mentioned resource provided me with an overview off all (common) forms and conjugation. You do not have to master them, but I find it much easier to improve on something I can do already, rather than to learn something completely new.


21 May 2014
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Find yourself a book. Anyway, most of these forms are present in English as well. So you probably know them conceptually and just have to map them.

Very loosely speaking... for the purpose of conceptual understanding...

-Conditional similar to an IF construction. If A then B.
-Potential ability to do something, similar to "can + verb" in English
-Imperative to give an order or warning
-Volitional "let's do xx" or "shall we xx" type of sentences
-Passive This should be straightforward, "the grass was eaten by the cow". That is a passive sentence.
-Causative Similar to "let [someone] [do something]" constructions in English
-Causative Passive Similar to "I was allowed to / [person] let me..." constructions

-te form is also not just used for requests... it is used for various other purposes like joining clauses.
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