Technically speaking, desu isn't a verb at all. (I appreciate Toritoribe's response, but I have to disagree with it.)Do all Godan and Ichidan verbs follow a strict base pattern? I think 'desu' is a Godan verb. Have I conjugated it correctly below?
Base 1: desa
Base 2: deshi
Base 3: desu
Base 4: dese
Base 5: desou
Base te: deshite
Base ta: deshita
Technically speaking, desu isn't a verb at all. (I appreciate Toritoribe's response, but I have to disagree with it.)
Desu only seems to be a verb. Newer students are often first introduced to it in equational sentences, X wa Y desu, where desu deceptively seems to function as a verb. Actually, desu is the copula.
–noun, plural -las, -lae
something that connects or links together.
Also called linking verb. Grammar . a verb, as be, seem, or look, that serves as a connecting link or establishes an identity between subject and complement.
Logic . a word or set of words that acts as a connecting link between the subject and predicate of a proposition.
be [bee; unstressed bee, bi]
verb and auxiliary verb, present singular 1st person am, 2nd are or ( Archaic ) art, 3rd is, present plural are; past singular 1st person was, 2nd were or ( Archaic ) wast or wert, 3rd was, past plural were; present subjunctive be; past subjunctive singular 1st person were, 2nd were or ( Archaic ) wert, 3rd were; past subjunctive plural were; past participle been; present participle be·ing.
–verb (used without object)
to exist or live: Shakespeare's “To be or not to be” is the ultimate question.
to take place; happen; occur: The wedding was last week.
to occupy a place or position: The book is on the table.
to continue or remain as before: Let things be.
to belong; attend; befall: May good fortune be with you.
(used as a copula to connect the subject with its predicate adjective, or predicate nominative, in order to describe, identify, or amplify the subject): Martha is tall. John is president. This is she.
(used as a copula to introduce or form interrogative or imperative sentences): Is that right? Be quiet! Don't be facetious.
(used with the present participle of another verb to form the progressive tense): I am waiting.
(used with the present participle or infinitive of the principal verb to indicate future action): She is visiting there next week. He is to see me today.
(used with the past participle of another verb to form the passive voice): The date was fixed. It must be done.
(used in archaic or literary constructions with some intransitive verbs to form the perfect tense): He is come. Agamemnon to the wars is gone.
I think you may have been referring to my post.There are two definitions of 助動詞 in Japanese grammar; the one in 国文法 and the one in 言語学. What you explained in your post is called 補助動詞 in 国文法. The linked pages below might be somewhat helpful.
(sorry, all in Japanese)
I find your contention interesting, and I respect your viewpoint. Japanese and English, as you know, and Japanese and any other language on Earth, for that matter, are extremely different languages. Your dictionary definitions are doubtless quite accurate, but I would bet that they best apply to Engllish.However:
Be, is the English copula and functions in a way similar to that of desu in some of its usages (especially as definition 2 of copula and 6 and 7 of be). Be is considered a (auxiliary/linking)verb and therefore since desu shares functions with be (and since function is what defines what is or is not a verb or other part of grammar), then desu also is (at least some of the time, if not all) a (auxiliary/linking) verb.
I am a 自習している学生...
And thank you for your message, as well. I can see from the date on your profile that you have about three years more experience in Japanese, at least, than I do. I became a Japanophile about 3 1/2 years ago.You want 独学している, unless you're in study hall or something.
This conversation took place a few months ago, I guess. See
To somewhat answer your question about 国文法 and 言語学: they basically use different terms for different things. 言語学 does better overall in my opinion from what I've seen of explaining Japanese grammar. 国文法 I think made more sense in Classical Japanese. You'd really have to dig into Japanese grammar to see what I mean by that, and you probably will have to do it in Japanese as well. At any rate, the definition for copula in linguistics captures all languages fairly well, I believe, but it does say that some act more like adjectives or whatever (language-dependent). That said, as I said in the referenced thread, です acts more like a verb than anything else, so it's a verb as far as I'm concerned (albeit a special one).