The informal way of verbs in Japanese

learn now the informal mood of Japanese verbs!

The simple form of a verb in Japanese would be something very close to the infinitive of verbs in Portuguese. That is, this is the most primitive form of a verb in Japanese.

The informal way of verbs in Japanese

Because it is the simplest form of a verb, Japanese dictionaries have adopted it as the standard form in their search indexes. Because of this fact, the simple form of Japanese verbs has come to be known as the dictionary form.

Hover over Japanese symbols to see their pronunciation and meaning

In terms of formality, the simple form of a Japanese verb is found at the informal level. Therefore, verbs with this conjugation should only be used when talking to friends and family. On more formal occasions such as parties and business meetings, it is more convenient to use the form ます of Japanese verbs.

Another interesting curiosity about the dictionary form, or simple form of verbs, is that it is the most common form used in Japanese anime and manga.

Conjugating Japanese Verbs

The conjugation of verbs in the simple form is not as complicated as many come to think. In fact, it even reminds me of the conjugation of adjectives in Japanese, but with some slight differences.

The present tense of verbs in Japanese

This is the default time used by Japanese dictionaries. In addition, it is also the form used to divide verbs into groups, facilitating the Japanese language study.

At the present time, there is nothing to do. We just memorized the most primitive form of Japanese verbs, paying attention to their endings.

Group of Japanese verbs ending in 

話す – to speak

書く – to write

聞く – listen

待つ – wait

飲む – drink

Group of Japanese verbs ending in いる or える

見る – see

起きる – wake up

出る – leave

食べる – to eat

Irregular Japanese Verb Group

する – do

来る – Vir

Past tense of Japanese verbs

Conjugating verbs in the dictionary form giving the idea of the past, varies according to each japanese verb group. Therefore, each group will have its own rules and forms of conjugation.

Group of verbs ending in 

1. For verbs ending in , let's change the ending  per した.

話す will come 話した

貸す will come 貸した

2. For verbs ending in  and  we exchange all these syllables for った.

待つ will come 待った

買う will come 買った

帰る will come 帰った

3. For verbs ending in , we change the ending  per いた. However, be careful, as there may be exceptions, such as the past of 行く what is 行った.

書く will come 書いた

4. For verbs ending in , we change the ending  per いだ.

急ぐ will come 急いだ

5. For verbs ending in  and , we replace each of these endings withんだ.

遊ぶ will come 遊んだ

飲む will come 飲んだ

死ぬ will come 死んだ

Group of verbs ending in いる or える

For this group of verbs, just change the ending  by termination .

見る will come 見た

出る will come 出た

食べる will come 食べた

Irregular Japanese Verb Group

For this group, there is no fixed rule. The best way is to consult a dictionary or a grammar.

する will come した

来る will come 来た

The negative present of Japanese verbs

This tense has a few rules, being easier to conjugate than previous tenses.

Group of verbs ending in 

To summarize everything in a simple rule, just change the last syllable ending in “u”, by the syllable of the same hiragana family ending in “a”, adding the extension ない. Note the examples below:

話す will come 話さない

書く will come 書かない

帰る will come 帰らない

In the case of verbs ending in  and , things change a bit. When the termination is , we exchange the  per た + ない. And when the verb ending is , we exchange the  per わ + ない.

待つ will come 待たない

買う will come 買わ ない

Group of verbs ending in いる or える

In this case, we have only one rule. We switch to termination  by termination ない.

見る will come 見ない

出る will come 出ない

食べる will come 食べない

Irregular Japanese Verb Group

There is no rule.

する will come しない

来る will come 来ない

The Past Negative of Japanese Verbs

Finally we come to the negative past tense of Japanese verbs. The good news is that this tense has only one rule for all groups of verbs, except for irregular ones.

To conjugate the past negative of Japanese verbs, just get the verb in the negative present and change the ending  per かった. See just the examples below:

話す will come 話さない and then turns 話さなかった

待つ will come 待たない and then turns 待たなかった

買う will come 買わ ない and then turns 買わ なかった

Irregular Japanese Verb Group

There is no rule.

する will come しなかった

来る will come 来なかった

Example sentences with verbs in Japanese





Kanji calligraphy exercise

Below are the Japanese ideographic symbols used in this article. Selecting the desired kanji, copy and paste them into Worksheet for Kana and Kanji Practice , a new window will open where you can view the printable file and practice Japanese calligraphy by covering the gray symbols and then trying to write yourself. Just print and practice.