Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

What is the significance of sometimes using the stem form of a verb like how the て form would be? For example:

燃えゆく (from HANABI)
飲みほして (from Ambiguous)

It's something I hear now and again, but never understood what its grammatical roots are.

share|improve this question
Can you please give examples in the body of the question and not in the title? It will be easier to read. Also, maybe explain in more details. – Szymon Jul 18 '14 at 4:00
What are "HANABI" and "Ambiguous"? Are they even relevant to the question? – istrasci Jul 18 '14 at 15:25
up vote 7 down vote accepted

[飲]{の}み[干]{ほ}す, [燃]{も}えゆく are compound verbs(複合動詞): 飲む + 干す >> 飲み干す, 燃える + 行く >> 燃えゆく

例: 死にゆく、食べ続ける、話し終える、飛び立つ、言い出す... ← continuative form(連用形) verb + verb

Compare: 燃えてゆく(燃えていく) is made of the verb 燃える + the subsidiary verb(補助動詞) ゆく/いく(行く).

例: 死んでいく、食べてもらう、話してくれる、飛んでくる、言ってしまう... ← te-form verb + subsidiary verb

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.