From what I have been able to find I came up with this:

Verbs ending in:

える ける せる てる ねる へる める れる げる ぜる でる べる ぺる

いる きる しる ちる にる ひる みる りる ぎる じる ぢる びる ぴる

but not these verbs:

かえる はしる きる いる はいる

I spent time looking at different web pages on verbs but from what I see none of them seem to give a really good way to identify Group 1 and also show all the exceptions. Can someone confirm if the checks I am making are correct or let me know if they are aware of more exceptions that I should take into account?



1 Answer 1


Yes, group 1 verbs always end in ~iru and ~eru. As you said, いる (要る)as in 'need' is not group 1, nor are the other words in your list. However, いる (居る) as in 'exist' is group 1.

The other exceptions can be found on this page: http://www.jgram.org/pages/viewOne.php?tagE=Group+1+Verb+Exceptions. There is quite a lot of them. But the examples you gave in your post are the more commonly used ones.

To repeat what the author says on that web page: There is a rule of thumb for judging whether a ~e/iru verb is group one or not. If there is more than one syllable before the ~ru, you look for the expression of the word with its kanji, e.g. 嘲る [あざける]. If the ~e/~i syllable is written in kana, it is group 1. Otherwise, it is group 2.

The author notes あぶらぎる and まじる are two exceptions to this rule. Also, if the word is only written in kana, you can't use the rule to determine which group it belongs to - e.g. bibi-ru and nome-ru. One syllable roots are also problematic when using this rule - e.g. he-ru (Group 1) and mi-ru (Group 2). ふせる could be either group, depending on how it's used.

Doesn't seem like there is a simpler rule. You just learn the exceptions from reading, speaking, listening and writing. People will (hopefully) correct your mistakes, so you can learn better.

  • As an interesting side-note, the 居{い}る meaning to exist used to be ゐる(wi ru) and morphed into いる in modern days, but the 要{い}る meaning to need is cognate with 入{い}る, and had always been いる. The 入{はい}る today actually was 這{は}い + 入{い}る. In words like 日の入り or 気に入り it's still いり and not はいり.
    – dvx2718
    Jan 28 at 20:56

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