I just stumbled across the following sentence:


And was wondering what kind of construct this 送り始める is. 送り is no verb-ending known to me but looks like the stem of the -masu form (infinite?). Is this a common pattern to link two verbs? Is there any grammatical name for this concept so I can find more information about it?

So far I only learnt that the te form can be used to combine two verbs: 送って始める, but I guess in that case they are shifted in time?!

1 Answer 1


Verb Masu + 始める is an example of a compound verb in which the dominant meaning comes from Verb 1 and a qualification comes from Verb 1. In the case of 送り始める, the dominant meaning is taken from Verb 1 (送る to send) and the qualification comes from Verb 2 (始める to start, to begin). The overall meaning becomes "to start sending" or "to start to send". Other examples:

話し始める to begin to speak
食べ始める to start eating
降り始める to start falling

There are many other compound verbs in Japanese. A quick search on this site will show up plenty of other instances.

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