I was taught that when て form is used to link sentences and ideas, it shows succession in action.
For example, 起きて、歯を洗いました means I woke up, and AFTER that, I brushed my teeth.

But lately, I've been noticing that ます form can be used to link sentences as well. However, I'm pretty sure that when ます form is used, it does not necessarily show succession. I think it either means '-ing' or 'and,' but I'm not sure.

Question 1
For example, given
(無くし being the ます form of 無くす - to lose)
do I translate it as "Losing my way, I lose even my words" or "I lose my way, and I even lose my words."

Question 2
Also, would it have the same meaning if the sentence was 「僕は道を無くして、言葉すら無くし**て**しまう」
In that case, when do I use て form versus ます form, and what is the difference in nuance?

Thank you!

  • I think 無くし is usually called pre-masu-form, masu-stem, verb-stem, stem, continuative-form, 連用形, i-form, etc. The masu-form of 無くす is usually 無くします rather than 無くし. Does your textbook really say 無くし is the masu-form?
    – naruto
    Jun 13, 2020 at 0:55
  • I usually call it stem form, but whenever I ask Japanese people, they always say ます形 so ¯_(ツ)_/¯. I also put it in parentheses so Jun 13, 2020 at 2:17
  • Maybe you asked it to a Japanese person who is not good at how to teach Japanese grammar to learners? I also believed "te-form" referred to something like 無くし rather than 無くして, and it took almost an year before I realized it was simply wrong. Japanese people generally believe ます is a standalone word rather than a part of the conjugation, so when they hear the word ます形, they tend to think it is the exact equivalent of 連用形 (or "stem").
    – naruto
    Jun 13, 2020 at 2:30


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