What's the difference in saying:


Both mean I will eat the fish but I really have never heard the first manner of speaking being verbalized. Only ever seen them in social media posts, etc.


Please review your textbook. 食べ is the 連用形 ("continuative form", aka masu-stem) of 食べる. As the name suggests, it's one of the forms of a verb that appear before other words. It cannot end a sentence on its own like the imperative form or the dictionary form can. If you said 魚を食べ, it would sound like you suddenly stopped speaking in the middle of a sentence.

| improve this answer | |

I'm just adding on a bit to what naruto said;

魚を食べ is the same as 魚を食べて. Which means you need something else to end the sentence, i.e. 魚を食べ、水を飲みました <-> 魚を食べて、水を飲みました The difference is slight, but the stem form (食べ) is used in writing for a more narrative tone, like in books or news reports (outside of dialog), while the te-form is more conversational. But both the stem form and the te-form are often used in the same text. From what I've seen the te-form is still more common, even in narration.

One thing that the te-form can do, but the stem form can't, is to describe in what manner a verb is done.

歩いて帰った walkingly, I went home = I walked home

歩き帰った I walked and went home; which doesn't really make sense here.

That is at least how I have understood it.

| improve this answer | |

魚を食べ = Eating fish

魚を食べる = Am/Is eating fish

猫は<゜)))彡を食べ、寝る = The cat is eating a kaomoji fish then sleeping.

Just like English you can skip certain clauses and it's implied by the rest of the paragraph or "[yo]u can [use] abbrev[iations] and still get [the] point across" thanks to the 160-char Character Standard.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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