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Questions tagged [verbs]

動詞. A class of words which describe events or states and can be inflected to indicate tense, aspect, voice, and so forth. In citation form, all Modern Japanese verbs end in -(r)u.

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83 votes
3 answers
14k views

When is Vている the continuation of action and when is it the continuation of state?

Last night, when I asked my wife to send an email to me, she said もう送っている which I took to mean that she was "sending the message". (The message had a big attachment so I imagined that it could take a ...
user27478's user avatar
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20 votes
3 answers
4k views

Conjunctive form (e.g. 書き) vs Conj + mono (e.g. 書き物)

I'm trying to fully understand the plain conjunctive form without a suffix. I've seen it mainly in the form of 話, where it means a talk or speech. So I think it means something along the lines of "the ...
Benjamin Lindley's user avatar
131 votes
1 answer
72k views

What is the difference between the nominalizers こと and の?

As Derek mentioned in his postscript, both こと and の are nominalizers that can turn a verb into a noun. ピアノを弾く【ひく】。 I play the piano. ピアノを弾く【ひく】のが好き【すき】です。 I like playing the piano. ピアノを弾く【ひく】ことが好き【すき】...
Troyen's user avatar
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13 votes
3 answers
13k views

~ておく or ~とく for preparation (conjugation and nuance)

A few quick questions regarding ~ておく and the casual form ~とく Firstly, when changing from ~ておく to the more casual ~とく I'm assuming the verb is first conjugated to the ~て form then the ~て is dropped and ...
mattb's user avatar
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16 votes
2 answers
3k views

て versus combining-form for joining clauses

Is there a difference between these two sentences 昨日はビールを飲んでパイを食べました。 昨日はビールを飲みパイを食べました。 More generally, when should I choose one form over the other?
user3856370's user avatar
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29 votes
2 answers
3k views

"太ってる猫" vs "太った猫"

I saw this sentence and its translation in a textbook 彼女は太った猫が好きじゃない。 She doesn't like fat cats I was under the impression that 「太ってる猫」 means something like “cat that is in the state of becoming ...
Pacerier's user avatar
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19 votes
3 answers
11k views

What are the general principles of using verbs to modify nouns (e.g. 焦げるトースト/焦げたトースト)?

In all the time I've studied the language, I've never heard or seen anybody even hint at whether the principles from a given language (like using “burnt toast” vs. “burning toast”) carry over, or if ...
Roy Fuentes's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is 寝る a stative or active verb?

Looking at past questions I am still confused about the answers given: The answer to this post suggests that 寝る is a continuation of some state. 昨日も全然寝てない。 Yesterday I didn't sleep at all. Instead ...
shade549's user avatar
  • 2,018
19 votes
1 answer
5k views

Habitual aspect

My (poor) understanding of things is that there are two ways to get habitual semantics in Japanese: use the dictionary form of the verb: 毎日、映画{えいが}を見に行く "I go to the movies every day." ...
Darius Jahandarie's user avatar
27 votes
2 answers
2k views

Can we optionally include (or exclude) an を particle in between the noun of the する-verb and the する itself?

When we have a する verb (e.g. 支{し}度{たく}する、案{あん}内{ない}する、心{しん}配{ぱい}する), is it true that we could optionally insert an を particle in between the noun and the する? Because in the example sentences here and ...
Pacerier's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
6k views

Why does 出る accept を although it is an intransitive verb?

The JLPT N5 textbook and the Tangorin online dictionary say 出る is intransitive and, as far as I know, should be used with が, but the Genki I textbook says it accepts を when it means "to exit". So, ...
Daniel's user avatar
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25 votes
3 answers
33k views

Usage of ~じゃん (~じゃない)

I'd like to know if I can put ~じゃん at the end of every adjective, if there are any exceptions to that usage, and if it's different from ~じゃない. Adj (na) + じゃん 便利じゃん 便利だったじゃん 便利じゃないじゃん ...
daniel tomio's user avatar
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25 votes
1 answer
8k views

Volitional + と + Verb

(In this question, I will use "Volitional" to mean "V-(よ)う".) As I understand it, Volitional + と + する is a phrase meaning "to try to do something". I've also seen similar phrases, but with different ...
user avatar
110 votes
11 answers
21k views

How should I choose between [知]{し}る and わかる?

Both 知る and わかる get used for "know", "understand", "learn", "find out", and various other concepts. How do you know which to use when? Are there any rules to help you decide? Additionally, both of ...
Derek Schaab's user avatar
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30 votes
2 answers
12k views

Why is 知りません the negative form of 知っています?

I'm reading Minna no Nihongo (Chapter 15) and it says what I wrote in the question. I would think the negative would be 知っていません。
dotnetN00b's user avatar
  • 6,806
10 votes
2 answers
13k views

Auxiliary verbs in Japanese

What are auxiliary verbs in Japanese language? Which verbs are auxiliary and how to tell which are auxiliaries, and which are normal? It looks like the word です is an auxiliary verb. But why? What ...
Richard's user avatar
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28 votes
2 answers
12k views

If Vて+いる isn't a gerund, then what is it?

I always thought that a verb ending in the て form along with the いる suffix was the English equivelent of the "ing" form of a verb. Thus: see = 見{み}る, seeing = 見{み}ている do = する, doing = している ...
Questioner's user avatar
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27 votes
2 answers
5k views

Passive-transitive-verb vs. Intransitive-verb (他動詞の受け身 vs. 自動詞)

I think I know the answer to this, but it still creeps up in my mind all the time; something I'd like to research more. I want to know technical differences as well as common usage. When do you use ...
istrasci's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
4k views

Do all verbs have an honorific and humble form?

I was reading about this phenomenon in a few places and saw, for instance, this table of transformations and substitutions for various verbs. Is it only these common verbs which change, or do all ...
temporary_user_name's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
575 views

What conjugation is 助けて, when used as an interjection?

According to Wiktionary, the only conjugation I can match this to is the conjunctive form, but that doesn't make any sense, given the context (as in "Help me!"). What would the equivalent conjugation ...
Mario Carneiro's user avatar
64 votes
4 answers
17k views

ことができる versus V~える form

Way back in the day when I was first learning Japanese, I learned that you could add ことができる to a verb to indicate potential. Like so: 食{た}べることができる (I) can eat (something) It became my ...
Questioner's user avatar
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57 votes
5 answers
144k views

What exactly is "なの" (nano)?

I asked a female Japanese friend to translate a sentence for me and it ends in "nano" which I took to be either an alternative question particle to -ne or -ka; or possibly two particles I ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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15 votes
2 answers
2k views

How many verb endings to express "do this (please)"?

I'm familiar with the て and てください forms of a verb to give a command/request and request, respectively. However, I've run across these other forms and really don't know which to use in what situation. ...
dotnetN00b's user avatar
  • 6,806
11 votes
1 answer
3k views

思っている/言っている with a third person subject?

So I was reading A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar, and in the part where it explains the uses of いる as an auxiliary verb after て it says something like that: "(...) Also, verbs like 言う and ...
Rodrigo Pará's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
7k views

Meaning of ~てやる

Does ~てやる work the same way as ~てあげる does? Does ~てやる have any other meanings?
Axe's user avatar
  • 3,366
7 votes
1 answer
620 views

「〜がする」 the extended use of する (to do)

I'm going through some basic grammar and this one website teaches the "extended" use of the word する. There is a confusing example which looks like: 波の音 がする The translation is: "(I) hear the sound ...
chlenix's user avatar
  • 289
5 votes
1 answer
991 views

"は + verb" instead of "を + verb"?

I have stumbled upon instances where "は + verb" is used in situations where I thought "を + verb" should be used. For example, recently I've seen その覚悟はしてました I was prepared for that ...
RadonBust's user avatar
  • 635
48 votes
1 answer
12k views

ひらく / とじる vs. あける / しめる

The verbs ひらく and あける both mean to open, and とじる and しめる both mean to close. I understand that ひらく and とじる are antonym pairs, as are あける and しめる, but have never been clear on the difference between ...
rurouniwallace's user avatar
25 votes
5 answers
22k views

What is the difference between 見える【みえる】/聞こえる【きこえる】 and 見られる【みられる】/聞ける【きける】?

In Japanese, there is a potential form to express that it's possible for something to be done. My own examples of potential form: 辛【から】い食【た】べ物【もの】が食【た】べられる。 (I can eat spicy foods.) ギターが弾【ひ】ける。 (I ...
atlantiza's user avatar
  • 3,457
23 votes
3 answers
13k views

Differences in usage between する and やる

On the surface, many Japanese-English dictionaries define both する and やる as "to do", with little extra context. Offhand, I know the following: やる and する are not interchangeable when it comes to する ...
Kaji's user avatar
  • 5,250
19 votes
3 answers
9k views

What form is あり?

On the road outside my daughter's nursery is painted 保育園アリ. I guess this is a form of ある, but what's it called, and why is あり used not ある?
Abbief's user avatar
  • 293
13 votes
1 answer
984 views

Usage of doubled non-past tense "た"

I've recently been noticing some patterns which look like two repeated past-tense verbs, but I think which indicate a command rather than the past tense. For example: さあ、行った行った。 "Get along with ...
cypher's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
742 views

How does one use the "[V ます stem] に [Vタ]" pattern (as in 待ちに待った)?

Every now and then I hear 待ちに待った, as in: 待ちに待ったライブ a long-awaited concert I started wondering if this pattern can apply to other verbs, and it certainly seems to, if Google is any indication. I ...
Derek Schaab's user avatar
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6 votes
4 answers
6k views

Why should I use つかれました and not つかれたです

I said to a Japanese person last night, meaning to say "I'm tired": つかれたです。 She corrected me to: つかれました。 I'm curious as to why this is. I thought つかれたです was grammatically correct. Does it ...
Lou's user avatar
  • 2,801
23 votes
2 answers
7k views

Why are the verb classes called ichidan and godan?

Is there a particular reason why verbs are classified as "class 1" verbs (一段動詞) and "class 5" verbs (五段動詞)? Where did class 2 to 4 go? Do or did they exist at all, and why (not)? Thanks!
user3436926's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
5k views

When is 終わる used as a transitive verb?

On Are 終わる and 済ませる synonyms?, there were some questions whether 終わる is used as a transitive verb. Space ALC seems to have a few results for を終わる, but far more for を終わらせる and を終える. Looking at sense ...
cypher's user avatar
  • 13.7k
13 votes
1 answer
904 views

How do 自他 triplets of related verbs work?

I thought this had been asked before (possibly by me), but I couldn't find it. I'm wondering why for certain verbs/words, instead of just a 自他 pair, there is a triplet (or possibly more) where two of ...
istrasci's user avatar
  • 44.3k
10 votes
2 answers
419 views

Is た形 required when using 自動詞 as an adjective?

From the grammar book I learned that when 自動詞 is being used as an adjective, it should change its form to the た形, for example: 優れ{すぐれ}た学生 拗れ{こじれ}た話し But can I say 優れる学生 or 拗れる話し? Why?
Den's user avatar
  • 159
4 votes
3 answers
547 views

Explain how 向{む}く "to face" can take "上{うえ}" as a direct object using を?

There's a famous old song that's actually the only ever Japanese language song to reach #1 on the US pop charts: "上{うえ}を向{む}いて歩{ある}こう". This is both the title of the song and a frequently repeated ...
hippietrail's user avatar
  • 15.4k
2 votes
1 answer
570 views

ところを 見つかる, this was in a highly reputable dictionary

Is this sentence wrong grammatically, or am I missing something? カンニングをしているところを 見つかる This is an examplensentence from kenkyuusha. More specifically, 見つかる is an intransitive verb, how is it used with ...
PsyFish's user avatar
  • 251
1 vote
2 answers
2k views

Usage and meaning : 寝ろ vs 寝てろ?

Source: page 32, Ch.82 of よつばと! My translation of the highlighted text bubble is, Now, sleep quietly okay. But I am confused as to why 寝てろ is used here as opposed to 寝ろ? Is it because sleep is a ...
vadasambar's user avatar
  • 1,445
17 votes
2 answers
7k views

How to parse ~なくたって?

I've been running into verbs such as 言わなくたって recently. I found these sentences using a sample sentence search and it seems to be a stronger form of ~なくても 見てなくたっていいよ。 You don't have to stand over me. ...
oals's user avatar
  • 2,123
16 votes
2 answers
6k views

Why isn't ある's negative form あらない?

ある is listed in dictionaries as having ラ行五段活用, which would suggest a negative form of あらない. However, that form does not exist. Why not?
senshin's user avatar
  • 5,645
14 votes
2 answers
3k views

What does volitional form + っと mean?

「そうだ!家で音楽聞こうっと」 「もう寝ようっと」 「英語でブログを書いてみようっと。」 How does it differ from a volitional form without っと? My best guess is that it's a monologue marker, like な is.
oals's user avatar
  • 2,123
13 votes
1 answer
16k views

Usage (correctness) of だと after verbs

I've noticed だと showing up after verbs for a while now in various forms of media, such as blogs, anime, regular TV shows & also when speaking to Japanese people. However, I was originally told ...
user4096's user avatar
  • 654
10 votes
1 answer
805 views

Existence verbs in the Kansai Dialect

In this part of this Wikipedia article, it states In other areas such as Hyogo and Mie, いる /iru/ is hardly used and おる /oru/ does not have the negative usage. What I want to know is, does this ...
PearApple's user avatar
  • 167
10 votes
2 answers
6k views

The meaning of ~がいい

I've read a lot of mangas and I've noticed the use of がいい after a verb e.g. 見る{みる}がいい。 諦めた{あきらめた}ほうがいい。 Does it work as an adverb?
Williem F.'s user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
14k views

What is Vて+た construction?

I came across Vて+た construction in a song I've been listening to: あなたのその瞳をただ見つめてた Can someone explain what it means? I've tried looking for it in some grammar books but unfortunately I couldn't ...
noen palma's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
2k views

For 知る what is the difference between the simple present (知る) and 知っている forms?

あなたは電話番号を知りますか (anata wa denwa bangou wo shirimasu ka)? あなたは電話番号を知っていますか (anata wa denwa bangou wo shitte imasu ka)? In my book "あなたは電話番号を知っていますか" (anata wa denwa bangou wo shitte imasu ka) ...
Animewar Oficial's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Passive verb forms for intransitive verbs: 「行かれるんですか?」

Okay, so I'm confused about passive verbs. From how I understand it, the verb is performed on the subject. But how come you can say something like: 明日の会議に行かれるんですか? Are you going to tomorrow's meeting?...
Mel's user avatar
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