ポリグロット(数か国語に通じる人)を目指して~
中国人の父にオランダで育てられました。 日本語を勉強しながら、ベトナム人の彼氏と一緒に暮らしています。

Monday, 19 October 2015

Making sense of Japanese verbs - the three verb groups

Hello all! So today I want to talk about verbs in the Japanese language. Not only in Japanese, but in any language verbs have a very important role in a sentence. So understanding them, learning how they work and conjugating them is key to making your own sentences. When you know how to make your own sentences you can focus on learning vocabulary instead. Even though they might seem difficult, they are actually quite easy when you learn how they work. So let's get into it!

First of all, Japanese verbs are divided into three groups. I will start with the last group first and you'll understand why as you continue reading. Group three are all the exceptions and it has only two verbs you need to know which are; する(suru to do) and くる (kuru to come). Group two is includes every verb that ends with いる(iru) or える (eru) this group is also called 'dictionary form'. Simply because this is the form you will find for all the verbs in the dictionaries. Now the final group which is group one and includes; everything else! It's as simple as that! Knowing which verb belongs to which group is the beginning of starting to conjugate them. If you don't know which group the verb belongs to it's impossible to make sense of conjugation so make sure to study these thoroughly.

You can figure out which group a verb belongs to in three easy steps;


  First check if the verbs ends with る(ru) - if not, it automatically belongs to group 1.

  If it ends with る, make sure it's not する(suru) or くる(kuru) and check the syllable before the る.

If there's a い(i) or え(e) before the る(ru) it's group 2, if not it's group 1.


How about these verbs? Can you tell which group they belong to?
1.  たべる (taberu to eat)
2. いく (iku to go)
3. りょうりする (ryori suru to cook)

Let's start with number 1. It does end with る but it's not する or くる, so we must check the syllable before る. The syllable before the る is an えso that means it's group 2.
 Are you getting the hang of it already? Next one is; いく. Does it end with る? No! So that means it's group 1. That was easy right?
Final practice verb is; りょうりする. It does end with る but wait a minute, this is one ends with する which means it's group 3!

As all languages, even here there are exceptions. There are verbs that end with -iru or -eru but still belong to group 1. The only thing you can do about these, except for getting upset, is simply memorizing them. There are quite a few out there but let me just tell you three for today. They are;  はしる, かえる and きる. Even though they end with -eru or -iru they are some examples of verbs who actually belong to group 1.
Now don't be intimidated these. Make sure you practice categorizing these verbs because in my next post we'll put them to action! What is your favorite thing to do? One of my favorites is; よむ.


Have a good day!
~ mei mei