Saturday, July 28, 2007

te-form, Part II: Basic usage

Okay, last time we went over how to obtain, or conjugate a verb into its te-form.

Today, we will go over two basic, but major, uses of te-form verbs.
1. Making requests
2. Linking verbs together, like "and" in English

Making Requests
To make a request to do something, add 下さい (kudasai) to the end of the te-form.
~て + 下さい

まどをあけて下さい。 [mado o akete kudasai]
Please open the window.

  すわってください。 [ suwatte kudasai]
Please sit down.

  テレビをみてください。[terebi o mite kudasai]
Watch tv, please.

Linking verbs together
In Japanese, you can not link verbs using と (to). You must use the te-form to link verbs.

For instance, if you were to say that you will go home and eat dinner, you could say:
じゃ、いえ に かえって、ばんごはんをたべます。
[ja, ie ni kaette, bangohan o tabemasu.]

Note that the te-form of a verb has no tense on its own; the tense is determined by the final verb in the sentence. In this case, かえて (kaete) is in the present affirmative tense, because of the last verb, たべます(tabemasu).

You are not limited to just two verbs in a sentence, however. You can link as many as you would like; just keep in mind that the last verb should not be in te-form, and determines the tense of the entire sentence.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Conjugating te-form (て-form) verbs

Ah, the te-form of verbs. They're not that difficult to learn, if you remember the rules.
First, you should familiarize yourself with the dictionary, or short-form of verbs.

For instance, the dictionary form of かいます (kaimasu) is かう (kau).

Once you are familiar with the dictionary forms, all you need to do is determine if it is an u-verb, ru-verb, or irregular verb.

  1. First, if it is a ru-verb, you simply drop the -ru ending, and add te. So, 食べる (taberu) becomes 食べて (tabete).
  2. There are two irregular verbs: する (suru) and くる (kuru). You will simply have to memorize their conjugations, which are して (shite) and  きて (kite), respectively.
  3. Now the fun part. U-verbs conjugate differently, based on their last syllable.

Last syllable of verbExample
う、つ、る -> かって

-> まって

かえ -> かえって
-> しん

-> よん

あそ -> あそんで

 -> かいて

およ -> およいで
はな -> はなして

** Exception for 行く:
行く -> いって

Wow! I realize that's a lot to digest, but once you memorize this, it gets a lot easier. At least that's what I was told. :)

So take your time, and memorize a few rules at a time. It's best to repeat the dictionary form, the present, polite form, and the te-form together.

Next time, we'll go over the uses of the te-form.

ようこそ! (Welcome, again)

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