Lesson 6

Japanese Verb Conjugation (Godan)

Godan Verbs - 五段動詞

Now, before you can start making up sentences of your own, you need to learn how to conjugate Japanese verbs. Verbs are the most important part of the Japanese sentence.

Oftentimes Japanese people will leave out everything but the verb.

They are very big on leaving out the obvious and sometimes not so obvious which can get confusing at times. There are only 3 types of verbs in the Japanese language and they each follow a pattern that is very simple and very rarely has any exceptions. Most Japanese verbs fall into the first group, the Godan (五段) verbs. These verbs always conjugate the same way with only one exception. These verbs have five changes that follow the order of the Japanese vowels (i.e. the characters for that section of the hiragana chart), hence the name Godan (meaning 5 levels or steps), and then the "te" and "ta" forms that are common to all verbs.

The chart below shows how to conjugate Japanese Godan verbs:

漢字 - Kanjiひらがな - HiraganaRomaji(English Letters)Verb Base
話すはなすhanasu (to speak)
話さはなさhanasaBase 1
話しはなしhanashiBase 2
話すはなすhanasuBase 3
話せはなせhanaseBase 4
話そうはなそうhanasouBase 5
話してはなしてhanashiteBase "te"
話したはなしたhanashitaBase "ta"

Base 1: Base 1 can not be used by itself but becomes the plain form negative simply by adding -nai. (ex. hanasanai - I won't say anything.) If the verb ends in う (u) then the end for Base 1 becomes わ (wa). (ex. au (Base 1) -> awa) (Plain form is what people use when talking to a friend. It would not be proper to use in a business environment. We will go over the polite form in lesson 8.)

Base 2: Base 2 is, in most cases, a noun when used by itself but is primarily used with the polite form of the verb.

Base 3: Base 3 is the main form (the one that would be found in the dictionary) and is also the plain form present/future tense.

Base 4: Base 4 is most often used as "if verb" by adding -ba. (ex. hanaseba - If he'd just say something.) It can also be used by itself as a command form but it is extremely rude and I recommend not using it at all.

Base 5: Base 5 is used by itself as the "let's" form. (ex. hanasou - Let's talk.) We will get into other ways it's used in later lessons.

Base "te": Base "te" can be used by itself as a plain form command. It is not rude but should only be used with close friends and children. By adding kudasai it becomes the polite form command. Base "te" can also be used in other ways that we will get into in later lessons.

Base "ta": Base "ta" is merely Base "te" with an "a" sound on the end instead of an "e" sound. It is mainly used by itself as the plain form past tense. (ex. hanashita - I talked.) We will get into other ways it's used in later lessons.

Notice: There is one thing that you'll need to learn in order to conjugate the "te" and "ta" forms correctly. Basically, for all Godan verbs ending in う (u), つ (tsu), or る (ru); the う (u), つ (tsu), or る (ru) becomes って (tte) in the "te" form and った (tta) in the "ta" form. (ex. katsu (to win) -> katte (Win!), katta (We won!))

For all Godan verbs ending in ぶ (bu), む (mu), or ぬ (nu); the ぶ (bu), む (mu), or ぬ (nu) becomes んで (nde) in the "te" form and んだ (nda) in the "ta" form. (ex. yomu (to read -> yonde (Read it.), yonda (I read it.))

For all Godan verbs ending in く (ku), the く (ku) becomes いて (ite) in the "te" form and いた (ita) in the "ta" form. (ex. aruku (to walk) -> aruite (Walk!), aruita (I walked here.)) The only exception to this rule is for the verb iku (to go) which becomes いって, いった (itte/itta).

For all Godan verbs ending in ぐ (gu), the ぐ (gu) becomes いで (ide) in the "te" form and いだ (ida) in the "ta" form. (ex. oyogu (to swim) -> oyoide (Swim!), oyoida (I swam.))

For all Godan verbs ending in す (su), the す (su) becomes して (shite) in the "te" form and した (shita) in the "ta" form. (ex. hanasu (to talk) -> hanashite (Say something!), hanashita (I talked (to him).))

Here are some Godan verbs. Try conjugating them on a piece of paper using what you have just learned. See and listen to the full conjugations below.

漢字 - Kanjiひらがな - HiraganaRomaji(English Letters)Verb Base
会うあうauto meet
勝つかつkatsuto win
売るうるuruto sell
遊ぶあそぶasobuto play
飲むのむnomuto drink
死ぬしぬshinuto die
歩くあるくarukuto walk
泳ぐおよぐoyoguto swim
消すけすkesuto erase, turn off
行くいくikuto go(Remember the exception for Bases "te"and "ta")

Japanese verb conjugations

漢字 - KANJIひらがな - HIRAGANAROMAJI (ENGLISH LETTERS)VERB BASEAUDIO
会うあうau (to meet)🔊
会わあわawaBase 1🔊
会いあいaiBase 2🔊
会うあうauBase 3🔊
会えあえaeBase 4🔊
会おうあおうaouBase 5🔊
会ってあってatteBase 'te'🔊
会ったあったattaBase 'ta'🔊
漢字 - KANJIひらがな - HIRAGANAROMAJI (ENGLISH LETTERS)VERB BASEAUDIO
勝つかつkatsu (to win)🔊
勝たかたkataBase 1🔊
勝ちかちkachiBase 2🔊
勝つかつkatsuBase 3🔊
勝てかてkateBase 4🔊
勝とうかとうkatouBase 5🔊
勝ってかってkatteBase 'te'🔊
勝ったかったkattaBase 'ta'🔊
漢字 - KANJIひらがな - HIRAGANAROMAJI (ENGLISH LETTERS)VERB BASEAUDIO
売るうるuru (to sell)🔊
売らうらuraBase 1🔊
売りうりuriBase 2🔊
売るうるuruBase 3🔊
売れうれureBase 4🔊
売ろううろうurouBase 5🔊
売ってうってutteBase 'te'🔊
売ったうったuttaBase 'ta'🔊
漢字 - KANJIひらがな - HIRAGANAROMAJI (ENGLISH LETTERS)VERB BASEAUDIO
遊ぶあそぶasobu (to play)🔊
遊ばあそばasobaBase 1🔊
遊びあそびasobiBase 2🔊
遊ぶあそぶasobuBase 3🔊
遊べあそべasobeBase 4🔊
遊ぼうあそぼうasobouBase 5🔊
遊んであそんでasondeBase 'te'🔊
遊んだあそんだasondaBase 'ta'🔊
漢字 - KANJIひらがな - HIRAGANAROMAJI (ENGLISH LETTERS)VERB BASEAUDIO
飲むのむnomu (to drink)🔊
飲まのまnomaBase 1🔊
飲みのみnomiBase 2🔊
飲むのむnomuBase 3🔊
飲めのめnomeBase 4🔊
飲もうのもうnomouBase 5🔊
飲んでのんでnondeBase 'te'🔊
飲んだのんだnondaBase 'ta'🔊
漢字 - KANJIひらがな - HIRAGANAROMAJI (ENGLISH LETTERS)VERB BASEAUDIO
死ぬしぬshinu (to die)🔊
死なしなshinaBase 1🔊
死にしにshiniBase 2🔊
死ぬしぬshinuBase 3🔊
死ねしねshineBase 4🔊
死のうしのうshinouBase 5🔊
死んでしんでshindeBase 'te'🔊
死んだしんだshindaBase 'ta'🔊
漢字 - KANJIひらがな - HIRAGANAROMAJI (ENGLISH LETTERS)VERB BASEAUDIO
歩くあるくaraku (to walk)🔊
歩かあるかarukaBase 1🔊
歩きあるきarukiBase 2🔊
歩くあるくarukuBase 3🔊
歩けあるけarukeBase 4🔊
歩こうあるこうarukouBase 5🔊
歩いてあるいてaruiteBase 'te'🔊
歩いたあるいたaruitaBase 'ta'🔊
漢字 - KANJIひらがな - HIRAGANAROMAJI (ENGLISH LETTERS)VERB BASEAUDIO
泳ぐおよぐoyogu (to swim)🔊
泳がおよがoyogaBase 1🔊
泳ぎおよぎoyogiBase 2🔊
泳ぐおよぐoyoguBase 3🔊
泳げおよげoyogeBase 4🔊
泳ごうおよごうoyogouBase 5🔊
泳いでおよいでoyoideBase 'te'🔊
泳いだおよいだoyoidaBase 'ta'🔊
漢字 - KANJIひらがな - HIRAGANAROMAJI (ENGLISH LETTERS)VERB BASEAUDIO
消すけすkesu (to erase, turn off)🔊
消さけさkesaBase 1🔊
消しけしkeshiBase 2🔊
消すけすkesuBase 3🔊
消せけせkeseBase 4🔊
消そうけそうkesouBase 5🔊
消してけしてkeshiteBase 'te'🔊
消したけしたkeshitaBase 'ta'🔊
漢字 - KANJIひらがな - HIRAGANAROMAJI (ENGLISH LETTERS)VERB BASEAUDIO
行くいくiku (to go)🔊
行かいかikaBase 1🔊
行きいきikiBase 2🔊
行くいくikuBase 3🔊
行けいけikeBase 4🔊
行こういこうikouBase 5🔊
行っていってitteBase 'te'🔊
行ったいったittaBase 'ta'🔊

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