Polite Form 2017-08-21T18:00:39+00:00

Learn Japanese Verbs - Lesson 2: The "Polite Form"

Learn Japanese Verbs – Lesson 2: The “Polite Form

So what do we do if we want to change the verb to a different form or tense?  We have already practiced the casual form, so there must be a “polite” form.. right?  You be there is!  This is where verb conjugation is used.

To conjugate a verb, we need to understand that there are two parts of a verb.  There is a “stem” and an ending.

たべる
taberu
stem ending
たべ
tabe

ru
When we change to the polite form of taberu in present/future tense, we simply leave the stem unchanged while we change the ending (ru) to the polite suffix (masu).  Taberu becomes tabemasu.  I want you to practice this a few times switching between “taberu” and “tabemasu“.  Go ahead, say them both a few times out loud – no one is watching!  Pretty easy, right?  There’s one catch — this only works for verbs that end with an “iru” or “eru” sound.
 

Any verb that doesn’t end with an iru or eru sound will conjugate a bit differently.

For example, let’s look at the verb aruku (to walk):

Dictionary Form
ある
aruku
Polite Form
あるきます
arukimasu
   

Since we don’t have an “iru/eru” ending (as we did with taberu), we need to follow a different rule.  Instead of dropping the ending, we need to modify it.  The ku changes to a kimasu.  We kept that “k” sound attached, so we didn’t completely drop the ending as we did when we changed taberu to tabemasu.  All other endings that don’t end with an iru or eru sound will share a similar kind of change, rather than a drop:

 
  ku changes to kimasu   su changes to shimasu
aruku arukimasu kesu  keshimasu
       
tsu changes to chimasu nu changes to nimasu 
tatsu tachimasu shinu shinimasu
       
mu changes to mimasu au changes to aimasu
nomu nomimasu arau araimasu

 

To summarize the rule…

If it ends with iru/eru, drop the ru and add masu
…Otherwise change the ending with the chart above!
   

Of course there is always a few exceptions!  Just look at “irregular verb cat” over here.  He doesn’t look like he wants to cooperate.   Here are the “rule breakers” that you will have to memorize:

suru (to do) is shimasu
kuru (to come) is kimasu

kaeru (to return) is kaerimasu

hashiru (to run) is hashirimasu
kiru (to cut) is kirimasu.
hairu (to enter) is hairimasu.

 

Below you will find your next flashcard deck.  You need to practice these until the pattern feels natural.  These are the same 119 flashcards you practiced before, but in their polite form.

[qdeck align=”center”; style=”width: 440px; height: 315px; border: 4px solid #000080;” random=”false”] [h] Verb Flashcards – Polite Form
[q] あく
(aku)
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]あきます
(akimasu)

(something) opens
[q] あるく
(aruku)
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]あるきます
(arukimasu)

to walk
[q] いく
iku
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]いきます
(ikimasu)

to go
[q] おく
oku
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]おきます
(okimasu)

to put
[q] かく
kaku
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]かきます
(kakimasu)

to write / draw
[q] きく
kiku
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]ききます
(kikimasu)

to listen / hear / ask
[q] さく
saku
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]さきます
(sakimasu)

to bloom / flower
[q] つく
tsuku
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]つきます
(tsukimasu)

to arrive
[q] なく
naku
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]なきます
(nakimasu)

to bark / mew / cry
[q] はく
haku
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]はきます
(hakimasu)

to put on shoes or pants / to sweep
[q] はたらく
hataraku
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]はたらきます
(hatarakimasu)

to work
[q] ひく
hiku
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]ひきます
(hikimasu)

to pull something / to play an instrument
[q] ふく
fuku
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]ふきます
(fukimasu)

to blow
[q] みがく
migaku
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]みがきます
(migakimasu)

to polish / brush
[q] およぐ
oyogu
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]およぎます
(oyogimasu)

to swim
[q] ぬぐ
nugu
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]ぬぎます
(nugimasu)

to take off / undress
[q] おす
osu
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]おします
(oshimasu)

to push
[q] かえす
kaesu
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]かえします
(kaeshimasu)

to return (something)
[q] かす
kasu
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]かします
(kashimasu)

to lend
[q] けす
kesu
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]けします
(keshimasu)

to turn off / put out
[q] さす
sasu
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]さします
(sashimasu)

to put (up an umbrella) / to point out
[q] だす
dasu
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]だします
(dashimasu)

to extract / take out
[q] なくす
nakusu
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]なくします
(nakushimasu)

to lose (something)
[q] はなす
hanasu
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]はなします
(hanashimasu)

to speak/talk/tell
[q] わたす
watasu
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]わたします
(watashimasu)

to hand over
[q] しぬ
shinu
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]しにます
(shinimasu)

to die
[q] あそぶ
asobu
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]あそびます
(asobimasu)

to play
[q] よぶ
yobu
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]よびます
(yobimasu)

to call/invite
[q] すむ
sumu
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]すみます
(sumimasu)

to live/reside (in)
[q] たのむ
tanomu
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]たのみます
(tanomimasu)

to ask (a favor)
[q] のむ
nomu
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]のみます
(nomimasu)

to drink
[q] やすむ
yasumu
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]やすみます
(yasumimasu)

to take a rest / be absent
[q] よむ
yomu
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]よみます
(yomimasu)

to read
[q] あう
au
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]あいます
(aimasu)

to meet / to fit
[q] あらう
arau
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]あらいます
(araimasu)

to wash
[q] いう
iu
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]いいます
(iimasu)

to say/speak/tell/talk
[q] うたう
utau
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]うたいます
(utaimasu)

to sing
[q] かう
kau
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]かいます
(kaimasu)

to buy
[q] すう
suu
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]すいます
(suimasu)

to inhale
[q] ちがう
chigau
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]ちがいます
(chigaimasu)

to be different / wrong
[q] つかう
tskau
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]つかいます
(tsukaimasu)

to use
[q] ならう
narau
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]ならいます
(naraimasu)

to learn
[q] たつ
tatsu
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]たちます
(tachimasu)

to stand up
[q] まつ
matsu
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]まちます
(machimasu)

to wait
[q] もつ
motsu
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]もちます
(mochimasu)

to have / hold
[q] ある
aru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]あります
(arimasu)

to be (inanimate) / have
[q] うる
uru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]うります
(urimasu)

to sell
[q] おわる
owaru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]おわります
(owarimasu)

to finish
[q] かえる
kaeru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]かえります
(kaerimasu)

to return / go home
[q] かかる
kakaru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]かかります
(kakarimasu)

to take (time / money)
[q] かぶる
kaburu
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]かぶります
(kaburimasu)

to put on (a hat)
[q] きる
kiru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]きります
(kirimasu)

to cut
[q] こまる
komaru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]こまります
(komarimasu)

to be in trouble
[q] しまる
shimaru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]しまります
(shimarimasu)

(something) closes
[q] しる
shiru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]しります
(shirimasu)

to know
[q] すわる
suwaru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]すわります
(suwarimasu)

to sit down
[q] つくる
tsukuru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]つくります
(tsukurimasu)

to make / form / cook
[q] とまる
tomaru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]とまります
(tomarimasu)

(something) stops
[q] とる
toru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]とります
(torimasu)

to take
[q] なる
naru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]なります
(narimasu)

to become
[q] のぼる
noboru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]のぼります
(noborimasu)

to climb
[q] のる
noru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]のります
(norimasu)

to get on
[q] はいる
hairu
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]はいります
(hairimasu)

to enter
[q] はしる
hashiru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]はしります
(hashirimasu)

to run
[q] はじまる
hajimaru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]はじまります
(hajimarimasu)

(something) starts
[q] はる
haru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]はります
(harimasu)

to put / stick
[q] ふる
furu
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]ふります
(furimasu)

to fall (rain / snow)
[q] まがる
magaru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]まがります
(magarimasu)

to turn
[q] やる
yaru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]やります
(yarimasu)

to do
[q] わかる
wakaru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]わかります
(wakarimasu)

to understand
[q] わたる
wataru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]わたります
(watarimasu)

to cross
[q] あける
akeru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]あけます
(akemasu)

to open something
[q] あげる
ageru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]あげます
(agemasu)

to give
[q] いれる
ireru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]いれます
(iremasu)

to put in
[q] うまれる
umareru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]うまれます
(umaremasu)

to be born
[q] おしえる
oshieru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]おしえます
(oshiemasu)

to tell / teach
[q] おぼえる
oboeru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]おぼえます
(oboemasu)

to memorize
[q] かける
kakeru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]かけます
(kakemasu)

to make a phone call / hang
[q] かける
kakeru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]かけます
(kakemasu)

to put on glasses
[q] きえる
kieru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]きえます
(kiemasu)

to disappear
[q] こたえる
kotaeru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]こたえます
(kotaemasu)

to answer / reply
[q] しめる
shimeru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]しめます
(shimemasu)

to close something
[q] たべる
taberu
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]たべます
(tabemasu)

to eat
[q] つかれる
tsukareru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]つかれます
(tsukaremasu)

to get tired
[q] つける
tsukeru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]つけます
(tsukemasu)

to turn on / light
[q] つとめる
tsutomeru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]つとめます
(tsutomemasu)

to work for
[q] でる
deru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]でます
(demasu)

to leave / attend
[q] ならべる
naraberu
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]ならべます
(narabemasu)

to line (things) up
[q] はれる
hareru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]はれます
(haremasu)

to clear up
[q] みせる
miseru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]みせます
(misemasu)

to show
[q] わすれる
wasureru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]わすれます
(wasuremasu)

to forget
[q] あびる
abiru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]あびます
(abimasu)

to take (a shower)
[q] いる [not to need] iru
Present – Positive – {Polite} [not to need][a]います
(imasu)

(for people) to exist / to stay
[q] おきる
okiru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]おきます
(okimasu)

to get up
[q] おりる
oriru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a] おります
(orimasu)

to get off
[q] かりる
kariru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]かります
(karimasu)

to borrow / rent
[q] きる
kiru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a] きます
(kimasu)

to wear / put on
[q] できる
dekiru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]できます
(dekimasu)

can (do)
[q] みる
miru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]みます
(mimasu)

to see / watch / look
[q] かいぎ(を)する
kaigi o suru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]かいぎ(を)します
(kaigi o shimasu)

to hold a meeting
[q] かいもの(を)する
kaimono o suru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]かいもの(を)します
(kaimono o shimasu)

to go shopping
[q] けっこん(を)する
kekkon o suru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]けっこん(を)します
(kekkon o shimasu)

to get married
[q] コピー(を)する
copii o suru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]コピー(を)します
(copii o shimasu)

to make a copy
[q] さんぽ(を)する
sanpo o suru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]さんぽ(を)します
(sanpo o shimasu)

to take a walk
[q] しごと(を)する
shigoto o suru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]しごと(を)します
(shigoto o shimasu)

to work
[q] しつもん(を)する
shitsumon o suru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]しつもん(を)します
(shitsumon o shimasu)

to ask somebody a question
[q] する
suru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]します
(shimasu)

to do
[q] しゅくだい(を)する
shukudai o suru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]しゅくだい(を)します
(shukudai o shimasu)

to do homework
[q] せんたく(を)する
sentaku o suru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]せんたく(を)します
sentaku o shimasu)

to do laundry
[q] そうじ(を)する
souji o suru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]そうじ(を)します
(souji o shimasu)

to clean
[q] でんわ(を)する
denwa o suru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]でんわ(を)します
(denwa o shimasu)

to make a phone call
[q] はなし(を)する
hanashi o suru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a] はなし(を)します
(hanashi o shimasu)

to have a talk
[q] パーティー(を)する
paatii o suru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a] パーティー(を)します
(paatii o shimasu)

to have a party
[q] べんきょう(を)する
benkyou o suru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]べんきょう(を)します
(benkyou o shimasu)

to study
[q] りょうり(を)する
ryouri o suru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]りょうり(を)します
(ryouri o shimasu)

to cook
[q] りょこう(を)する
ryokou o suru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]りょこう(を)します
(ryokou o shimasu)

to take a trip
[q] れんしゅう(を)する
renshuu o suru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]れんしゅう(を)します
(renshuu o shimasu)

to practice
[q] くる
kuru
Present – Positive – {Polite}[a]きます
(kimasu)

to come[/qdeck]
Plain Form, Non-Past Tense Polite Form, Past Tense
Plain Form, Non-Past Japanese Verbs Index Polite Form, Past