Japanese Learning Today – Ru-verbs, U-verb, Irregulars

Jul 01 | Evan | No Comments |

Learn three kinds of verbs in Japanese 

In the previous Japanese learning blog, we learned what to say when you want something and when you want to do something. Furthermore, we also talked about Japanese verbs, ru-verbs in particular. In Japanese, there are two main verb types called “ru-verbs” and ‘u-verbs.” In this article, we are going to learn about how these two verb types behave in casual and polite forms in positive and negative sentences. Additionally, there are also two irregular verbs, which behave differently so we will spend a little time looking at them too. Let’s learn different kinds of Japanese verbs to be ready for your next adventure on a photo tour of Japan! 

Ru-verbs 

In short, “ru-verbs” are the verbs, which end in “ru.” For example, taberu/たべる(to eat), miru/みる(to see/to look/to watch), neru/ねる(to sleep), and akeru/あける(to open) are all ru-verbs. Let’s pick two of these ru-verbs to see how they conjugate. 

taberu/たべる(to eat)

たべる = to eat

Casual FormPolite Form
Positive たべる = taberuたべます = tabemasu
Negative たべない = tabenaiたべません = tabemasen

みる = to see/look/watch

Casual FormPolite Form
Positive みる = miruみます = mimasu
Negative みない = minaiみません = minasen

As you see above, from the casual form to the polite form, “ru” changes to “masu” in a positive tense. For a negative tense, “ru” is replaced by “nai” and “nai” changes to “masen” in a polite form. 

Let’s form a simple sentence using these ru-verbs.

Base: I eat an onigiri.

おにぎり を たべる。

おにぎり を たべない。

おにぎり を たべます。

おにぎり を たべません。

Base: I watch a movie. 

えいが を みる。

えいが を みない。

えいが を みます。

えいが を みません。

U-verbs

As you expect, “u-verbs” are the verbs, which end in “u.” These u-verbs include hanasu/はなす(to speak), kaku/かく(to write), nomu/のむ(to drink), and matsu/まつ(to wait.) Let’s pick two of these verbs to see how they conjugate. 

はなす = to speak

Casual FormPolite Form
Positive はなす = hanasuはなします = hanashimasu
Negative はなさない = hanasanaiはなしません = hanashimasen

かく = to write 

Casual FormPolite Form
Positive かく = kakuかきます = kakimasu
Negative かかない =kakanaiかきません = kakimasen

Let’s form a simple sentence using these u-verbs.

Base: I speak Japanese. 

にほんご を はなす。

にほんご を はなさない。

にほんご を はなします。

にほんご を はなしません。

Base: I write Japanese. 

にほんご を かく。

にほんご を かかない。

にほんご を かきます。

にほんご を かきません。

2 Irregular verbs

There are two exceptions, which do not fit in either ru-verbs or u-verbs. These are kuru/くる(to come) and suru/する(to do). Take a look at how these irregular verbs behave in casual and polite forms. 

くる = to come 

Casual FormPolite Form
Positive くる= kuruきます=kimasu
Negative こない=konaiきません=kimasen

する= to do 

Casual FormPolite Form
Positive する = suruします = shimasu
Negative しない = shinaiしません =shimasen

Let’s form a simple sentence using these irregular verbs.

Base: I come to play tomorrow. 

あした あそび に くる。

あした あそび に こない。

あした あそび に きます。

あした あそび に きません。

Base: I study Japanese. 

にほんご を べんきょう する。

にほんご を べんきょう しない。

にほんご を べんきょう します。

にほんご を べんきょう しません。

Yes, learning verbs and how to conjugate them is not easy. Though the good thing is that there are only two main verb groups in Japanese so once you get a feel for these “ru-verbs” and ‘u-verbs,” it’s not too bad. In addition, there are only two irregular verbs so as long as you remember how “kuru” and “suru” behave, you are a Japanese master! 


This is just an intro to learn Japanese verbs so we will certainly work more on verb conjugations in the coming Japanese articles. Don’t worry, we still have time till you join the photo tour of Japan!

Learn Japanese Today – “I want to go to Mt. Fuji.”

Jun 01 | Evan | No Comments |

Learn how to express when you want something and want to do something. 

When you travel somewhere new, you probably want to express what you want, such as where you want to go and what you want to eat. In this article, let’s learn how to use”want something” and “want to do something” in Japanese so that when you join the photography tour of Japan, you can express what you want and what you want to do! 

“I want this” and “I want that.” 

At this point, you already know how to say “this” and “that” in Japanese. When you are at a store in Japan and you want to point to something you want to get, which you can hold in your hand, you can use below.

Kore ga hoshii desu. 

これ が ほしい です。

これが欲しいです。

Here “hoshii” is “to want” in Japanese and means “I want this” in English. 

As you already know, when you replace kore to sore or are, you can indicate an item, which is far away from you. 

You also know a possessive, “no.” Thus, if you want to say “I want that book.” it looks like this below. 

Ano hon ga hoshii desu.

あの ほん が ほしい です。

あの 本 が 欲しい です。

Let’s learn how to say “I want to go to ~”

Let’s try something a little harder… Are you ready? 

When you visit Japan, I am sure you want to visit everywhere you have long been dreaming of. If you want to indicate where you want to go, you want to say like this below. 

Let’s say “I want to go to Mt. Fuji” first!

Fujisan ni ikitai desu. (In Japanese, the particle “to” is “ni.”) 

ふじさん に いきたい です。

富士山 に 行きたい です。

In Japanese, we indicate where we want to go first. Thus, you simply need to change the location you want to go by replacing “Mt. Fuji” to somewhere else you want to go. Why don’t we replace it with “Tokyo Disneyland?” 

Tokyo Disneyland ni ikitai desu. 

とうきょう ディズニーランド に いきたい です。

東京 ディズニーランド に 行きたい です。

*In Japanese, we do not need to put a subject like “I” all the time. If you decide to include “I” it is not wrong, but we know from the conversation that the subject is “watashi” so we can omit it. 

photo of castle during daytime

Ru-verb using want to

When you want to use an expression “I want to ~” using a verb is a little more complex. It is because depending on the type of verb, it conjugates differently. Let’s look at a possible scenario when you want to eat miso ramen in Japan while being on a photography tour of Japan! 

Miso ramen wo tabetai desu. 

みそラーメン を たべたい です。

味噌ラーメン を 食べたい です。

Here, the verb we are using is “to eat = taberu.” It belongs to a “ru-verb” and when you want to use “want to = ~tai,” you drop off “ru” and add “tai” to the end of a verb. Below are a few examples of ru-verbs and how to conjugate. 

Ru -verb (Drop “ru” add “tai”) 

Taberu Tabetai   たべたい
Shiraberu Shirabetai しらべ  しらべたい 
Tsukuru Tsukuritai つく つくりたい
Oshieru Oshietai おしえ おしえたい
Miru Mitaiたい

It’s a lot to learn how to conjugate verbs in Japanese all at once so let’s just stick to “ru-verb” for now and learn more verbs and how to conjugate in the next lesson. 

Before we conclude, here is another example of ru-verb with “to see = miru.” 

I want to see Mt. Fuji. 

Fujisan ga mitai desu. 

ふじさん が みたい です。

富士山 が 見たい です。

pasta dish

Are you now comfortable to express what you want and what you want to do? This lesson is probably more complex than the previous ones, but don’t worry! Since verb conjugation is challenging, we will continue with how to express when you want to do something with different verbs in the following lessons. Also, there are a lot of verbs to learn so I hope you can play with the ru-verbs I introduced to you today. Let’s pretend as if you are on a photography tour of Japan with your friends and family and use “ru-verbs.” You are now one step closer to travel to Japan with more knowledge of Japanese! 

Yaya’s Life in Japan

May 03 | Evan | Comments Off on Yaya’s Life in Japan |

A glimpse of everyday life in Japan

There is a new YouTube channel in town! Well, this is a new YouTube channel created by Japan Photo Guide’s friend in Japan. She is a photographer so despite it’s new for her to do videography, the videos are beautiful. The angles, subjects, and lighting, you can tell that a photographer worked on it. 

Anyways, this new YouTube channel is called “Yaya’s Life in Japan.” It captures everyday life in Japan, which might be nothing special nor spectacular to Japanese people, but for those who are dying to travel back to Japan or hoping to finally make it to your dream land, Japan, it’s fascinating. You get to see the glimpse of Japanese people’s daily lives on this channel as well as you can learn Japanese words and cultures. 

Yes, watching this channel will definitely be useful for you to prepare for your photo tour of Japan when international traveling resumes, but it’s simply entertaining and educational if you want to learn more about everyday Japan! 

“Enjoy SOBA Lunch” 

Are you a big Japanese food fan? If so, have you heard of soba? Soba is Japanese noodle, which is made from buckwheat. Many people probably know ramen, but if you are health conscious, you definitely want to try soba because it’s as great as the whole wheat spaghetti, much healthier than ramen. If you do not believe it, below is the list of nutritious facts about soba. 

  • Less carb than regular pasta 
  • High in fiber 
  • High in protein and low in fat 
  • Good source of Vitamin B1
  • Good course of manganese (which supports bone health, glucose metabolism, wound healing & support nervous system) 
  • Helps cardiovascular health 
  • Control blood sugar 
  • Free of gluten 
  • Prebiotic 
  • Other minerals (zinc, magnesium, & iron etc.) 

Do I have your attention now? If you are trying something new and are trying to better your health, choose soba over ramen when you are in a Japanese/Asian store next time! Also, are you curious to find out about how to eat soba? Well, take a look at “Enjoy SOBA lunch” from Yaya’s Life in Japan. 

Interview with Yaya, the creator of “Yaya’s Life in Japan” 

I was fortunate to interview Yaya, the creator of the new YouTube channel to learn more about “Yaya’s Life in Japan.” Let’s learn how this YouTube channel came to life. 

Q: What is the reason behind creating this YouTube channel? 

Yaya: There are 3 reasons why I started my channel. 

  1. I wanted my international friends to learn more about Japan. 
  2. I wanted my Japanese friends who live abroad to feel closer to Japan through my videos. 
  3. As a photographer, I have always wanted to try videography. 

Q: Your YouTube videos are beautiful. Is videography new to you? 

Yaya: Yes, I am a photographer, but I am completely new to videography. I have a desire to learn so through doing YouTube, I hope to polish my skill as a videographer. 

Q: How are you choosing your themes? 

Yaya: I am focused on “real life.” I don’t go anywhere special just because I am shooting for YouTube, but instead, I think of my friends’ faces and if anything comes up to my mind that I want to share with them, that is what I create. 

Q: What quality do you value when creating your videos? 

Yaya: I am not too keen on loud and busy so instead, I want the viewers to enjoy the videos without effort. If you can enjoy my videos and feel relaxed, that makes me happy. 

Q: Are there any videos you particularly want this blog reader to check it out? 

Yaya: Yes, the one with cherry blossoms at a local temple, Ikegami Honmouji is my recommendation. I am also going to upload kaitenzushi (converter belt sushi) one soon so if you enjoy sushi and/or Japanese food, please take a look at that one too! 

What do you notice by watching “Yaya’s Life in Japan?” If you have never been to Japan, everything is probably new to you, but if you have been to Japan, have you noticed anything new? In the pandemic era, we are all travel deprived. We are all on the same boat about missing traveling, missing the photo tour of Japan. You can’t yet go traveling to Japan freely, but by watching this channel, I hope you get inspired to learn about Japan as well as inspired to photograph and be more motivated to travel to Japan hopefully in near future

Learn Japanese Today

May 01 | Evan | No Comments |

 

Learn how to make possessive sentences in Japanese! 

In the last “Learn Japanese Today,” you learned how to say “this” and “that” in Japanese. In this article, let’s expand your Japanese even further to learn how to make a possessive sentence using this and that in Japanese. This will certainly be beneficial on your Japan photo tour next year! Sounds exciting? Let’s begin!! 

This dog is Pochi! 

You all know how to say “This is ….” in Japanese now. What if you want to be more informative in Japanese sentences. Below is an example using possessive, “no

This dog is Pochi. 

Kono inu ha pochi desu. (*In Japanese, you write “ha,” but pronunciate “wa.”)

いぬ は ポチ です。

犬 は ポチ です。

When you want to make a possessive “this,” you add “no” and subtract “re” from kore to make “kono.” Here you are providing the dog’s name. 

Let’s do another example using “This dog is…”: 

This dog is a Shiba inu.

Kono inu ha shiba inu desu. 

いぬ は しばいぬ です。

犬 は 柴犬 です。

As well as explaining the name of this dog, in this example, you can describe a type of dog, which is Shiba Inu. By the way, in Japan, as well as Shiba inu, you will hear Shiba ken for the same dog type.  

shiba inu dogs wearing party hats

Interesting fact

Pochi is a well-recognized dog name in Japan, but in more recent years, following names are gaining popularity as dog names in Japan: Maron, Leon, Coco, and Moka to name a few. As for cats, Tama is an equivalent of Pochi, but in more recent years, following names are gaining popularity as cat names in Japan: Mugi, Momo, Hime, Chachamaru to name a few. So when you are in Japan on your photography tour of Japan, pay attention to dogs and cats names. Maybe you can find a new trend in Japan’s pet names? 

“I am Lisa.” and “My name is Lisa.” 

So using possessive, “no” let’s try another one. To introduce yourself, you can do below. Let’s pretend that you are Lisa. 

I am Lisa. 

Watashi ha Lisa desu. 

わたし は りさ です。

私 は 理紗 です。

AND 

My name is Lisa. 

Watashi no namae ha Lisa desu. 

わたし なまえ は りさ です。

名前 は 理紗 です。

To introduce yourself in Japanese, you can use the “watashi wa… desu” form with your name at the … spot. This is simple and totally makes sense in Japanese, but you can also use the example above with the possessive tense using “no.” Even with simple sentences like these, Japanese would always appreciate it if you try using their language so don’t be shy, but try your best to introduce yourself when you meet new people on Japan Photo Guide’s photo tour of Japan! 

Additionally, when you want to say “That is mine” in Japanese, you can do below using “no.” 

That is mine. 

Are ha watashi no desu.

あれ は わたし です。

あれ は 私 です。

As you know “kore” “sore” and “are” in Japanese, depending on the location of the object you are talking about, make sure you use the right one. Furthermore, if you replace “watashi” to “Lisa” in the above sentence, you can say “That is Lisa’s” in Japanese. 

Are ha Lisa no desu. 

あれ は りさ です。

Finally… 

Learning about the possessive “no” gives you more freedom to play with Japanese. You may not have a lot of Japanese knowledge, but by 3 lessons we have had so far, you can say simple sentences to navigate yourself to have a small conversation with Japanese people on the Japan photo tour. If you also know more variety of Japanese nouns, you can also use the above structures to figure out how to say “That is my dog.,” “This is your cat.,” and “That is Lisa’s horse.” etc. 

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