Learn Japanese rapidly! You know by now that to speak Japanese correctly, you have to know the conjugations of the te form front and back. Whether you want to say, “May I take a picture?” or “You cannot come in right now,” the Japanese te form is a must. It can seem a bit tricky, but all you need is practice. That’s why this Beginner Japanese article is so important. Not only does it delve into the all-important Japanese words such as aruite (“on foot”), you’ll also find an indispensable review of the Japanese te form. Packed full of easy-to-read charts, you’ll be a master of the Japanese te form once you’re done with this article!

Vocabulary: In this article, you’ll learn the following words and phrases:

shuppatsu – “departure”

atsumaru – “to gather” (class 1 verb)

chizu – “map”

mae – “front, before”

dejikame – “digital camera”

robii – “lobby, lounge”

Itterasshai. – “See you then!” / “Have a nice day!” / “Go and come back.” (literal)

Ki o tsukeru – “to be careful”

yobu – “to call” (class 1)

oshieru – “to teach, to tell” (class 2 verb)

matsu – “to wait” (class 1 verb)

tsukau – “to use” (class 1 verb)

Grammar: In this article, you’ll learn the following words and phrases:

Useful Vocabulary and Phrases

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Eki made aruite ni-fun gurai desu.

“It takes two minutes to get to the station on foot.”

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Aruite is the –te form of the verb aruku and we can translate it as “on foot.” Aruki de and toho de, which you learned in article 2, can replace aruite in this sentence.

  • Maiasa, watashi wa gakkoo ni aruite ikimasu.

    “I walk to school every morning.”

    Literal translation: “I walk and go to school every morning.”

 

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Aruite, Aruki de, Toho de

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  1. Aruite ikimasu.
  2. Aruki de ikimasu.
  3. Toho de ikimasu. (sounds formal)

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chizu no mi kata – “the way to look at the map, how to read the map”

dejikame no tsukai kata“how to use a digital camera”

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Kata means “the way” and we use it as a suffix in this article. Please review its usage below.

Conjugation:

(masu stem of a verb) + kata = “the way to…” / “how to…”

“English” / Dictionary form / Masu form / Masu stem / How to…

“to use” / tsukau / tsukaimasu / tsukai / tsukai kata

“to look” / miru / mimasu / mi / mi kata

“to think” / kangaeru / kangaemasu / kangae / kangae kata

“to do” / suru / shimasu / shi / shi kata

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Usage

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Notice that we mark the noun before the verb with the particle no.

  1. dejikame o tsukau. – “to use a digital camera”

    Becomes

    dejikame no tsukaikata. – “how to use a digital camera”

  2. chizu o miru – “to look at a map”

    Becomes

    chizu no mikata – “how to look at a map”

  3. eki ni iku – “to go to the station”

    Becomes

    eki no ikikata – “how to get to the station”

 

For Example:

  1. Kono kanji no yomikata o oshiete kudasai.

    “Can you tell me how to read this Chinese character?”
     

  2. Sumimasen. hase-dera ni ikitai desu. Ikikata o oshietekudasai.

    “Excuse me. I want to go to the Hasedera temple. Can you tell me how to get there?”

 

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Grammar Review

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In this article, we are going to review verb conjugations of the –te form.

For Example:

  1. “Please hold on a minute.”
    Formal: Chotto matte kudasai.

    Informal: Chotto matte.

 

How to make the te -form of a verb:

See Nihongo Doojoo Beginner series season 4: Meet the Parents Articles 9, 10, 11 and 12.

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Verb Conjugation

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Class 1 Verbs:

Rule / Example

-ku ending verbs become -ite / ka ku becomes ka ite

-gu ending verbs become -ide / oyo gu becomes oyo ide

-mu, -bu, -nu ending verbs become -nde / no mu becomes no nde

-u -tsu -ru ending verbs become -tte / to rubecomes to tte

-su ending verbs become -shite / hana su becomes hana shite

Class 2 Verbs:

Rule / Example

-ru ending verbs become -te / tabe ru becomes tabe te

Class 3 Verbs:

Rule / Example

“to do” / suru becomes shite

“to come” / kuru becomes kite

Exception:

Rule / Example

“to go” / iku becomes itte

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Practice Fill in the blanks to complete the chart.

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“English” / Dictionary Form / Negative Form / Masu Form / Te Form

“to meet” / au / __ / aimasu / __

“to listen” / kiku / kikanai / __ / __

“to wait” / __ / __ / machimasu / matte

“to die” / shinu / __ / __ / shinde

“to play” / __ / asobanaii / __ / __

“to rest” / __ / yasumanai / yasumimasu / __

“to cut” / kiru / __ / kirimasu / __

“to sleep” / neru / __ / nemasu / __

“to wear” / kiru / __ / kimasu / __

“to do” / suru / __ / __ / __

“to come” / kuru / __ / kimasu / __

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Usage of Te Form

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  • (te form of a verb) + kudasai. – “Please ___ “

    For more information see Nihongo Doojoo Beginner series season 4 Meet the Parents: Articles 9, 10, 11, and 12.

For Example:

  1. Yasunde kudasai.

    “Please have a break.”

  2. Mite kudasai.

    “Please look.”

  3. Kite kudasai.

    “Please come.”

  4. Shashin o totte kudasai.

    “Please take a picture.”

 

  • (te form of a verb) + imasu / iru “___ing

    For more information see Nihongo Doojoo Beginner series season 4 Meet the Parents: Articles 13 and 14.

For Example:

  1. Gaido wa hanashite imasu.

    “The tour guide is talking.”

  2. Shashin o totte imasu.

    “The tour guide is taking photos.”

 

  • (te form of a verb) + mo ii desu ka. – “Can I ___?” / “May I ___?”

    For more information see Nihongo Doojoo Beginner series season 4 Meet the Parents: Article 15

For Example:

  1. Haittemo ii desu ka.

    “May I come in?”

  2. Shashin o ttee mo ii desu ka.

    “May I take a picture?”

 

  • (te form of a verb) + wa ikemasen. – “You cannot ___ ” / “You shouldn’t ___ “

    For more information see Nihongo Doojoo Beginner series season 4 Meet the Parents: Article 15

For Example:

  1. Shashin o totte wa ikemasen.

    “You cannot take a picture.”

 

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Review

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What would you say in the following situations? Try to use the grammar we introduced and reviewed in this article.

  1. You are at a shrine. You would like to ask if it is all right to take a picture. (You’d probably like to start the conversation with, “Excuse me…”)
  2. You want someone to take a picture of you.
  3. You would like to go to the Narita Airport but you don’t know how to get there.

Source

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