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Useful Japanese Verbs

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There are two kinds of verbs in Japanese, (1) the be-verbs, "da" or "desu", and (2) common verbs ending with the "~ u" sound.

As for the be-verbs (is, are, am), "da" is used for the informal present tense and "desu" is for the formal present tense. There is no grammatical subject-verb agreement in Japanese. "Da" is used for the present tense of the to be-verb (is, are, am) regardless of the person and number of the subject. For example, it is used in all of the following three situations like, "I am a student (Watashi wa gakusei da)", "He is a student (Kare wa gakusei da)" and "We are students (Watashitachi wa gakusei da)".

Beside the be-verbs, all other verbs in Japanese end with the vowel "~ u". Japanese verbs conjugate according to the suffixes that is attached to the verb stem. Verb endings are changed to indicate past tense, negation, passive and causative mood.

The rules for conjugation in Japanese verbs are simpler compared to some languages, such as English or French. The conjugation patterns are not affected by gender, person (such as the first ~, second ~, and third person), or the number (singular and plural).

Here is a list of the basic Japanese verbs and their pronunciation. I focus on the non-past tense in my list. It is the plain form that is used in informal situations. It is also the form listed in dictionaries . It is equivalent to both future and past tense in English.

(there) is; be; have
aru
ある

be (for living things)
iru
いる

do; make
suru
する

do; perform
okonau
行う

make; manufacture
tsukuru
作る

be possible; ready; good at
dekiru
できる

begin
hajimaru
始まる

raise
okosu
起こす

continue
tsuzuku
続く

repeat
kurikaesu
繰り返す

stop
tomaru
止まる

give up
yameru
やめる

omit
habuku
省く

finish
owaru
終わる

end
sumu
済む

advance; progress
susumu
進む

be late
okureru
遅れる

increase
fueru
増える

decrease
heru
減る

be left over; have spare
amaru
余る

remain
nokoru
残る

suffice
tariru
足りる

lack; be short of
kakeru
欠ける

cross
kosu
越す

go
iku
行く

come
kuru
来る

go out
deru
出る

enter
hairu
入る

take out
dasu
出す

put in
ireru
入れる

return; come back
kaeru
帰る

ask
tazuneru
たずねる

answer
kotaeru
答える

mention
noberu
述べる

make noise
sawagu
騒ぐ

shine
hikaru
光る

stand out
medatsu
目立つ

appear
arawareru
現れる

open
akeru
開ける

close
shimeru
閉める

give
ageru
あげる

receive
morau
もらう

take
toru
取る

catch
tsukamaeru
捕まえる

get
eru
得る

lose
ushinau
失う

look for
sagasu
探す

find
mitsukeru
見つける

pick up
hirou
拾う

throw away
suteru
捨てる

drop
ochiru
落ちる

use
tsukau
使う

handle, treat
atsukau
扱う

carry
hakobu
運ぶ

hand over
watasu
渡す

deliver
kubaru
配る

return
kaesu
返す

approach
yoru
寄る

cross
wataru
渡る

pass
tooru
通る

hurry
isogu
急ぐ

run away
nigeru
逃げる

chase
ou
追う

hide
kakureru
隠れる

lose one's way
mayou
迷う

wait
matsu
待つ

move
utsuru
移る

turn; face
muku
向く

rise
agaru
上がる

go down
sagaru
下がる

incline; lean
katamuku
傾く

shake; sway
yureru
揺れる

fall down
taoreru
倒れる

hit
ataru
当たる

collide
butsukaru
ぶつかる

separate from; leave
hanareru
離れる

meet
au
会う

run into; meet by chance
deau
出会う

welcome
mukaeru
迎える

send off
miokuru
見送る

take with; accompany
tsureteiku
連れて行く

call; send for
yobu
呼ぶ

pay; supply; put back
osameru
納める

put; leave
oku
置く

line up; queue
narabu
並ぶ

settle; tidy up
matomeru
まとめる

collect
atsumaru
集まる

divide
wakeru
分ける

disperse
chiru
散る

be disordered
midareru
乱れる

be rough; stormy
areru
荒れる

extend
hirogaru
広がる

spread
hiromaru
広まる

swell; inflate
fukuramu
ふくらむ

attach; turn on
tsuku
付く

go out; put out; erase
kieru
消える

pile up; load
tsumu
積む

pile up
kasaneru
重ねる

press down; suppress
osaeru
押える

place (thing) between
hasamu
はさむ

stick; paste on
haru
貼る

put together
awaseru
合わせる

bend
magaru
曲がる

break; snap
oru
折る

be torn; tear
yabureru
破れる

break; destroy
kowareru
壊れる

get well; correct
naoru
直る

tie
musubu
結ぶ

bind; tie
shibaru
縛る

wind; coil
maku
巻く

surround
kakomu
囲む

turn; rotate
mawaru
回る

hang
kakeru
掛ける

decorate
kazaru
飾る

take out; outstrip
nuku
抜く

be disconnected; come off
hazureru
はずれる

become slack; loosen
yurumu
ゆるむ

leak
moreru
もれる

dry
hosu
干す

be soaked
hitasu
浸す

mix
majiru
混じる

extend; stretch
nobiru
伸びる

shrink; shorten
chijimu
縮む

include; contain
fukumu
含む

want; need
iru
いる

ask for; want
motomeru
求める

show; indicate
shimesu
示す

examine; investigate
shiraberu
調べる

make sure
tashikameru
確かめる

recognize; approve
mitomeru
認める

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