Japanese: Conjugation made easy

This article is a part of a series on Japanese.

Japanese verbs typically end in a う form. Most of Japanese conjugation works as follows: by changing the ending sound, you can add a helper verb or adjective to change the meaning of the verb.
For 五段 verbs, you simply modify the final syllable, like in 買う → 買い. It’s because there are five possible sound endings that they are called as such by the way!
For 一段 verbs, you remove the る syllable (and you might have to add a slight variation depending on the helper word).

  • ます : formal version of the verb
  • たい : means “to want”.
  • noun : converts the verb into a noun describing an action
  • そう : means “to look like”

  • ない : negation
  • れる / られる : receptive
  • せる / させる : causative

  • る / られる : potential

  • う / よう : volitional