Verb Groups

Japanese verbs conjugate, and sentences with various meanings can be formed by adding various phrases to the conjugated forms of the verbs. Verbs are classified into three groups depending on how they are conjugated.

Group 1 Verbs

In all verbs of this group, the last sound of the ます-form is from the い-column of the syllabary chart, e.g. かます (write), のます (drink).

Group 2 Verbs

In most verbs of this group, the last sound of the ます-form is from the え-column, e.g. たます (eat), みます (show), but in some verbs, it is a sound from the い-column, e.g. ます (see). If a verb only has one character before the ます, it falls into this group as well.

Group 3 Verbs

Verbs of this group include します and “action-denoting noun + します”, as well as きます.

Verb て-form

The verb form that ends with て or で is called the て-form. The method by which the て-form is created from the ます-form depends on the group to which the verb belongs.

Group 1 Verbs

  1. When the last sound of the ます-form is い、ち or り, the last sound is dropped and って is attached. e.g. かいます (buy) becomes かって, まちます (wait) becomes まって, かえります (return home) becomes かえって.
  2. When the last sound of the ます-form is み、び or に, the last sound is dropped and んで is attached. e.g. のみます (drink) becomes のんで,
よびます (call) becomes よんで, しにます (die) becomes しんで.
  3. When the last sound of the ます-form is き or ぎ, the last sound is dropped and いて or いで respectively is attached. e.g. かきます (write) becomes
かいて, いそぎます (hurry) becomes いそいで.
  4. When the last sound of the ます-form is し, て is added to the ます-form. e.g. かします (lend) becomes かして.

Group 2 Verbs

て is added to the ます-form. e.g. たべます (eat) becomes たべて.

Group 3 Verbs

て is added to the ます-form. e.g. きます (come) becomes きて.

Verb て-form ください

This sentence pattern is used to tell, request or invite the listener to do something. However, it is not a very polite way of asking someone to do something, so it is often used together with the expression すみませんが.


  1. すみませんが、この かんじ を おしえって ください。Please teach me this Kanji. (Requesting)
  2. ペン で なまえ を かいて ください。Please write your name in pen. (Telling)
  3. どうぞ たくさん たべて ください。Please eat as much as you want. (Inviting)

Verb て-form います

This sentence pattern indicates that a certain action or motion is in progress.


  1. あきさん は いま すし を たべて います。Aki is eating sushi now.
  2. いま、あめ が ふっています。It is raining now.

Verb て-form も いいですか

This sentence pattern is used for asking permission to do something.


  1. しゃしん を とって もいいですか。May I take a photo?
  2. ここ で たばこ を すって もいいですか。May I smoke here?

Verb て-form は いけません

This sentence pattern is used to express prohibition.


  1. ここ で たばこ を すって は いけません。(You must not smoke here.)


Kyoto makes the travel itineraries of visitors to Japan because of its perfectly preserved shrines, temples and machiya (traditional wooden townhouses) – still standing thanks to a merciful lack of major earthquakes and a decision by the US during WWII not to bomb the city. But this is no timeworn relic living off the legacy of its Heian-era greatness. In the 1960s, Kyotoites came to accept that their city, with its historical treasures, including 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, had to change if it were to remain a dynamic urban centre. Many areas have been sympathetically renovated, with the insertion of hotels, art galleries and retail spaces, and today the city that brought the world the refined art of the tea ceremony and the classical theatre forms noh and kabuki is just as famous for being the birthplace of Kyocera, Daihatsu and Nintendo, and the location of the signing of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on climate change.

Restored, renewed and boasting young creatives and rising stars such as artists Kohei Nawa and Ryota Yagi, designer Masaki Tokuda and architectural firm Eastern Design Office, the former capital is again taking a key role in the shaping of tomorrow’s Japan. Since the samurai battles of the 15th century, Kyoto has avoided confrontation by preserving the old and tolerating the new, which is what makes it such an alluring destination. Soak up its ancient history, but also witness the modernity that brought the world two pixelated Italian plumbers called the Super Mario Brothers.


For a brief moment in time, twice actually, Osaka was the capital of Japan. With over a thousand years to loosen its belt and forget the importance of being the capital, Osaka has transformed. You could say it has moved on, grown, developed, matured and even regressed. While Osaka does not attract tourists like its culturally disciplined neighbour; Kyoto with its temples, kimono clad beauties and elegance, Osaka grabs you with the smell of great food, playful people and backstreets that still hold the secrets of the past.