Grammar Info

N5 Lesson 4: 8/13

う-Verb (Past)

う - Verbs (Past tense)

Structure

Examples:
(すわ) + った
(うた) + った
() + った

(ある) + いた
(およ) + いだ

() + んだ
() + んだ
(やす) + んだ

(はな) + した

Exceptions:
()く → ()った
するした
くるきた
()う → ()うた
()う → ()うた

Details

  • Part of Speech

    Verb

  • Word Type

    Auxiliary Verb

  • Register

    Standard

  • 品詞

    動詞

  • 単語の種類

    助動詞

  • 使用域

    一般

About う-Verb (Past)

To make the past form of a う-Verb in Japanese, just like all other conjugations of う-Verbs, you will need to change the last kana, before adding the auxiliary verb た (casual), or ました (polite). This change in kana is a bit different to other conjugations of う-Verbs, so let's take a look at them for the casual form.

As can be seen in these examples, the changes consist of った, いた, いだ, んだ, した (the same as the changes for て form, but using た instead). For the conjugations using だ in place of た, this is simply a sound change in the language that happened over the course of history, to make words easier/smoother to say. It is not the auxiliary verb .

For the polite past form of う-Verbs, the change in sound is far more consistent. This only requires a change from the う sound, to the い sound within the same column (from う to い, or from く to き, for example).

When た is added to verbs (or any other word), it can have one of three possible meanings.

Past: 過去(かこ) - Happened at some point in the past. (Did/Was)

Completion: 完了(かんりょう) - An action that has finished 'happening'. (Done)

Continuation: 存続(そんぞく) - A new state of something that is continuing. (Has been done)

Caution

With う-Verbs, there are a few verbs that are exceptions to the regular conjugation rules. Please check the structure guide for these.

Examples

--:--

  • 昨日(きのう)(ほん)()んだ
    昨日(きのう)(ほん)()みました

    I read a book yesterday.

    • 牛乳(ぎゅうにゅう)()んだ
      牛乳(ぎゅうにゅう)()みました

      I drank milk.

      • ロンドン()んだ
        ロンドン()びました

        I flew to London.

        • (わたし)たちチーム()った
          (わたし)たちチーム()ました

          Our team won!

          • メアリー日本(にほん)(かえ)った
            メアリー日本(にほん)(かえ)りました

            Mary returned to Japan.

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            う-Verb (Past) – Grammar Discussion

            Most Recent Replies (18 in total)

            • Tjack102

              Tjack102

              for this question: 彼は学校へ行った。彼は学校へ行きました。

              the correct answer is: いった but it says my answer is wrong. the only way that it’ll accept my answer is if i copy/paste った and add い. am i missing something here? annoying af

            • MikkaT

              MikkaT

              I’m using hints so I have no problem, but out of curiousity.

              Is there actually a way to know that the past is requested just by looking at the sentence?

              大学にカフェが________。[ある]

            • IcyIceBear

              IcyIceBear

              Nope. None whatsoever from that sentence.

              Unless the sentence references some event in the past, like “yesterday, before, when I attended college” you usually won’t know it’s past tense until the end, without having any context from earlier conversation

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