Grammar Info

N5 Lesson 2: 8/12

う-Verb (Negative)

Will/Does/Do (not)


(すわ) + ない
(うた) + ない
(ある) + ない
(はな) + ない
() + ない
() + ない
() + ない
(やす) + ない
(およ) + ない

ある → ない


  • Part of Speech


  • Word Type

    Auxiliary Verb

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About う-Verb (Negative)

The negative form of う-Verbs are conjugated based on the same set of rules used for other forms of う-Verb conjugation (changing the last kana, followed by the addition of something else). In the case of negation, the additional component will be ない (casual), or ません (polite).

As can be seen here, the kana change differs depending on whether ない or ません is being used. If ない will be used, the last kana will always change from the kana ending with a う sound, to the kana ending with an あ sound within the same row. If ません will be used, the change will be from the う sound kana to the い sound kana. The only exception to this rule are verbs that end in the kana う. Instead of changing to あ (the あ sound kana in the same row), う will become わ, when used with ない.

While the common translation of ない and ません is simply 'not', they actually have several possible nuances. These nuances are 'don't' (usually not), 'won't' (intentionally not), or 'can't' (unintentionally not).

Both ない and ません are auxiliary verbs (ません is a conjugation of ます), meaning that they have their own set of conjugation rules.


The ない attached to make the negative form of adjectives is a different word, and therefore follows different conjugation rules. The ない attached to adjectives is an い-Adjective itself, and not an auxiliary verb.




    I don't have money.


    I won't have a car.


    Trees do not walk.


    Tommy does not talk.


    to not hit a ball

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う-Verb (Negative) – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (3 in total)

  • Angry_Bee


    For crying out loud, stop using verbs that end with る when you’re quizzing for う-verbs. Unless I missed a lesson for memorizing う-verbs that end with る, it feels like some cheap ‘gotcha!’ or trick question.
    Also, the explanation for identifying verbs ending withる that are う-verbs is completely unhelpful in terms of lesosns (“These verbs can be identified by the る changing, rather than being removed when conjugated”). That’s nice, but until I actually conjugate the verb, I won’t know if it’s a る-verb or not. And then I failed the test.

  • Daru


    Hey there! Thanks for reaching out.

    Remember that in essence, verbs will always fall into one of three categories:

    • Godan (Also known as う-verbs, one-step or Group 1 Verbs)
    • Ichidan (Also known as る-verbs, five-step or Group 2 Verbs)
    • Special verbs (くる and する, or Group 3 Verbs)

    This is a fundamental part of Japanese, so it’s super useful to have a solid grasp of it.

    Ichidan and godan る-ending verbs can be tricky to differentiate from one another, I can totally see where your frustration comes from. I’ve listed some resources here for you to help you out!

    In the off-chance that you skipped those lessons (we don’t teach ない・ません without teaching the base lesson first), here they are:

    • う - Verbs[う・ます] - Japanese Grammar Explained | Bunpro
  • KanjiCollector


    That video was super helpful!

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