Grammar Info

N3 Lesson 9: 2/22


Formal Conjunctive

Used primarily in written language


Verb[ます+ Phrase
[い]Adjective[+ Phrase


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About 連用形

In Japanese, the conjunctive form is often called 'the ます form', or 'the conjunctive form'. 'The conjunctive form' is much more accurate, as it is used with more than just verbs. Basically, the conjunctive form is the form of any word that will be used in standard conjugation with other structures. For い-Adjectives, this is the form that uses く, for verbs, the ます stem.
The reason that conjunctive form is sometimes referred to as 'the formal conjunctive' is due to its use before a comma. Usually, the conjunction particle て would be used to separate clauses in sentences, however, the formal conjunctive allows this to be done without て. Let's look at some examples.
  • 飛行機(ひこうき)エンジン爆発(ばくはつ)(うみ)墜落(ついらく)した。
    The engine of the airplane exploded, (and) it crashed into the ocean.
  • 朝食(ちょうしょく)()()かける準備(じゅんび)てください
    Eat your breakfast, (and) please get ready to go out.
  • 北海道(ほっかいどう)(さむ)景色(けしき)綺麗(きれい)
    Hokkaido is cold, (and) the scenery is pretty.
  • 学校(がっこう)(たの)色々(いろいろ)(まな)べるので学校(がっこう)()です
    School is fun, (and) I can learn various things so I like it.
As we can see, although て is not required, a 読点(とうてん) (Japanese comma) will be required to prevent the sentence from becoming confusing.
This type of conjugation is seen primarily in formal writing, and the standard て form will be heard much more frequently in daily speech.




    The wind blew, a demon appeared.


    Memorizing the book, I then set my sights on the test.


    I messed up my speech (and), without thinking, let out a sigh.


    Narrator: 'Ronald stopped at the red light and waited calmly for the signal change while manually setting his wristwatch. Little did he know that this seemingly simple act would lead to his death only a week later.'
    Ronald: 'What? What did you say?'


    I showed up late, (and) was scolded by my boss.

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連用形 – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (9 in total)

  • mrthuvi


    It’s in the text I came across in a JLPT reading book.

  • ljoekelsoey


    It might not be required as " 母乳を求め母を呼ぶ" is not a separate clause in this case. I had a wee thought as well where you wouldn’t use a comma with the informal conjunctive


    You’d stick a comma after 行って as it is separating the clauses, but you wouldn’t stick a comma after 買って as they’re the same clause. I wonder if your 母乳 sentence would fall into this category.

    Asked my wife (she’s a native speaker and wives are usually right anyway). She’s not sure that it is absolutely required, however its unusual to not have a comma, and in this sentence it doesn’t have any 違和感. Adding in the commas is apparently very common in business Japanese as its seen as making the sentence easier to read and therefore is considerate and polite which is pretty much essential in Japanese.

    A penny for your thoughts @mrnoone or @pushindawood

  • Daru


    Commas are usually added in for pause to make things easier to understand, and to avoid misunderstandings. You can read more about this here:

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