N5 Lesson 6: 10/13
Verb (non-past) Verb (non-past) Verb (non-past)
Structure
Casual
Formal
Examples:
食べ
Examples:
食べます
洗います
Details
Register Casual
使用域 タメ語
Information
In Japanese, the non-past form of verbs is identical to the dictionary form/casual form. Unlike English, this form of verbs is able to be used in several cases where conjugation/different constructions would be required in English.
  • 嫁(よめ)毎晩(まいばん)映画(えいが)見(み)ます
    My wife watches a movie every night.
  • 俺(おれ)明日(あした)昼(ひる)ピザ食(たべ)べます
    I will eat pizza tomorrow during lunch.
  • 子供(こども)遊(あそ)ぶVerbs
    Kids play.
In these examples, we can see the three forms of English verbs that are covered by the single non-past form of Japanese verbs. These are verbs ending with -s (sees, hears, goes), verbs requiring will (will see, will hear, will go), and verbs that do not require conjugation (see, hear, go).
Due to this one form of verbs covering several different nuances, it is often important to use expressions of time in the sentence, so that the meaning becomes clear.
  • テイラー毎朝(まいばん)走(はし)
    Taylor runs every morning.
  • カホ8時(じ)寝(ね)
    Kaho will sleep at 8 p.m.
If there is no word distinguishing ‘time’ in the sentence, the nuance will be that of stating a general fact about something that is true at any time.
  • 赤(あか)ちゃん泣(な)きます
    Babies cry.
From all of these examples, we can see that the non-past form can be thought of as expressing one of three basic ideas. General facts, habits, or future events.
Caution: In books, the non-past form will regularly be used for events that are happening ‘in the moment’, but without any time word being used. In these cases it is usually obvious from context that it is happening then and there.
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たなかさん毎週(まいしゅう)車(くるま)洗(あら)
たなかさん毎週(まいしゅう)車(くるま)洗(あら)います
Tanaka-san washes the car every week. (habit)
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