First, Te form in Japanese verb conjugation is one of the most important part of Japanese study and is the first barrier for beginner learners. By learning it and being able to operationalize it, you will be able to use many expressions.
Today I will show you how to make Te form and introduce some important expressions used with Te form at the beginner level.
Table of contents
Convert to Te form in Japanese verb, how?
Anyway Japanese verb conjugations are first grouped, then the rules for each group are applied.
Step1. Divide verbs into groups
We can divide Japanese verbs into 3 groups. If you are not yet confident in your grouping, check out this article first to see how to group them.
|U verbs / GroupⅠ||Ru verbs / Group Ⅱ||Irregular verb / Group Ⅲ|
|のむ : drink||たべる : eat||する : do|
|あう : meet||おきる : get up||くる : come|
|きく : listen||ねる : sleep|
|およぐ : swim||みる : watch|
Step2. Convert to Te form
Next, I will present them in a simple order how to conver to Te form. Let’s look at Group II (Ru verbs), III (Irregular verbs), and finally Group I (U verbs).
Ru-verbs / GroupⅡ
たべ“る” remove, add “て”.
る→ たべ て
Ru-verbs / GroupⅡ is always easy ! Say goodbye to ”Ru” and add “Te”.
Irregular verbs / Group Ⅲ
する → し てLet’s memorize.
くる → きてLet’s memorize.
Irregular verbs / Group III has only two verbs. Memorize it by rote.
U-verbs / Group Ⅰ
The problem is the U verb/Group I. The conversion depends on the last letter. For example,
あう → あってIf the last letter is “う”, then “う” changes to “って”.
There are 6 patterns. This is faster if you look at the table, so please check this table. Also,you can download PDF too.
Te form in Japanese verb chart
※if you want to download the table from Masu form to Te form. Please download from here.
How to practice Te form?
Step1. Proper understanding of rules
Surely,it seems obvious, doesn’t it? However, when different conjugations are introduced in the future, different rules will be used and many new verbs will be introduced. Therefore, it is important to firmly input “this is the rule for Te form”.
Step2. Repeat until you can answer reflexively
In the beginning, You will think…”Which group is this verb?” ,and then if it is Group I, You will remind that “What is the letter before Masu…..?”.It is the right process. However, when it comes to real conversation, there is no time to think about it. You need to respond reflexively, i.e., within 1-2 seconds.
Definitely, if you want to be able to speak, this time lag can be a problem. So, for this kind of conjugate memorization, use flashcards. The recommended app is Anki. If you haven’t used it yet, please also read this article.
If you are the type of person who learns by ear, learning by song will also be effective; a search on Youtube for “Te form song” will bring up many different types of songs. This is a Country Roads song.
Te form song
Te form expressions for beginners
Especially, Te form is used in a variety of expressions learned in beginner’s grammar. Today I will introduce 4 important ones.
1. ~てください (…, please)
: making a request
もういちど、言ってください。Please say it again.
*いう → いって (Group Ⅰ,U-verbs)
2. ~てもいいですか (May I…?)
: asking a permission
写真をとってもいいですか。May I take a picture?
*とる → とって ( Group I , U-verbs)
3. ~てはいけません (You must not…)
: stating that something is forbidden
電車で 電話をしては いけません。You must not call on the train.
*します → して ( Group Ⅲ , Irregular verbs)
4. ～ています ( I am doing…)
: present continious tense
今、テレビを見ています。I am watching on TV.
＊みます → みて ( Group Ⅱ, Ru-verbs)
More about Japanese verbs conjugation
Additionlaly, if you want to master Japanese verbs, this is the book for you. Verbs are very important in any languages. Let’s master them and learn to speak them!
|Japanese verb conjugation table for beginners|
|マス形 (Masu form)▶|
|テ形 (Te form)▶|
|辞書形 (Dictionary form)▶|
|タ形 (Ta form)▶|