Japanese Grammar Made Easy – Base TE-て
By Brett McCluskey
Lesson #18 Insights on learning how to use the Base TE-て form of the verb.
Remembering how verbs are put into base te can be a challenging part of Japanese Grammar, but by singing the following syllables in the following order to the music of Silver Bells will help you better remember which verb ending syllable goes with what te ending.
(To be done to the music of Silver Bells, Bing Crosby’s version works well but if you can't find any to jog your memory try this link
BU MU NU NDE
U TSU RU TTE
That’s the way we put verbs in base te ------
(Play it again Sam) repeat
*Verbs ending in BU, MU, or NU become NDE. Verbs ending in U, TSU, RU become TTE or. Verbs ending in KU become ITE and verbs ending in GU become IDE.
Verbs ending in these syllables
Become these base Te endings
BU, MU, NU NDE
U, TSU, RU TTE
Here are a few examples of putting a verb into base te. The first example, asobu ends in bu so you can either use the above chart or sing the song!
Ex. 1. asobu - to play – becomes asonde
1. asonde iru = playing
2. asonde kudasai = please play
3. asonde wa naranai = you can’t play here, its against the rules to play
Ex. 2. kamu – to chew – becomes kande
1. kande iru – chewing
2. kande kudasai – please chew
3. kande wa naranai – you mustn’t chew
Ex. 3. shinu - to die – becomes shinde
1. shinde iru – dying
2. shinde kudasai – please die
3. shinde wa naranai – you mustn’t die
Ex 4. harau – to pay - becomes haratte
1. haratte iru – paying
2. haratte kudasai – please pay
3. haratte wa naranai – you had better not pay.
Ex 5. inoru – to pray – becomes inotte
1. inotte iru – praying
2. inotte kudasai – please pray
3. inotte wa naranai – its bad to pray here
Ex 6. utsu – to hit becomes utte
1. utte iru – hitting
2. utte kudasai – please hit
3. utte wa naranai - its bad to hit here
Ex 7. hataraku – to work – becomes hataraite
1. hataraite iru – working
2. hataraite kudasai – please work
3. hataraite wa naranai – it is forbidden for you to work.
Ex 8. oyogu – to swim – becomes oyoide
1. oyoide iru – swimming
2. oyoide kudasai – please swim
3. oyoide wa naranai – you shouldn’t swim around here
Ganbatte ne! Do your best
Makuarsuki Sensei yori,