Nov 4, 2008

How to easily tell the difference between Ichidan and Yodan verbs


I was taught that there exists three types of verbs in Japanese. The three types of verbs in Japanese are ichidan, yo^dan* and irregular. These types of verbs are unrelated to the three types of English verbs or passive, active and forms of the copula - to be.

Being able to manipulate Japanese verbs is a secret to improving our Japanese language skills. We manipulate them by putting verbs into what is called the 5 bases. But before we can put verbs into bases, it will be necessary to understand the difference between ichidan, and yo^dan verbs. 

With the exception of irregular verbs,
Ichidan verbs are any Japanese verb that end in eru, or iru.

Examples of ichidan verbs:

iru - to be
eru - to gain
oboeru - to remember
oshieru - to teach

Yo^dan verbs are any verb that does not end in eru, or iru.

Examples of yo^dan verbs:

yaru - to give, to do, to play
utsu - to hit
komu - to be congested
oyogu - to swim


*The ^ carat symbol used in the word yo^dan = the long vowel, or, double vowel sound, sometimes indicated with a ‘u’ so that yo^dan can also be written youdan.

Japanetics is Language learning to the max

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