Verb Conjugation - Irregular Japanese Verbs

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There are two irregular verbs in total in the Japanese language. They mean "to come" (Kuru) and "to do" (Suru). Since their Conjugation is irregular, I will simply print it below.

  • Negative: konai, shinai (can't come, can't do)
  • Infinitive: kimasu, shimasu (come, do)
  • Dictionary: kuru, suru (to come, to do)
  • Imperative/Conditional: koi, shiro [seyo] (come here! do it!) kureba, sureba (what if you came? what if you did it?)
  • Volitional: koyou, shiyou (let's come -never used, let's do it)

Copula are the words that mean "to be" in Japanese. The copula in Japanese are used far more than we would use "is" in English, however. There are two copula, Desu and Da, both meaning the same thing and the only difference in them being their use in honourable language, i.e., Da is less formal than Desu. They are effectively the same word.

If I was speaking to a friend, I would say "ore no heso da." (it's my bellybutton) When speaking of my bellybutton to a superior officer in the military I would say "Kanchou! Jibun no heso desu!" (Captain! It is my belly button!). I suppose in this way one could say that da means "it's" and desu means "it is" in simple conversation.

Da and Desu may also be used in conversation after a verb for no apparent reason. Generally this is for the purpose of politeness and carries no meaning. I could say also "hashittemasu no desu" (it is that I am running) or just "hashittemasu'n'da" [friendly level of conversation].

Their conjugations are slightly irregular and should be noted as irregular.

  • Negative: Dewa Nai, Dewa Arimasen (Isn't)
  • Conjunctive: n/a
  • Dictionary: Da, Desu (to be)
  • Imperative: n/a
  • Volitional: Darou, Deshou (isn't it?)

The last form of copula, the "isn't it?" should be used basically as that phrase is used in English, though there are more advanced uses. It does not agree with the classification of "let's be." That would just be silly.