Even though Japanese has relatively few verb tenses and forms compared to many languages, there are still quite a lot of variations – all of which take time to learn and internalize.
That’s where a cheat sheet can help! Something like this…
This Japanese Verb Tense Cheat Sheet summarizes everything you need to know to understand:
- how Japanese verbs are conjugated
- the most useful and important verb tenses and forms, and
- when to use each tense/form.
There are two versions – one with hiragana, one with romaji – and both are free!
Here’s a quick breakdown of the sections of the cheat sheet:
Verb Structure & Types
Explains Verb Structure (Stem + Ending) for each type of verbs – Ru-Verbs, U-Verbs, and Irregular Verbs.
Verb Tense/Form Selection and Usage
Knowing what form of a verb to use is vital not only to communicating the right message, but also doing so in the appropriate manner. This section of the cheat sheet includes two parts:
How to choose the appropriate level of politeness
There are two main levels of politeness that most Japanese language learners need to know – informal and polite. This section briefly explains when you should use the polite form, and when you should use the informal form.
How to choose the appropriate verb tense/form
This lists the most useful verb forms and explains when you should use each one.
Polite and Informal Verb Tenses & Forms
This includes a side-by-side summary of how to form each of the main verb tenses and forms, for both polite and informal Japanese. Tenses/forms include:
- Present/future tense
- Past tense
- Negative present/future
- Negative past
- “Let’s” form
- “I want to…” form
- Potential (can do) form
Needless to say, this cheat sheet has a truckload of information. It covers all the verb tenses and forms that most people would encounter in their first several years of studying Japanese – and all on a single page.