How to Conjugate Verbs into ~Te-form

The conjugation of English veb, for example, "to write" includes the forms: write, writes, writing, wrote, and written.

The ~te-form of a Japanese verb is used very frequently when speaking Japanese.
This form is commonly used in combination with other verbs or with other helping verbs.
By itself, it's understood as an informal request. It is called the "te-form" because most end in te (teh) or de (deh):  or .

One of the characteristics of the Japanese language is that Japanese verb conjugation is the same for all subjects: first-, second-, and third-person, singular and plural, and gender. The basic Japanese word order is classified as subject-object-verb. The major characteristic of the Japanese structure is that the verb must be placed at the end of a sentence; other elements in the sentence may be in various orders for emphasis or possibly even omitted. This is because the Japanese sentence elements are marked with particles (postpositional particles: te, ni, ha, wo) that identify their grammatical functions.

Verbs are conjugated to show tenses, of which there are two: present and past. (Note that the present tense is also known as non-past tense since the same form is used for the present and the future.) Japanese verbs are conjugated to show various moods. Unfortunately, the ~te-form of a verb does not indicate tense or mood by itself; however, it combines with other verb forms to create other tenses.

When the ~te-form is used to link more than two sentences where it may be translated as "and," the verb at the end of the sentence shows the overall tense of the sentence. The ~te form of a Japanese verb is often used with the auxiliary form such as ~masu, suru, kuru, iku, iru, miru, aru, oku, shimau, etc.
For some verbs that represent an ongoing process, the ~te iru form indicates a continuous or progressive tense as a present participle (a verb form by adding the suffix -ing that functions as an adjectival). For others that represent a change of state, the ~te iru form regularly indicates a perfect tense (action already completed). For example, kite imasu regularly means "I have come" (present perfect participle) and not "I am coming," but tabete imasu means "I am eating" (present participle 現在分詞: continuous tense) and not "I have eaten." In this form, the initial i of iru or imashita is often not voiced in casual speech, so "kite imasu" becomes "kite masu," and "tabete imasu" becomes "tabete masu."

FUNCTIONS of the Te-Form
· Listing successive actions (as if by the English conjunction "and") I eat at six and go to bed at ten. 六時に食べて十時に寝ます。 たべて
· Listing adjectival-nouns (as if "and") It's cheap and delicious. 安くておいしいね。 やすくて
· Present Progressive tense (continuous tense: to be + ~ing) (~te iru) The dog is running. (はしる) 犬が走っています。 はしって
· Requests (with kudasai (polite), or without it (casual)) Please speak slowly. (はなす) ゆっくり話してください。 はなして
· Permission (~te mo ii — with or without particle "mo" in formation) May I watch TV? (みる) テレビを見てもいいですか。 みて
· State of being (where the English equivalent does not use "to be doing") The store is closed. (しまる) 店が閉まっています。 しまって
(Colloquially, in the form of ~ています, the "" often disappears.) I live here.  (すむ) ここに住んでいます。 すんで
  I have it. (もつ) 持っています。or 持ってます。 もって
and more functions... I know. (しる) 知っています。or 知ってます。 しって

All Japanese verbs in the dictionary end with a syllable from the "u" row/column of the kana table.
The last syllable of the verb must be one of the following: u, ku, su, tsu, nu, mu, ru, gu, bu.
If a word does not end in one of these syllables, it is not a verb. There are no verbs ending in hu, yu, zu or pu.

Japanese verbs are roughly divided into three groups according to the dictionary.
Lexically, every verb in Japanese is a member of exactly one of three conjugation groups:

Group U-verb [godan (5-level) verb] These verbs end with ~u. (with one exception: iku)
Group RU-verb [ichidan (1-) and yodan (4-level) verb] These verbs end with either ~iru or ~eru. (u-verbs in some cases)
Group Irregular verb There are only two irregular verbs. (kuru, suru)

Although both u-verb and ru-verb are considered regular verbs, u-verbs conjugate differently from ru-verbs.

U-verbs are consonant-stem verbs. (The consonant-stem verbs conjugate after a consonant.) yom.u (read) hanas.u (talk)
RU-verbs are vowel-stem verbs. (The vowel-stem verbs conjugate after a vowel.) (see)  (eat)

 The ~te-form song will help you to remember how to conjugate verbs into the ~te-form. 

Verbs end in ~U
a i   u   e o
(and= obsolete)

If the verb ends with ~ , ~ , or ~ , change it to ~ って, or if it ends with ~ , change it to ~ んで, etc.

Example: (sing) うたうたって (ください。)
    Te-form Song    

~ Tune of X'mas Song ~
»»»»» Every verb has a string of kana called, おくりがな, which you can modify to conjugate the verb. «««««
»»»»» This can be a little simpler to understand at first if you use Romanization. ☆彡

–—— Basic Rules ——   ☆彡° Watch out the verbs that end with ~「る」!
All the verbs in Ru-verb group end with ,
but some verbs in U group also end with .
U-VERB: a, u, o, + ru   iru  / eru = U-verb = consonant-stem verb i.e. hairu はいる (get in)
RU-VERB: i, e,   + ru   iru  / eru = RU-verb = vowel-stem verb i.e. deru でる (get out)
("U" is pronounced // as in truth.)

Replace: [ う、つ、る、 to  って]    [ む、ぶ、ぬ、 to  んで]    [ to  して]    [ to  いて]   [ to  いで]
The basic form of U-verbs end with: ~u ~ku ~su ~tsu ~nu ~mu ~ru ~gu ~bu.
A verb ending ~ru: If the sound before ru is a, u, or o, it is always an U-verb. They are also called consonent-stem verbs.
Example of U-Verbs
五段 (godan verbs) [GROUP ]
Plain / Dictornary Form Te-form
  sing (omou) おもう 思って
  wash (arau) あらう 洗って
  stand (tatsu) たつ 立って
  wait (matsu) まつ 待って
  make (tsukuru) つくる 作って
  send (okuru) おくる 送って
  ride (noru) のる 乗って
  read (yomu) よむ 読んで
  play (asobu) あそぶ 遊んで
  die (shunu) しぬ 死んで
  talk (hanasu) はなす 話して
  write (kaku) かく 書いて
  hurry (isogu) いそぐ 急いで
There is one irregular verb:
  go (iku) いく 行って
Just because a verb ends with ~ ru 「る」, it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily an u-verb. When the verb has ~iru or ~eru ending, it is a ru-verb (Group ). Namely, if a verb does not end with ~iru or ~eru, it is always an u-verb. If you convert the verb to rōmaji, and it ends with either ~iru or ~eru, then it is usually a ru-verb.
For example, 「食べる」 is romanized as "taberu" and since it ends with "eru", it is a ru-verb. Another example of a ru-verb is 「見る」, which romanizes to "miru." Again, all other verbs that do not end with ~iru or ~eru are u-verbs.
However, there are [yodan (4-level) verbs]. (See the table →)
(The terminology is unimportant as long as you can recognize what sets them apart; they fall in godan verbs, anyway.)
Notice that all ru-verbs (Group ) end with , and u-verbs always end with an / u / vowel sound. This unfortunately includes in addition to
~ u, ~ku, ~su, ~tsu, ~nu, ~mu, ~ru, ~gu, ~bu,
and 「死ぬ」 "shinu"(die) is the only verb that ends with .
However, there are a number of u-verbs that end with ~ir.u or ~er.u, and there is no way to distinguish them from regular ru-verbs apart from memorization.
Example of a verb ending with ~iru or ~eru that is an U-verb:
run (hashiru) hashir.u [ not hash.iru ] はしる走って
Example of ~iru/~eru U-Verbs
四段 (yodan verbs) [GROUP ]
Plain / Dictornary Form Te-form
[ i ] U-verb
  run (hashiru) はしる 走って
  know (shiru) しる 知って
  enter (hairu) はいる 入って
  cut (kiru) きる 切って
  limit (kagiru) かぎる 限って
  grasp (nigiru) にぎる 握って
[ e ] U-verb
  return (kaeru) かえる 帰って
  kick (keru) ける 蹴って
  decrease  (heru) へる 減って
  hurry (aseru) あせる 焦って
  knead (neru) ねる 練って
  chat (shaberu) しゃべる 喋って
  twist (hineru) ひねる 捻って

Ru-verb is simple! Just replace to — Any regular verb that is not Group is RU-verb.
All RU-verb 「る」 end with either~iru or ~eru. (NOT ~ir.u or ~er.u)
The syllable that preceeds the ~ru is from either the "i" or "e" row in the kana table. This group is also called vowel-stem verbs.
Mechanism: Ru-verbs are the smaller category of Japanese verbs. Ru-verbs end with ~iru and ~eru: ~「iる」 and ~「eる」. If the verb's negative root ends in vowel /i/ or /e/, the verb is definitely a Ru-verb. Verbs that end with "~ir.u" or "~er.u" may actually be U-verbs in some cases. Notice, some verbs end with 「る」 in Group (yodan verbs). What you have to be careful of are a minority of "~ru" verbs whose preceeding syllables are in the "i" or "e" rows, which are group of godan verbs anyway.
Regular ru-verbs must end in /eru/ or /iru/ sounds. Sounds must come before 「る」 for it to be true ru-verb. Make sure you are looking at the ending sounds, not the ending letters. For example, "hairu" はいる (enter) looks like it should be a ru-verb because the last three letters are "iru", but the sound is not /iru/.
The /a/ sound from "ha" blends with the /i/ sound and makes the ending sound /ai/. So "hai-" is the root*, "-ru" is the base.
When the u-base change to the te-base, it becomes "hai.tte". When you chage its dictionary form to the a-base (negative), it becomes "hai.ra." The root with a base attached is called a stem. Inflection* ending gives the verb its final meaning, which is "-nai." An auxiliary verb or ending also contributes to the meaning; for instance, by adding "~でしょう" etc.
* Root is the dictionary form of the verb with the last syllable removed.
* The inflection names exist just to have something distinct to call the  form.
  Don't let terminology get in the way.

hair.anai › hair.imasu › hair.u › hair.eba › hair.ō› hai.tte › hai-tta
入らない - 入ります - 入る - 入れば - 入ろう - 入って - 入った
 See more about verb stems at the bottom ...
Example of RU-Verbs: 一段動詞 (ichidan verbs) [GROUP ]
Ru-verbs end with ~iru | Ru-verbs end with ~eru
  Dictornary Form Te-form |   Dictornary Form Te-form
  see (miru) みる 見て   |   eat (taberu) たべる 食べて  
  wear (kiru) きる 着て   |   show (miseru) みせる 見せて  
  boil (niru) にる 煮て   |   go out (deru) でる 出て  
  grow (nobiru) のびる 伸びて   |   open (akeru) あける 開けて  
  put off (nobiru) のびる 延びて   |   close (shimeru) しめる 閉めて  
  borrow (kariru) かりる 借りて   |   sleep (neru) ねる 寝て  
  pass (sugiru) すぎる 過ぎて   |   receive (ukeru) うける 受けて  
  fall (ochiru) おちる 落ちて   |   give (kureru) くれる 呉れて  
  bathe (abiru) あびる 浴びて   |   teach (oshieru) おしえる 教えて  
  feel (kanjiru) かんじる 感じて   |   endure (taeru) たえる 耐えて  
  believe (shinjiru) しんじる 信じて   |   begin (hajumeru) はじめる 始めて  
  be able (dekiru) できる 出来て   |   answer (kotaeru) こたえる 答えて  
  be/exist (iru) いる 居て   |   stop (yameru) やめる 止めて  
  age (oiru) おいる 老いて   |   forget (wasureru) わすれる 忘れて  
  regret (kuiru) くいる 悔いて   |   obtain (eru) える 得て  
  live (ikiru) いきる 生きて   |   decide (kimeru) きめる 決めて  
  get up (okiru) おきる 起きて   |   mix (mazeru) まぜる 混ぜて  
  get off (oriru) おりる 降りて   |   think (kangaeru) かんがえる 考えて  


Additionally there are some homophonic pairs made up of one godan verb and one ichidan verb.
Such is the case with the verb "iru" ("to need" for animate subjects) and "iru" ("to exist").
The former is godan, the latter is ichidan. Each verb in such a pair is written with different kanji, even though the readings are the same.
Furthermore, homophonic verbs may take differing pitch accents. Here are some examples:

Homophone (Yodan within Godan) U-verbs   (Ichidan) RU-verbs
same sound different meaning     Te-form     |     Te-form    
    きる     (kiru)   切る きって   cut |   着る きて   wear
    かえる     (kaeru)   帰る かえって   return |   変える かえて   change
    ねる     (neru)   練る ねって   knead |   寝る ねて   sleep

[~a] [~u] [~o]-------- U-VERB
[~i] [~e]---- most likely RU-VERB

「くる」 and 「する」
Since only two verbs are irregular, just memorize these forms.
Irregular Verbs: [Group ]
Dictornary Form Te-form Ta-form
カ行変格動詞 ka-group come (kuru) 来る
サ行変格動詞 sa-group do (suru) する して した
Two common verbs do not share a conjugation pattern with any other verb. Therefore, they are commonly classed as "irregular" verbs.
Formally, they are called "変格" (へんかく) verbs, as opposed to the regular "正格" (せいかく) verbs.

The verb 「する」 is seldom written in kanji; (為る).
The kanji 「為る」 can be also read "naru," which means "to become."
Consonant K Irregular Conjugation [COME]
Just as 「くる」 (kuru) means to come to or leave a given place. The Japanese motion verb kuru (come) can be used as either a lexical verb or an auxiliary verb. As an auxiliary verb, kuru mainly serves directional and aspectual functions; "begin-to-come." When kuru serves as an aspectual auxiliary, the conjunction ~te should be suffixed to the main verb to signal one conceptual event rather than two. After the ~te-form, the verb 「くる」 can be expressed continuous action or a change of state in the past.

「くる」 and 「いく」 mean "to come" and "to go," but when used after the ~te-form, they take on a whole new dimension, which may have nothing to do with physical movement. One good example of this form being used to express a physical going and coming is itte kuru: 「行って来る」 , the ~te-form of "to go" followed by "to come." 「行って来ます」 (Itte kimasu!) is a kind of idiosyncratical idiom, literally means "I'm leaving," and
「行ってらっしゃい」 (Itterasshai!) is a response. It is the traditional expression one uses when going out for school, work, or a trip, and it means exactly what it's supposed to: "I'm going out and coming back." You can also say it when you leave a place that you regard more or less as home. If you say "ikimasu," the literal equivalent of "I'm going," and it will be interpreted as "going away and not coming back." Accordingly, people will sometimes use this to ask others where they went: 「どこへ行ってきたの」 "Doko e itte kita?" (Where did you go [and come back from]?)
      · Request Please come to my house. 私の家に来て下さい。 わたしのうちにきてください。
  come   · Present Perfect My friend has not come yet. 友達はまだ来ていません。 ともだちはまだきていません。
  Present tense くる   · Present Participle The typhoon is coming. 台風が来ています。 たいふうがきています。
  Te-form きて   · Inceptive use The fire started to go out. 火が消えてきた。 ひがきえてきた。
  Past tense きた     (begin-to-come) It began to rain. 雨が降ってきた。 あめがふってきた。
        (起動動詞) The idea became changed. 考えが変わってきた。 かんがえがかわってきた。
Consonant S Irregular Conjugation [DO]
The verb 「する」 is probably the most often used verb. It is used as "to do," "to make," "to play," or "to cost."
It is common to use する after certain nouns, adjectives,* or alphabetic-loan words to indicate that the noun or adjective* is being done.
The net meaning is usually whatever action is most closely related to the original word.
  do   する(Present)  して(Te-form)  した(Past) What are you doing? 何をしていますか。 何してるの。 (casual)
  study べんきょう + する I have been studying Japanese. 日本語を(ずっと)勉強してきました。 (still studying)
  necktie ネクタイ + する My father is wearing a necktie. 父はネクタイ(を)しています。 (any accessories + する)
  telephone でんわ + する Please call me. 電話(を)してください。
  tennis テニス + する May I play tennis? テニス(を)して(も)いいですか。
  watch とけい + する I will take this watch. この時計にします。 (i.g. choosing a watch)
  coffee コーヒー + する I will have a cup of coffee. コーヒーにしてください。 (i.g. ordering at a coffee shop)
  straight (adjective) まっすぐに * + する Make it straight! 真っ直ぐ(に)して。 (different functions with or without ) *
  hot (adjective) あつく * + する Please make the tea hot. お茶を熱くしてください。
  Did you know?
* Syntactically, the Japanese does not have words that function as the Englsih adjectives.
   The Japanese word keiyōshi is used to denote an English adjective.
   Both adjectival verbs and adjectival nouns form adverbs.
   There are three types of words that can be considered to be adjectives: 形容詞, 形容動詞, 連体詞, respectfully.
   There are no generally English translations for these parts of speech: keiyōshi, keiyōdōshi, rentaishi.
· Adjectival Nouns -adjectives These have a conjugating ending "i," which can become past or negative, etc. 暑くないです。 It's not hot.
· Adjectival Verbs -adjectives These attach to a form of the copula, which then inflects. 彼は変だ。 He is strange.
· Attributives   These may only occur before nouns, not in a predicative position. 大切な事 important thing
Auxiliary Verb
Auxiliary verb (helping verb 助動詞) is a verb functioning to give further semantic information about the main or full verb following it.
The extra meaning an auxiliary verb provides alters the basic form of the main verb to make it have one or more of the following functions: passive, progressive, perfect, modal, or dummy.
· みる miru It means "to try doing." — 行ってみます。 やってみます。 食べてみます。
· いく iku Can express continuous action or a change of state in the future. — これからも、日本語の勉強を続けていきます。
· くる kuru Can express continuous action or a change of state in the past. — 外で遊んできます。(I go to play outside (and be back).)
· いる  iru It means "to be doing." — 待っている。(I am waiting.)
· おく oku It means "to do in advance." — お弁当を作っておいた。(I've made a boxed lunch (for later).)
· ある aru It is used with a transitive verb. — ここに文字が書いてある。(There are some characters written here.)
· しまう shimau This implies something is completed or done, usually unintentionally or accidentally or unexpectedly and sometimes expressing
that the action is contrary to right or correct action.— 片付けてしまった。(I have finished tidying.)

The conjugation follows this pattern. For any verb, there are seven different bases and thus stems.
Stem form: This is the shortest form of a verb, but it can't stand alone; it needs a verb suffix that indicates tense or some other condition.
For example, you add "masu" to this form to make an affirmative polite verb.

Form Negative
TE form TA form
a i u e ō te / de ta / da
Group 1 のむ 飲ま(ない) 飲み(ます) 飲む 飲め() () 飲もう 飲んで 飲んだ
drink noma nomi nomu nome nomō nonde nonda
はなす 話さ 話し 話す 話せ 話そう 話して 話した
talk hanasa hanashi hanasu hanase hanasō hanashite hanashita
つくる 作ら 作り 作る 作れ 作ろう 作って 作った
make tsukura tsukuri tsukuru tsukure tsukurō tsukutte tsukutta
Group 2 たべる 食べ 食べ 食べる 食べれ 食べよう 食べて 食べた
eat tabena (Ru-verb)       tabe taberu tabere tabeyō tabete tabeta

More verbs will be added soon...


Godan Verb (U-Verb)

Japanese verbs are easy to put together, especially the godan (five-level) ones. Just to refresh your memory, the order of vowels from the kana table go
, , , , . They are five sounds, and it is this number that the conjugation gets its name from. 「五」ご means five, 「段」だん means level,
and 「動詞」どうし means verb.

The Japanese verbs have a different sytle of conjugation completely than the English verbs.
They conjugate to express not only time, but certain feelings we would express using more words. Godan verbs include all verbs that do not end with
-iru or -eru sound (the "i" and "e" can be preceded by a consonantal sound) as well as some that actually do end with them but are not する and くる.
Most verbs ending with the letters いる, える are ichidan verbs, with some exceptions while する and くる are the most common irregular verbs.

Example: 読む (よむ) read  The conjugation follows this pattern:
a  Negative form yoma.nai  verbs such as 会う au (meet) turn into "aa-nai", the "a" you add on in the end becomes "wa" thus, "awa-nai"
i  Infinitive form yomi.masu  onto the new ~made, add other verbs such as -masu, -tai, -masun, etc.
u  Dictionary form yomu  standardized form for finding verbs in dictionaries
e  Conditional form  Imperative form – occasionally no suffix; it is slightly vulgar and is offensive
o  Volitional form yomō  casual form of "let's" – equivalent polite form ending -mashō