Verbs represent actions and are required in every sentence.

Verbs always appear at the end of clauses; a valid sentences requires only a verb. This works due to the language relying on context to infer additional information.


Will buy.

This is a valid sentence (it does not require anything else such as a noun), however the only information it contains is that someone will buy somethings, it makes no sense on its own without additional information inferred from the context (such as who will buy what).

Types of verbs

All verbs except 2 (see below) can be categorized as either:

  • る-verbs: always end with
  • う-verbs: end with /u/ vowel sounds (, , , etc.) including

Based on the above, it is straightforward to classify verbs:

  • If a verb does not end with , it is always a う-verb (_, あそ_, etc.)
  • if a verb ends with , preceded by an /a/, /o/ or /u/ vowel sound (, , , etc.), it is also a う-verb (_, _ , etc.)
  • if a verb ends with , preceded by an /e/ or /i/ vowel sound (, , etc.), it is usually a る-verb (__, _, etc.)

If a word falls into the last case, the easiest way to determine the type is to check the dictionary page, which provides an ichidan verb tag for る-verbs or a godan verb tag for う-verbs.


There are 2 exceptions to the above:

  • : categorized as 'suru' verb
  • _: categorized as 'kuru' verb

Be sure to remember them as they are common exceptions in conjugation rules as we will see in future chapters.


Here are some common verbs, grouped by type:


And some example sentences using them:

  • そと_いぬ_ - There's a dog outside!

  • わたし______ - I will buy cake.

  • なに_ - What will you do?

  • した___ - Will you come here again tomorrow?

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