Need a Chart?
This lesson is a little different. This lesson is about changing the TENSE of a verb. Tense has to do with the sentence’s position in time. Below are a bunch or easy to read charts that outline exactly how to change the tense of a verb. That way you can adjust the tense of the verbs you have learned appropriately. Whether that is past tense, present, negative, or anywhere in between.
The first chart is for the predicate desu.
Da and desu are the same thing, desu is just more formal and respectful. Da something that would be used when talking to the people you are on familiar terms with, like friends and family.
Masu. This is an important suffix for verbs. It is attached to verbs to make them more polite. Think of masu as the verb version of desu. By itself, masu does not have any meaning. It simply raises the level of respect of your speech.
In case you need to speak to someone that you’re on familiar terms with in Japanese, below is the quadrant for plain form (or informal) Japanese. This is what you hear in most modern Shonen manga, which doesn’t contain any honorifics.
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In Japanese, there is no future tense. Literally. There is no way to change a verb to convey the same idea as “will” as it appears in English. The closest you can get is present positive tense. This is basically just the verb in Base 3 form, ending in う, which is easy to remember since it’s the dictionary form. This may be frustrating if you are trying to translate what you want to say directly from English into Japanese, but just remember that direct translation is overrated. Adjust your mind to follow the rules of Japanese and you’ll be a lot less frustrated when speaking. And remember, what may be proper in one language may be completely absurd in another.