Verbs. Up until now we have been setting ourselves up to be able to create well structured Japanese sentences. Now that we have the first couple of particles and desu down, we can start on verbs. In Japanese, there are three primary verb types: Ichidan, Godan (often called Yodan) and exception verbs. There are not many exception verbs, but the ability to differentiate and conjugate the verbs are of tantamount importance. Verbs are what tie everything together in the Japanese language.
The first type of verb is the Ichidan verb group. Ichidan verbs are easily identifiable through a little trick: Imagine all verbs written in romaji (The ABCs). Ichidan verbs always end in IRU and ERU. (However, there are a few Godan verbs that end in iru and eru. All Ichidan verbs end in iru or eru, but not all verbs that end in iru or aru are ichidan verbs… though almost all are.)
If it ends in ANYTHING else it is not a Ichidan verb.
The reason this is important is because you conjugate Ichidan and Godan verbs differently. We will talk about conjugation in the next few days, however, knowing the dictionary form of a verb is quite important. The dictionary form of a verb is also called the 'Base 3' form of a verb. That is when a verb ends with “u” like we see above. If you need to look up a word, make sure it is in that form or else you may not be able to find it.
Quick Tip for learning vocabulary words: When learning new words there are many things you can do to learn them more effectively or more quickly. These are called mnemonic devices. They are exercises and thought patterns that you can use to make things easier to remember. Things like making the word into a story, particularly a silly or perverted one, can make memorization easier. Another method is to draw a picture in your head, or even make up a picture for each syllable. I have found that learning is much more effective when you can make sure that you can use the vocabulary word in sentences in your head. Actually practicing putting the word into practice in your head while you walk, shower, and wait for something. There is no reason not to try and learn new words, or apply them. Therefore, part of the challenge for you today is to try and make time to practice using the vocabulary words you have learned and make basic sentences with them. Maybe practice writing them down too so you can remember them better!