How to: Dictionary to Masu Form?| (辞書形をマス形に)|う-Verbs マス形 Crib Sheet| 動詞の基本| Basics of Japanese Verbs| | Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! Japanese Language Learning Essentials

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皆様みんなさま、こんにちにゃあぁ!Welcome to Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! Online. Hopefully after the previous lesson, the importance of マス形 was properly portrayed. It’s an important way to prepare your 動詞, doushi, for conjugation! When foraging around in a dictionary, you’ll end up finding 辞書形, jishokei, which are 動詞, doushi, presented in their most basic form which oddly makes them more precise when it comes to conjugating them. As we mentioned, 辞書形, jishokei, is essential to practical usage in speech. You don’t want to present an ill-prepared 動詞, doushi, to anyone. If you’re using 動詞, doushi, with someone you know very well, or a close friend or family member, then you’ll get away with using 辞書形, jishokei. However, of course, it’s not practical to only be prepared to use Japanese language in private. The only ones who could possibly get away with this are children. Then again, kids can hand someone a crayon sandwich and people will still be impressed with their ingenuity. But, for this, we want to elevate that proverbial crayon sandwich into a well-plated garnished sandwich filled with actual palatable food. We’ll help you with elevating this dish of 動詞, doushi, even further in future. Last time, we introduced you to the topic, but this time, we’re going to actually walk you through it! And, after this, you’ll have plenty of examples of how to conjugate a basic 辞書形, jishokei, into a proper マス形, masukei.

Before we get started, we want to be sure you’ve been acquainted with all of the previous verb lessons. Of course, in the best case scenario, it would  be most beneficial to start with all of the previous lessons, as we’ve been building up to these lessons one by one, giving hints and helpful tips along the way as well as essential concepts. But, if you are just here for a quick reference, that’s also useful, as well! But, you’re not going to only want to be familiar with how verbs function and 辞書形, jishokei, for all of this to be beneficial to you. You’re going to also want to be sure you know about 連用形, ren’youkei,otherwise known as conjunctive form. This is a concept that we’re not necessarily going to revise with you in this conceptually, only in practice. So, in order to not possibly get lost along the way in the twisting and turning pathway we’re forging in the forest of Japanese language, you’ll want to give these articles a read.

Kiki Koko and Quizbo Essential basics of verbs intro  Kiki Koko and Quizbo Essential basics of verbs intro jisho 1Kiki Koko and Quizbo Essential basics of verbs intro gokan  Kiki Koko and Quizbo Essential basics of verbs intro masu form

It IS quite a bit of information, we have to admit, so be sure not to overload your mind with all of these indepth lessons and introductions at once. If it ever gets to be too much information, just step away from your device or desk for a bit and take a moment to gather yourself. It’s best to keep a positive and relaxed mindset when studying. It’s all meant to just be a fun road map to a journey you may not have ever been able to experience before. Japanese is part of the Japonic language family, and unless your first language is Ryuukyuuan, then Japanese is very far away from your native language origin and functions totally differently. Over the years, English has had a huge impact on how it’s spoken and the vocabulary used. But, the point of it all is that one can’t be expected to immediately understand concepts completely different to what they’re accustomed. So, take your time and be patient with yourself! It’s a journey, not a daytrip. Unless you want it to be?

But, let’s say you’ve had no experience with us before, and you need the basics of Japanese sentences. We would recommend having a browse of our Essentials section, especially concerning grammar and the Sentence Starter Kit.

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Now, so you don’t end up feeling like information is being put on a neverending re-run, we definitely suggest you open 「マス形とは?|What is Masu form? | 動詞の基本| Basics of Japanese Verbs| |( マス形intro)・・・」in another window or on another device. Opening the windows side-by-side can also be useful if you have a larger computer screen, if you’d like to quickly reference ideas form the previous one. We definitely suggest going back to the previous lessons after learning new information, as well, as sometimes, these sorts of thing swill help previous concepts ‘click’ in your mind, sort of like finding another piece in a puzzle or clearing off a bit more fog from a window to finally see a bit more of what’s happening in the big picture. But, without further ado, let’s dive right into this!!

How to conjugate into ‘masu form’(「マス形」)?

From Dictionary form to Conjunctive Form to Masu form

So, in the previous lesson, we provided you with the basics of how to conjugate as well as step-by-step instructions. However, instructions, no matter how detailed or simple, can still prove to need an extra element. And, this element would be examples! Telling you how to conjugate 辞書形, jishokei, into マス形, masukei, is one thing, but if we also present you with useful examples, it’s more likely you’ll be able to understand this concept and be able to put it into practice!

When practising verb conjugation, the most useful way to check your conjugation is by having corresponding verbs to which you can compare those you’ve already found in the dictionary, translator, Word of the Week segment or elsewhere. Because of this, we’re going to help you with all of the Japanese verb endings, which are especially important when it comes to う verbs. You can have a look at the corresponding ending, and then use the same pattern and execution for your verb.

Keep in mind, we’re going to do our best to make this concise so that you can use this for quick-referencing in future!

How to Conjugate Godan Verb Endings to Masu form ( う verbs)

So, be sure to reference the recipe we presented in 「マス形とは?|What is Masu form? | 動詞の基本| Basics of Japanese Verbs| |( マス形intro)・・・」under the section: Conjugating Godan Verbs to Masu form ( う verbs). For now, we’re not going to focus on the big picture of the recipe, but the actual technique. In the initial intro to Verb Stems, we presented the endings you’ll find for the 辞書形, jishokei, of う verbs. Even that had a る ending in the ranks, but be sure not to get confused. You’ll just have to check whether or not that verb is a る verb or an irregular verb.

We present to you, the マス形 crib sheet! (Or, cheat sheet for US English speakers)



う → → 洗+い → 洗い → 洗い +ます = 洗います

あらう→あら→あら+い→あらい → あらい +ます = あらいます

arau→ arau→ ara+i→arai→ arai + masu = araimasu


つ→→ 立t+i→立ち → 立ち +ます = 立ちます

つ→→ たt+i →たち→ たち +ます = たちます

tatsu→tatu→tat+i→tachi → tachi + masu =   tachimasu

Kiki+Koko’s Helpful Hints:
Notice that the t+i becomes ti which is ち?This may seem arbitrary, but actually, if you’ve learnt your 五十音順, gojuuonjun, you’ll know that ち is part of the T行 along with their brothers and sisters た、つ、て、 andと。This will be important to remember when you’re conjugating in other ways as well as any time you are dealing with a「~つ」。All of this is an important reason to be sure you know not only hiragana, of course, but the different ways you input hiragana using romaji. And, also, it can help you type a bit faster when you know the shorter inputs rather than having to type ‘s-h-i’ or ‘t-s-u’ every time. In future, we’ll certainly cover that. But, now, let’s continue!


変わる→変わ→ 変わr+i→変わり → 変わり +ます = 変わります

かわる→かわ→ かわr+i →かわり→ かわり +ます = かわります

kawaru→kawaru→kawar+i→kawari → kawari + masu =   kawarimasu



く→→ 書k+i→書き → 書き +ます = 書きます

く→→ かk+i →かき→ かき +ます = かきます

kaku→kaku→kak+i→kaki → kaki + masu =   kakimasu



ぐ→→ 泳g+i→泳ぎ → 泳ぎ +ます = 泳ぎます

およぐ→およ→ およg+i →およぎ→ およぎ +ます = およぎます

oyogu→oyogu→oyog+i→oyogi → oyogi + masu =   oyogimasu



ぬ→→ 死n+i→死に → 死に +ます = 死にます

ぬ→→ しn+i →しに→ しに +ます = しにます

shinu→shinu→shin+i→shini → shini + masu =   shinimasu


ぶ→→ 呼b+i→呼び → 呼び +ます = 呼びます

ぶ→→ よb+i →よび→ よび +ます = よびます

yobu→yobu→yob+i→yobi → yobi + masu =   yobimasu


む→→ 読m+i→読み→ 読み +ます = 読みます

む→→ よm+i →よみ→ よみ +ます = よみます

yomu→yomu→yom+i→yomi → yomi + masu =   yomimasu



す→→ 話s+i→話し → 話し +ます = 話します

はなす→はな→ はなs+i →はなし→ はなし +ます = はなします

hanasu→hanasu→hanas+i→hanashi → hanashi + masu =   hanashimasu

Kiki+Koko’s Helpful Hints:
This is another scenario we mentioned earlier, as well. し is part of the S行  of the 五十音順, gojuuonjun. And, another way to write 「し」in romaji is 「si」, even though it’s still pronounced 「し」。



る→→ 走r+i→走り → 走り +ます = 走ります

はしる→はし→ はしr+i →はしり→ はしり +ます = はしります

hashiru→hashiru→hashir+i→hashiri → hashiri + masu =   hashirimasu

And, that’s the whole of it! Now, when you have a new vocabulary word, you won’t only have the recipe to creating a delicious 動詞, doushi, that everyone can enjoy.

How to Conjugate Ichidan Verb Endings to Masu form ( る verbs)

The answer was inside you [the previous lesson] all along

Kiki Koko and Quizbo Essential basics of verbs intro masu formSo, we hyped the crib sheet for う verbs, but honestly, there’s not much of a matrix to be created when it comes to る verbs. They all conjugate in the same way. But, if you would like to see examples for these again, you can just take a trip back to 「マス形とは?|What is Masu form? | 動詞の基本| Basics of Japanese Verbs| |( マス形intro)・・・」. This lesson was truly to focus on breaking down う verbs, but hopefully, this made る verbs seem a bit simpler. And, if you’re interested in irregular verbs, we’ll do our best in future to present you more of the few irregular マス形, masukei, of those.

Alrighty! This has been quite the intense lesson. It was mostly intensive in being sure to include the endings for you to be able to reference now and in future. Remember, whilst these are technically something you could memorise, and eventually it will become natural, be sure to take it a step at a time. There are quite a few verb endings for うverbs, as you can see, but they all follow fairly the same procedure. So, rather than rote memorisation, this is probably more-so about practising them and applying them. Every Word of the Week Wednesday including a verb will be a great chance to practise these concepts! We’ll still be sure to present other parts of speech, of course, but this all just adds an entirely new layer to your studies to make Word of the Week all the more worthwhile. In the meantime, you can always go back to previous lessons and Word of the Week segments to try to practise this with them! An easy way to access all of them is through the sidebar labelled 「今週の単語 | Word of the Week」. You can even try to see if you can pick out which words are verbs! The learning is endless (in a good way, of course.) It’s a fun journey you can have from anywhere.

We hope that we’ve continued to be a useful source for your Japanese studies. We want to be there for you in your Japanese language learning journey for years to come. Your support helps others just like you who also want to continue to keep these educational tools available to everyone. Perhaps during your busy week, you may forget which days we upload, or what day of the week it is.  By subscribing to the Electronic Mailing List of Tomorrow, today, found usually at the bottom of the site page or the sidebar on desktop, you won’t ever have to remember what day of the week it is, again! Also, you’ll be the first to be notified as otherwise, hours before everyone else. You’ll get the latest tools and resources to surviving in Japanese language in straight to your inbox. That’s articles, videos, podcasts, and more.

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