and widely used Japanese verb
base. It's often referred to as the -te
form, because all verbs in Base 6 end in te
. Usually, a verb
in Base 6 will be followed by another verb -- to my knowledge, there aren't any suffix-type endings for this base
In particular for beginning students of Japanese, this base is used to form the Polite Request which you probably hear your teacher using a lot ("Yonde kudasai...") as well as the progressive form, mastery of which makes translation from English to Japanese much easier.
To form Godan verbs into Base 6:
Note the sound change from unvoiced
(t --> d) in verbs ending with g
, or b
sounds. These phonetic nuances have to be memorized. There is a cute song
available to help.
Ichidan verbs are, as usual, much easier to deal with. Simply change -ru to -te, as follows:
With no additional ending, a verb in Base 6 expresses a continuation, an "after" or "and then..." concept. Sometimes there is an implicit cause-effect relationship, as noted in the following examples:
Tegami o kaite, uchi ni kaerimashita.
I wrote the letter and then came home.
O-sake o nonde, byooki ni narimashita.
He drank the sake and (so) he got sick.
I almost forgot to mention, desu becomes de in Base 6. Usage is kind of like this:
Ano hito wa America-jin de, nihon-go ga dekimasen.
That person is American and doesn't speak Japanese.
Note also that the order of clauses involving de is rather flexible. The above example means the same thing if the clauses are swapped (de, however, has to stay where it is, because the entire point of Base 6 is that another verb will follow).
As noted earlier, among the more frequent uses of Base 6 is in the Polite Request form. The verb in Base 6 is followed by kudasai, taking on the meaning, "please do X". Kudasaimasu ka rasies the level of politeness, but kudasai is already polite enough to use on a casual level. Examples:
Kono kanji o kaite kudasai.
Please write this kanji.
Ashita denwa o shite kudasaimasu ka.
Please will you call me tomorrow?
The Progressive form indicates action which is in progress at the moment of speaking, i.e. "he is watching TV" or "he is talking on the phone".
To form the Progressive, which is much more common in English than in Japanese, follow the verb in Base 6 with an inflection of iru:
Terebi o mite imasu.
I (he, she, it, they, we, you)'m watching TV.
Don't confuse the meanings of iru and aru following a verb in te form. The former is the Progressive, but the latter usually takes on the meaning "has been done".
Endings to Base 6 which are not verbs include mo, meaning "even if X is done" or "even if (I) do X", kara, meaning "after X is done", and mo ii, meaning "it's ok to do X" or "X is ok".
Tabete kara, shukudai o shite kudasai.
After eating, please do (your) homework.
Koko ni sutte mo ii desu ka.
It's ok to smoke here, right?