Also known as the "Dictionary Form" of a Japanese verb, because this is the form in which you will find a verb in the Japanese dictionary. In this form, Ichidan and Godan verbs end in u. No transformation is necessary to get the dictionary form.

Dictionary Form is also the plain present indicative of a verb. This contrasts with the way verbs appear in dictionaries in other languages, such as French, where the infinitive form of the verb is listed. In the French dictionary, "manger" means "to eat", whereas in the Japanese dictionary taberu means "eat". For example:

Terebi o miru ka.
Are (you) watching television?

Note that sentences formed using the plain present form of the verb are less polite than those using Base 2 + -masu. This is not usually appropriate for use with people that you aren't on familiar terms with.

Do not confuse Base 3 for the imperative of the verb. The abrupt imperative of a verb is expressed by Base 4, Base 3 + na, and Base 2 + -nasai, among others. Base 1 + -naide kudasai, or Base 6 + kudasai are used to express a polite imperative or request.

Many endings exist that require Base 3. Among the more popular are mae (before doing), to (if ... occurs), koto ga dekiru (be able to, can) (compare with the -ru ending to Base 4), and kawari ni (instead of...).

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