Author: Mizuki Ichihira & Valeria  japanese M-Words

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When learning a new language, the first thing you should focus on is vocabulary.

Among them, verbs are surely one of the most important parts. Without them, you can’t understand what’s going on! That’s why you should memorize these 10 basic Japanese verbs if you want to learn Japanese!

Things to Remember About Japanese Verbs

In Japanese, verbs are called Doushi 動詞 with the kanji “to move” (動) and “text” (詞). Without the verb, a sentence doesn’t make sense. Therefore, let’s start with the very basics of Japanese verbs to learn Japanese!

First of all, note that for each verb there’s a “masu form” ending in -ます masu, and a “dictionary form” ending in -u. Use the first one when talking in a respectful way and the second one to be more colloquial. That's the one you find in the dictionary, also. You can choose the verb form you need based on the situation.

Besides, remember that in Japanese the verb always goes at the end of the sentence. Focus on the pattern Subject + Particle > Object + Particle  > Verb.

If you're a beginner, check this article to learn about Japanese particles. Just focus on は / が, を, and の. These are the essential particles for a basic sentence.

Top 10 Basic Japanese Verbs You Need To Know!

Here's our list of 10 basic and useful verbs to know in Japanese:

masu form dictionary form furigana meaning
食べます 食べる tabemasu / taberu to eat
飲みます 飲む nomimasu / nomu to drink
します する shimasu / suru to do
行きます 行く ikimasu / iku to go
来ます 来る kimasu / kuru  to go
会います 会う aimasu / au to meet
買います 買う kaimasu / kau to buy
読みます 読む yomimasu / yomu to read
見ます 見る mimasu / miru to see
聞きます 聞く kikimasu / kiku to hear

Finally, now that you know how to say some basic actions, let’s look at some examples of how to properly use them!

How to Use Basic Verbs: Examples

1. Tabemasu・食べます

Konban wa uchi de tabemasu.
Tonight I will eat at home.

2. Nomimasu・飲みます

Supu-n de su-pu o nomimasu.
I eat soup with a spoon.

3. Shimasu・します

Korekawa tenisu o shimasu.
I'm going to play tennis now.

4. Ikimasu ・ 行きます

Raigetu, Kyoto ni ikimasu.
I'm going to go to Kyoto next month.

5. Kimasu・ 来ます

Aki ni taifu- ga kimasu.
In autumn, typhoons come.

6. Aimasu ・ 会います

Tomodachi ni aimasu.
I will meet with my friends.

7. Kaimasu ・ 買います

Ashita, atarashii hon o kaimasu.
I'm going to buy new books tomorrow.

8. Yomimasu ・ 読みます

Maiasa, shinbun o yomimasu.
I read the newspaper every morning.

9. Mimasu ・ 見ます

Kyu-jitsu wa eiga o mimasu.
I watch movies on my days off.

10. Kikimasu ・ 聞きます

Densha no nakade ongaku o kikimasu.
I listen to music on the train.

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