Verb Conjugations

Another thing that many Japanese learners need is an easy method of arriving at all the verb conjugations and a highly reduced set of rules for how to get them right on the different types of verbs. That's easy enough really because there are only three major verb types: –る verbs, –う verbs, and irregulars. People really hate Eleanor Jorden for this fashion of naming verb paradigms, but in language learning you take what's easy and go with it; there's no need to worry too much about linguistics here.

Ending Kana Row Type
–る 語段 (ごだん) I
–う 一段 (いちだん) II

The –る verbs are those that end in –る like たべる and いれる. The –う verbs end in う, く, ぐ, ぶ, む, ぬ, す, つ, or {あ,い,う,お}+る.

There is a rare –う verb form え+る but these are almost always –る verbs like たべる. I only know of three like that: ける 'kick',へる 'decrease' and へる 'elapse'. There are probably more, but I have a feeling they would also only be two syllables like these. So the only real overlap worth worrying about is い+る. If you memorize two forms for each of these (like: いれる/いれて and はいる/はいって) you can keep them straight.

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