Te-form, Nai-form, Ta-form


Japanese verb conjugation is fundamental for constructing sentences that express actions in different tenses, moods, or aspects.

Among these, the Te-form, Nai-form, and Ta-form are essential for beginners and advanced learners alike.

Understanding these forms allows for expressing actions in the present, past, and negative, and for creating requests or suggestions.


The Te-form is versatile, used for connecting sentences, making requests, giving permissions, or forming the progressive and imperative moods.

  • る-verbs:
    Drop the final 「る」 and add 「て」.
    Example: 食べる (taberu) becomes 食べて (tabete).

  • う-verbs:
    Changes depend on the final consonant.
    For example, 書く (kaku) becomes 書いて (kaite), and 待つ (matsu) becomes 待って (matte).

  • Irregular verbs:
    「する」 becomes 「して」 (shite), and 「くる」 becomes 「きて」 (kite).

Nai-form (ない形)

The Nai-form expresses negation and is the foundation for negative sentences.

  • る-verbs:
    Replace the final 「る」 with 「ない」.
    Example: 見る (miru) becomes 見ない (minai).

  • う-verbs:
    The final vowel sound changes to 「あ」 plus 「ない」.
    Example: 行く (iku) becomes 行かない (ikanai).

  • Irregular verbs: 「
    する」 becomes 「しない」 (shinai), and 「くる」 becomes 「こない」 (konai).

Ta-form (た形)

The Ta-form is used to express the past tense or the completion of actions.

  • る-verbs:
    Replace the final 「る」 with 「た」.
    Example: 食べる (taberu) becomes 食べた (tabeta).

  • う-verbs:
    Similar to the Te-form, but with 「た」.
    Example: 書く (kaku) becomes 書いた (kaita), and 待つ (matsu) becomes 待った (matta).

  • Irregular verbs:
    「する」 becomes 「した」 (shita), and 「くる」 becomes 「きた」 (kita).

Mastering Conjugation

Understanding and mastering these forms are crucial for effectively communicating in Japanese.

Regular practice through speaking, listening, writing, and reading exercises will enhance your familiarity with these conjugations.

Additionally, exposure to natural Japanese in context, such as in conversations or media, helps solidify understanding and usage.


The Te-form, Nai-form, and Ta-form are foundational to Japanese verb conjugation, enabling learners to express a wide range of actions and states. Mastery of these forms enriches communication, allowing for more nuanced and accurate expression in Japanese.

Whether forming complex sentences, giving instructions, making requests, or discussing past events, these conjugations are indispensable tools in the Japanese language learner’s arsenal.