Taeko Kamiya The Handbook of Japanese Verbs

ISBN 13: 9784770026835

The Handbook of Japanese Verbs

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9784770026835: The Handbook of Japanese Verbs

From the very earliest stages of study until far into the intermediate level, students of the Japanese language are continually scratching their heads over the usage of verbs. It is no wonder that they should feel the need for a solid reference book, one they can continually turn to throughout their studying careers. The Handbook of Japanese Verbs is just that book.

The Introduction takes the first step toward comprehension by pointing out the features of Japanese verbs that stand in contrast to their English counterparts, such as tense, politeness level, auxiliaries, and transitive and intransitive forms.

Part 1 shows through tables and concise commentary how Japanese verbs are categorized, conjugated, and combined with auxiliaries. Each form is followed by a short exercise, reinforcing the points just made.

Part 2 takes up the forms described in the first part and shows how they function in full-fledged sentences. Each discussion is followed by examples and exercises, ensuring that the student has understood the forms under discussion.

In the appendices, the student is offered a number of look-up methods, including an English-Japanese verb dictionary. This completes the apparatus necessary for a solid handbook on Japanese verbs, a book students can rely on for many years to come

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About the Author:

TAEKO KAMIYA received a BA for Doshisha Women's College (Kyoto) and MAs from the University of San Francisco in education and from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in linguistics. She taught Japanese for twenty-five years at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California. Among her publications are Speak Japanese Today (1989), Japanese for Fun: Make Your Stay in Japan More Enjoyable (1990), Tuttle New Dictionary on Loanwords in Japanese (1994), Subject-Grouped 1016 Kanji in Context (1997), and Japanese Particle Workbook (1998).

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:


In order to master a foreign language, it is crucial for students to acquire a solid knowledge of its verbs and their usage. Japanese is no exception.

Japanese verbs are often said to be difficult and complicated and hard to learn. That is not true. In fact, they are simple and less complicated to learn than those of many other languages. Unlike some European languages, you do not have to memorize different forms to indicate the number or person or gender of the subject of the sentence. The verb kaku, for instance, could mean I/we write, you (sing./ pl.) write, he/she/it writes or they write. Moreover, Japanese verbs are highly regular in the way they make their forms. Once you grasp certain rules for making such forms as the negative, conjunctive, conditional forms, etc., you will be able to apply these rules to almost any verbs.

The purpose of this book is to describe in detail not only how Japanese verbs conjugate, but how you should use the verb forms in connection with sentence structures.

The book is divided into two parts. Part I deals with the conjugations of the three types of verbs--regular I, regular II and irregular verbs, as well as copulas (be-verbs) and auxiliaries. A conjugation practice follows the description of a verb or a group of verbs. Part II deals with the usage of various verb forms. Each usage is illustrated with example sentences, and exercises are provided every few lessons to allow you to test your understanding.

I do hope that this book will prove to be helpful--you will discover how simple and easy conjugating and using Japanese verbs can be.

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