Home / Learn Japanese / 129. The -て form and the imperative part 1

Learn Japanese
Lesson 129: The -て form and the imperative part 1

As you have already learned, there are three verb groups: Group 1, or だん; Group 2, or いちだん; and Group 3. In this lesson you will learn how to obtain the て-form for verbs from Group 2 and Group 3, and how the て-form can be used to make requests in Japanese. First, we will take a closer look at how we can determine what group a verb belongs to.

Classifying verbs

You can classify most Japanese verb by asking the following questions in order.

Question Verb group Examples
Is the verb する or ?
(Include noun + verb compounds like べんきょうする)
Group 3 する
Does the verb not end in an iru or eru sound? Group 1 ある
The verb ends in an eru or iru sound. Probably Group 2 べる
Maybe group 1 はい

Obtaining the て-form for verbs of Group 2 and Group 3

The て-form is a verb conjugation that can be used in many different situations. For example, it can be used for making requests, connecting sentences together, and it's used in the present progressive tense.

The て-form for Group 2, or いちだん, verbs is obtained by replacing the final with .

The て-form for Group 3 verbs is also obtained be replacing the final with , but in addition, the u sound changes into an i sound.

Dictionary form Verb group て-form
べる Group 2 べて
Group 2
する Group 3 して
Group 3

Making requests with the て-form

There's a variety of ways for asking for something or making a request in Japanese, which vary in terms of the level of politeness or appropriateness for specific situations. In this lesson we will introduce the pattern て-form + ください (please). This is a very versatile way to ask for something used among both friends and in more formal situations. Check out the example sentences below to see this grammar point used in context.

English Japanese
Please come. てください。
kite kudasai.
Please look. てください。
mite kudasai.
Please eat (your) vegetables. さいべてください。
yasai wo tabete kudasai.
Please do the shopping. ものをしてください。
kaimono wo site kudasai.
Question Answer