行きませんでした I don't understand the ending to this please help

I’m read kims japanese grammar guide and on the part about compound sentences and I understand most of this sentence 時間がなかったからパーティーに行きませんでした。 except the last part. Why does 行きませんでした have a き instead of ka? what grammar rule is that? Also what does the でした mean?

What き? Where are you expecting a か in there?

This is just a conjugation of the polite -ます stem on the end of verbs.
~ますーpolite non-past positive (ie: I go/I will go)
~ましたーpolite past positive (ie: I went)
~ませんーpolite non-past negative (ie: I don’t go/I won’t go)
~ませんでしたーpolite past negative (ie: I didn’t go)

行く conjugates to 行きます first, and from there, you’d just conjugate to the correct tense.

You should learn polite forms, they’re very common and they’re very easy to learn!
頑張って!

Edited for more clarification: the でした in ませんでした isn’t just “that’s how it conjugates!”, it’s also from the conjugation of the copula verb だ.
だ becomes です in polite form, and from there, です conjugates similarly to ます above.
ですーpolite non-past positive (is/will be)
でしたーpolite past positive(was)
ではありませんーpolite non-past negative (isn’t/will not be)
ではありませんでしたー polite past negative (wasn’t)

I hope that helps! And I’m sorry if I told you things you already know, it’s just that this is a pretty basic part of Japanese, so I figured a too-detailed explanation is better than a bare-bones one.

4 Likes

The negative form of the past can be (polite and plain) 行きませんでした or 行かなかった. Go ahead and try to spell it with “ka” 行ませんでした, doesn’t it sound awful to you? If it doesn’t, don’t worry, it will just take a bit more time until you can spot bad verbal conjugations from the sound, and that is an ability you really want to have since it can help you a lot : )

It’s worth mentioning every verb will have the suffix transformed to “base-i” く becomes き in this case. Another example can be 言 which becomes 言ませんでした.

Edit: I misread iku for kuru, my head is spinning hard right now, fixed.

2 Likes

thanks I understand it now.

1 Like

thanks for the explanation

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.