Auxillary Verbs list by conjugation type?

I’m gradually building up my grammar, and I’m noticing that quite a lot of grammar involves taking a verb (e.g. 見る), doing something to it (like reducing it to the verb stem 見) and then adding more stuff afterwards (like ます or たがる). Or instead of the stem, we use a te-form. Or we move around in the hiragana column, switching from 泳ぐ to 泳が to make 泳がない。

You know what I mean!

But I get a bit overwhelmed by all the things one might do. I’m thinking “hmm, sugiru, is that something I attach to a verb stem, or does it come after the te form” , and I’m wondering if anyone’s stumbled across a list that sorts everything by the kind of conjugating that happens before the next bit gets added, i.e.

nagara (*edited because I’d originally typed nagaru)


Or is that just something I have to make up for myself as I learn each construction?

I hope I phrased this sensibly. I’m not sure what to call what it’s doing!

I think you are looking for Aeron Buchanan’s verbs chart :laughing:


There are so, so, so many of these auxiliary verbs. I’m not sure that there is a complete list. Either way I think it is better to learn them one by when you stumble upon them.
The important part is recognizing it is an auxiliary. But you seem to be doing a fine job of that already.

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It sounds like you’re getting confused regarding the various conjugations and these auxiliary verbs.

  1. There are verb conjugations (like -masu -te -nai etc.)
  2. There are auxiliary verbs you mention that results in new words. (Is nagaru a word or did you mean nagara?)

I think the more you understand (1), the more this issue will resolve itself. The others you will need to learn as they come and place them into the appropriate categories in your mind. For example, -garu doesn’t attach to a verb at all. It attaches to an i-adjective.
e.g. oishii → oishigaru
taberu → tabetai → tabetagaru

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Sorry, I did mean nagara–I’ve made an edit.

I’m probably not quite as confused as I might seem … I hope it’s not too impudent to suggest that depending on who you ask, what you’re reading, or where you’re learning, one might think of “nai” as an auxillary (e.g. this site: [Nai in Japanese can work as both an auxiliary verb and an i-adjective]) rather than as a conjugation.

But the more I understand the better … so, for instance, I was thinking that “tai” and “tagaru” get added to the verb stem, but I’ve learned just now, here (thanks!) that “garu” is added to the steb of “tai.” That’s great! It’s like when I realised (at least for me!) that “nai” is an adjective, so “nakatta” was really just adding “katta” to the stem of “nai,” leaving me with one less thing to have to remember.

(Presumably oishigaru means ‘seems delicious’?)

So yes, all those things will have to sort out over time as I learn more.

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Yes, that! That’s terrific, thank you. I’m sure I’ll have lots left to learn, but I don’t want to reinvent the wheel when the wheel’s already in chart form and looking so good.


I made a chart some time ago (this particular chart lists conjugatons for Godan る verbs) which might be helpful:


Thank you, I’ll happily take it!

Strictly speaking, ながら is a particle rather than an auxiliary verb. It doesn’t conjugate.


There may be more uses but the only way I’ve used in this pattern in 20+ years of speaking Japanese (but not so good at retaining kanji which is why I’m here) is to indicate how others think or feel about something.

[He] wants to eat → 食べたがっている
[The dog’s] really enjoying his [dinner] → 本当に美味しがっていますね。