Conjugation for Negative U-Verbs

This question is specifically for u-verbs, more specifically all other u-verbs that are not う itself. With reference to Tae Kim’s guide, he mentioned that when conjugating ‘all other u-verbs’ ‘Replace the u-vowel sound with the a-vowel equivalent and attach 「ない」’

Does the a-vowel equivalent mean choose the a-vowel from the same family? For example, if it’s a く
I shall replace it with か?


Yeap, exactly. So 聞く becomes 聞かない or 話す becomes 話さない, and so on. Be careful with verbs ending on う though, like 会う, in negative it turns into 会わない


Right I see. Thanks for the clear explanation!

1 Like

It’s important not to leave out verbs that have an okurigana え or い sound before the る. In these cases the る is dropped entirely and replaced with ない.

受ける =/= 受けらない
受ける = 受けない

信じる =/= 信じらない
信じる = 信じない

However, if the え or い is part of the kanjis reading, the previous rule still applies.

走る = 走らない
走る =/= 走ない


Though, the question was specifically about う-verbs. You’re describing る-verbs.


Huh, never realised this. I just got this through repeated exposure to the specific verb and its conjugations. Never noticed that tidbit about okurigana,

Other way around. る-verbs are 一段, う-verbs are 五段.


I made a big chart of verb conjugations a while ago, and while it’s not perfectly comprehensive I tried to make it useful to most situations. Comes in two versions, hiragana and romaji.

The charts

I also have this site here Random Verb Conjugation Practice | Steven Kraft which is a useful practice tool. For the parts of grammar on the chart, those are negative, past, polite, and te forms.

I hope these help someone!

Edit: to clarify, the site isn’t mine. I have it in the sense that it lives in my “japanese study” bookmark folder :stuck_out_tongue:


that’s awesome mind if I steal those?


Go right ahead! I want my work to help people ^^


I don’t think anyone’s mentioned that Godan verbs ending in う switch to わ, not あ, before ない.

It was explained to me that historically, these verbs ended with ~wu, but since today the wu sound isn’t pronounced in native japanese words, they’ve become う, but they still switch to the w-line when possible.


ur such a gem T_T also i love that site lol i have it in my japanese bookmark folder too, super helpful


My favorite conjugation explanation is this one:

I feel like it’s the most intuitive. However I highly suggest you change playback speed to 1.5x or higher.

The original question was a bit awkwardly stated, but (regardless of the thread title), it’s about all 五段 verbs that don’t end with う. Specifically, 五段 verbs that end with く, す, つ, ぬ, む, or る. 走る is a 五段 verb.


1 Like

Oops, you’re right, I entirely missed what they meant by “う-verbs”. Haven’t used that terminology in a while and forgot. I was wondering what verbs they’d be trying to exclude since they all end in an う syllable :sweat_smile:

1 Like

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