Differentiation between godan and inchidan verbs with ru ending


#1

Hi.

Learning japanese, I’ve obviously started picking up that for example that 食べる and 見る are ichidan verbs, as in they’re conjugated, in te-form for example, as 食べて and 見て. While 取る is a godan verb conjugated like 取って.But whenever I come across an unknown verb with a ~ru ending, I have to look it up to check how to conjugated it.

My question is, is there any system or rules that decide whether a verb ending in ru is conjugated on way or the other?

Thanks.


#2

If the verb ends in -aru, -uru, or -oru (like 取る), then it’s always godan. Verbs ending in -iru or -eru (like 食べる) could be either, but most are ichidan. Best to just memorize the exceptional ones that are instead godan.


#3

Some just have to be memorized. For instance, the いる verbs are a mess. (*note, some of these are archaic or literary, but still amusing)

居る - to be - ichidan
要る - to need - godan
煎る - to fry (and like 6 other cooking verbs) - godan
射る - to shoot an arrow - ichidan
鋳る - to mint a coin - ichidan
沒る - to set beyond the horizon - godan
癒る - to calm down - ichidan


#4

The two I definitely had to memorize (and still mess up from time to time) are 帰る and 行く, but thankfully these are pretty common verbs so I can practice them a lot.


#5

Speaking of 帰る, it’s part of a little かえる family that is not much fun.

帰る - to return home - godan
替える・換える・代える - to replace/exchange/substitute - ichidan
変える - to change - ichidan
返る - to return - godan
買える - to be able to buy - ichidan (potential form of godan 買う)
飼える - to be able to keep (a pet) - ichidan (potential form of godan 飼う)

There’s too many かえる’s. To make it worse, かえる is also the word for frog. I guess the kanji is too obscure for WK.

EDIT: clarified base verb/potential form thing


#6

買える - to be able to buy - godan (potential form of 買う)
飼える - to be able to keep (a pet) - godan (potential form of 飼う)

Don’t all verbs become ichidan when you conjugate to the potential form?


#7

I worded it badly, 飼う and 買う are godan. Yeah.


#8

It’s a great opportunity to make tongue twisters though.


#9

Here is a page that I found a long time ago that helps a lot. :wink: