Japanese grammar is broken, f'real

fish fish fish, fish.


Yeah, you don’t like that there are godan and ichidan verbs, huh. :slight_smile: (that’s basically what half of those are about anyway)


But everything you mentioned does have a logical basis, they’re just the consequences of other rules you haven’t learned yet that only seemingly contradict the first rules you were exposed to.


I’m not sure about Japanese grammar been broken, but it sounds like Japanese grammar may have broken you :rofl:

I feel your pain - although if you look into it, you might find English to be the most broken of the two languages ! :rotating_light: haha


This feels like a day where I’m being mean to me for no reason

Sry, unrelated but I wanted to post that


There’s one golden rule for Japanese that completely explains all of these issues:

All Rules Have Exceptions. Including This One.


I know you’re mostly just venting, but if you want to ask specific questions with examples people will probably be able to clear up your confusion.


There are apps for that: webapp Katsu: practise Japanese conjugation - 活用 for example.


I’d say don’t worry about it too much. I used to always get stuck trying to get everything down perfectly, and gave up. This time I’ve just had enough input (and some output) that the conjugations start becoming second nature. You need to experience the grammar, instead of trying to memorize every rule.


I suggest you and everyone else with the same problems to check “Organic japanese with cure dolly” on youtube, just the first couple of videos will blow your mind and revolutionize the way you see japanese grammar; she also has some lessons on verbs.


Honestly, the biggest problem with Japanese is getting used to a completely different way of structuring sentences, what with particles and the lack of spaces between words and whatnot. Though, speaking as a German, I don’t think I would have enjoyed trying to learn that language as anything but my first, either.

Three genders which are pretty much assigned at random for anything that’s non-living (like “star” in general’s male, but “sun” is female?), conjugation is a complete mess loaded with exceptions, God knows how many different articles (what would be just “the” in English becomes “der”, “die”, “das”, “des”, “dem” or “den” in German - and I’m pretty sure I’m missing some, on top of “der”, “die” and “den” being used in both singluar and plural)…


If you take the time to learn how to conjugate godan verbs, they are actually very consistent. Every godan verb that ends with a particular syllable will always conjugate the same way. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to learn Latin or Spanish or something like that but, trust me verb conjugation in Japanese is very simple and easy if you put the time in. As for the rest of grammar stuff, it can be confusing because it’s very different from English, but I feel like there’s an underlying logic to it that’s relatively consistent.


It sounds like OP will benefit from this.

This too.

OP, it might be helpful to spend about half an hour reviewing how verbs work in Japanese. The Cure Dolly video might help you there. I know it helped me a lot realising that it’s less “conjugation” and more slotting things together.

Godan verbs (or u-verbs) can end in る but if the sound coming before る is /i/ or /e/ it might be an ichidan verb (or a ru-verb). If the sound coming before る is /a/, /u/, or /o/ then it is always godan.

There’s a handful of na-adjectives that end in い but the only one that can never be written entirely in kanji is 嫌い because it comes from the verb 嫌う.

All the other verbs that end in i but are na-adjectives CAN be written in kanji even if they aren’t usually like きれい “beautiful, clean” can be 綺麗.

Yep, you should already know from English or any other language you speak than if you want to use negative form you don’t use past form.

Yep, the auxiliary that makes a verb volitional IS よう for ichidan verbs. For godan verbs it’s trickier but always regular.

You take the verb and expose the stem to the /o/ sound of the hiragana table and then add う. So:
and so on.

Remember, the tense of a sentence is determined by the predicate (the verb coming right at the very end of a sentence) and remember that one of て-form’s purposes is to link verbs within a sentence.

This is again because you need to spend some more time with godan verbs.

The negative stem for godan verbs is /a/ line and then you just add the adjective -ない. The only tricky one here is 〜う which uses わ because of either (1) history, or (2) ease of pronunciation.
So 言う “to say” becomes 言わ- and then finally 言わない “to not speak”
and 死ぬ “to die” becomes 死な and then finally 死なない “to not die”


Over time the rules fade away and you can just hear what sounds right. I’m just now getting to that point with basic verb and adjective forms, but things like passive, causative, and stupid causative-passive still give me a headache.


Well, I would say there are ones like that that all come from verbs (場違い, 不釣り合い, 足手纏い, etc).

There’s also 幸い, which as far as I can tell doesn’t come from a verb.

But yes, the vast majority that end with い aren’t made like this.


honestly, it’s better if you don’t try to learn all of them at once, start slow, learn one of them, then practice until you can use them without thinking and only then move on to the next grammar rule.
After a while you will use all of them without thinking and only get stuck on a few words that are the expection.

But I honestly feel where you are coming from, started to read Manga 2 months ago and boy the grammar in there is just so overwhelming! (so much slang >~<) But after a while I got used to certain things and now I am ok with using them too. :slight_smile: Sadly patience is the key

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omg I know right! I hate those, but only because I barely use them.

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Your experience may be different, but I remember the passive started making so much more sense to me when I learned that に is used to mark the agent in passive sentences. So in things like 先生に怒られた, you can tell right away that a) in the absence of an explicit subject (usually marked with が), you can assume the target of the action is the speaker and b) the noun marked by に is the one doing the action. So you can figure out that it means “the teacher got mad at (me)”, and it gets pretty natural to understand.

As for conjugating to it, I don’t find the passive all that confusing, the main issue I have is getting confused by the potential and passive forms being the same for ichidan verbs. The causative-passive can be hard to remember at first, but thankfully it doesn’t show up nearly as much. And besides, if you can remember how to get to the causative, all you have to do to get the causative-passive is change させる to させられる. I don’t think that’s particularly difficult.


Logically, I’ve got it all down as well, and can read it with no problem provided I pause for a second to work it out. But just hearing and saying it without some kind of structural thinking isn’t quite there yet. To me, the “without thinking about it” stage is the goal.

I recently purchased one of the listening exercise books in the SouMatome series, and causative/passive sentences come up pretty early. I’m hoping that will get it into my ears and mouth and not just my math-brain.


Nice, I think practice and experience will definitely make it more natural.

Also I hope my last post didn’t come across as too preachy, it was kinda half just my own experience with it and half kinda a way I found to look at it that helped me, so I just wanted to share in case it could help you as well. Reading and listening more will definitely help make it more natural, as Japanese speakers love to use the passive voice all the time. :slightly_smiling_face: