Lesson 29 - Masu (verbs)

So far, in all the verbs you have learned, the ending was either masu for present/simple future or masen for present/simple future negative. Japanese verbs have six tenses in all: present/simple future, present/simple future negative, past, past negative, "Let's", and "Shall". To make a verb past tense, simply change the masu ending to mashita. Simple, no? To make the verb past negative, keep the masen at the end of the present negative tense and simply add deshita to the end, making the whole ending masen deshita.

Now, the "Let's" and "Shall" are a little awkward, since we do not have this in English. To say something like "Let's go" you would take the verb ikimasu (go) and change the masu to mashou. Do this with any verb to change it to "Let's ___". "Shall we __?" is almost like the mashou, except you add ka to the end of mashou to make it a question. The only awkward verb we have learned so far that doesn't go by this pattern is desu. We know the present negative is dewa arimasen or janai desu. The past is deshita while the past negative is dewa arimasen deshita.

There is no "Let's" or "Shall" form of desu. No other verb follows the pattern of desu so you'll have to learn it seperately. Let's take a couple of verbs that we've learned so far and put them in their tenses:

Shi (to do)- shimasu (do), shimasen (do not do), shimashita (did), shimasen deshita (did not do), shimashou (let's do), shimashou ka (shall we do)
Hana (to speak)- hanashimasu (speak), hanashimasen (do not speak), hanashimashita (spoke), hanashimasen deshita (did not speak), hanashimashou (let's speak), hanashimashou ka (shall we speak)
Renshuu (to practice)- renshuu shimasu (practice), renshuu shimasen (do not practice), renshuu shimashita (practiced), renshuu shimasen deshita (did not practice), renshuu shimashou (let's practice), renshuu shimashou ka (shall we practice)
Mi (to look)- mimasu (look), mimasen (do not look), mimashita (looked), mimasen deshita (did not look), mimashou (let's look), mimashou ka (shall we look)

Verb tenses are easy one you master their concept.

Vocabulary Review
ました -mashita- past tense
ませんでした -masen deshita- past negative tense
ましょう -mashou- "let's" tense
ましょうか -mashou ka- "shall" tense
でした deshita- was
ではありませんでした dewa arimasen deshita- was not