Basic Verb Grouping for Deciding Your Particles

Contents
  1. The Verbs of Existing
  2. The Verbs of Giving
  3. The Verbs of Receiving
  4. The Verbs of Moving in One Direction
  5. The Verbs of Activities Occurring at One Place
  6. The Verbs of Moving About
  7. The Verbs of Leaving a Place

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1. The Verbs of Existing

  • be います  imasu
  • be あります  arimasu
  • stay います  imasu

We call this kind of verbs the Verbs of Existing. The reason is they express the state of existing, being or staying at one place.

With these verbs, when we mention the location of the existence, the location word is always followed by “ni” (に).

FYI, Related Post: => The Particle “ni"

As you may already know, we mark the subjects with a following “ga” (が) or “wa” (は), depending on the situation.

Example: コンビニにでんがあります。Konbini ni denchi ga arimasu. (There are some batteries at the convenient store.)

2. The Verbs of Giving

An image to help verb grouping for deciding a particle
[Click to Enlarge / 画像をクリックすると拡大します] “Give an acorn to a deer” is “shika ni donguri o yarimasu”. With verbs such as “yarimasu”, you say “ni” after “shika (deer)” to show it is the recepient. Image by photo-ac
  • (I) give あげます agemasu
  • (I) give (to children, pets or plants) やります yarimasu
  • (someone) gives (me) くれます kuremasu
  • lend します kashimasu
  • teach おしえます oshiemasu
  • make a phone call でんします denwa-shimasu, でんをかけます denwa o kakemasu
  • send おくります okurimasu, します dashimasu

We call these verbs, but not exclusively, the Verbs of Giving. The reason is they generally mean a transfer of a thing from the speaker to another (or others).

With these verbs, we often mention the recipient. The word for that person is always followed by “ni” (に).

FYI, Related Post: => The Particle “ni"

As for the subjects, we mark them with a following “ga” (が) or “wa” (は), depending on the situation.

Example: わたしははでんします。Watashi wa haha ni denwa-shimasu. (I call my mom.)

3. The Verbs of Receiving

An image to
“Learn from a teacher” is “sensei ni naraimasu.” With verbs such as “naraimasu”, you say “ni” after “sensei (teacher)” to show she is the “giver”. Image by photo-ac
  • receive もらいます moraimasu
  • borrow ります karimasu
  • learn ならいます naraimasu

We call these verbs, but not exclusively, the Verbs of Receiving. The reason is they generally mean a receipt of a thing (including knowledge) by the speaker from another (or others).

With these verbs, we often mention the person from whom we receive, borrow, rent, or learn. The word for that person is always followed by “ni” (に).

FYI, Related Post: => The Particle “ni"

We mark the subjects with a following “ga” (が) or “wa” (は), depending on the situation.

Example: わたし友達ともだちにパソコンをります。Watashi wa tomodachi ni pasokon o karimasu. (I will borrow a personal computer from my friend.)

4. The Verbs of Moving in One Direction

  • go きます ikimasu
  • come ます kimasu
  • return (to your home or where you consider home) かえります kaerimasu
  •  (speaking of your residence, workplace, etc.) move します hikkoshimasu
  • bring [a thing] ってます motte-kimasu
  • take [a thing] ってきます motte-ikimasu
  • bring [a person] れてます tsurete-kimasu
  • take [a person] れてきます tsurete-ikimasu
  • arrive  (for this, “に” sounds better than “へ” to show the destination) きます tsukimasu

We call this kind of verbs, but not exclusively, the Verbs of Moving in One Direction. The reason is they generally mean the moving of your position in one direction, or travelling from one place to another.

With these verbs, we often mention the destination. The word for the destination is always followed by “e” (へ) or “ni” (に).

FIY, Related Post: =>  The Particle “e” and The Particle “ni"

The subjects are marked with a following “ga” (が) or “wa” (は), depending on the situation.

Example: わたしほんきます。Watashi wa nihon e ikimasu. (I’m going to Japan.)

5. The Verbs of Activities Occurring at One Place

  • eat べます tabemasu
  • sleep ます nemasu
  • work はたらきます hatarakimasu
  • meet (someone) います aimasu
  • teach おしえます oshiemasu
  • learn ならいます naraimasu
  • dine しょくします shokuji-shimasu
  • wait ちます machimasu
  • hurry いそぎます isogimasu
  • help つだいます tetsudaimasu
  • talk はなします hanashimasu
  • use 使つかいます tsukaimasu
  • show せます misemasu
  • make つくります tsukurimasu
  • cook りょうします ryoori-shimasu, ~をつくります tsukurimasu
  • pay [money] はらいます haraimasu
  • lose なくします nakushimasu
  • be born まれます umaremasu

We call these verbs, but not exclusively, the Verbs of Activities Occurring at One Place. The reason is they generally mean an activity which takes place at one place without moving to another place.

With these verbs, when we mention the location of occurrence, the word for the location is always followed by “de” (で).

FYI, Related Post: => The Particle “de” (で)

We again mark the subjects with “ga” (が) or “wa” (は), depending on the situation.

Example: わたしこうます。Watashi wa hikooki de nemasu. (I will sleep in the airplane.)

6. The Verbs of Moving About

  • walk あるきます arukimasu
  • run はしります hashirimasu
  • drive (a car) (くるまで) はしります hashirimasu
  • take a walk さんします sanpo-shimasu
  • travel 旅行りょこうします ryokoo-shimasu
  • [Whales, salmon and other creatures that swim in wide space] swim およぎます oyogimasu
  • give a tour [of a place] 案内あんないします annai-shimasu

We call these verbs, but not exclusively, the Verbs of Moving About. The reason is they generally mean an activity of moving in unlimited space.

With these verbs, we often mention the space we move around in. The word for the space is always followed by “o” (を).

FYI, Related Post => The Particle "o" (を)

We mark the subjects with “ga” (が) or “wa” (は), depending on the situation.

Example: わたし公園こうえんさんします。Watashi wa kooen o sampo-shimasu. (I take a walk in the park.)

7. The Verbs of Leaving a Place

  • leave, go out of [a place] ます demasu
  • graduate from [a school] ます demasu
  • get off/out [a vehicle] ります orimasu
  • run out, jump out of [a place] します tobidashimasu

We call these verbs, but not exclusively, the Verbs of Leaving a Place. The reason is they generally mean an activity of leaving a place.

With these verbs, we often mention the place we leave. The word for the place is always followed by “o” (を).

FYI, Related Post => The Particle "o" (を)

The subjects are marked with “ga” (が) or “wa” (は), depending on the situation.

Example: わたしきってんます。Watashi wa kissaten o demasu. (I will leave the coffeeshop.)

From our experience, these are the most confusing particles at the beginning, even at the intermediate level. We hope this helps you.

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