What is TE Form? – How to use Japanese TE Form

What is TE Form? – How to use Japanese TE Form


This is a sample lesson of a TE Form Master
course at Smile Nihongo Academy. Learn more about the course at smilenihongo.com/te. We are going to learn all about Japanese TE
form in this course, but what is TE form? TE form is one conjugation form that is used
to create various expressions in Japanese. Let me show you some examples. When you make an expression “please eat” in
English, you leave the verb “eat” as is and simply add “please” before that. Right? This is English. If you want to make the same expression in
Japanese, now you need to use the TE form. The verb “eat” is taberu in Japanese, but
it’s the plain form of the verb, so we need to change that into the TE form, which is
tabete, tabete, and add kudasai after that. So, “please eat” in Japanese is tabete kudasai. Tabete kudasai. Keep in mind that it’s not TABERU kudasai. So, this TABETE is the TE form of the verb
“eat.” Let me show you another example. If you want to say “you may eat” or “it’s
ok that you eat” now you need to change the verb to the TE form and add MO iidesu. So, “you may eat” in Japanese is tabete mo
iidesu, tabete mo iidesu. If you want to say the opposite, “you may
not eat” now you add WA dame desu to the TE form and say tabete wa dame desu, tabete wa
dame desu. If you want to say “I am eating right now”
then you add imasu to the TE form and say tabete imasu, tabete imasu. Like this, TE form can create so many different
expressions depending on the phrase that you add to it. This is what I meant by that TE form is used
to create various expressions. It is crucial that you know how to make TE
form so that you can understand and also make expressions in Japanese as you like. And that’s what we are going to learn in this
course. Ok, before we jump into how to make TE form,
let me walk you through the 5 important things that you need to know about Japanese TE form. Point #1. The final letter of TE form is either TE or
DE. Some TE forms have TE at the end like TABETE,
and other have DE as in YONDE. It all depends on the verb, and we are going
to learn how to come up with the correct TE form in the next lesson. Point #2. As we just discussed, TE form is combined
with a phrase and create an expression. As you already know, “you may eat” is tabete
mo iidesu. “I am eating” or “somebody is eating right now” is tabete imasu. If you want to make a polite request, “Would
you please eat?” then you say tabete kuremasuka? There are so many more expressions that take
TE form like these, and we are going to cover many of them in this course. Point #3. TE form is also used to list multiple actions,
meaning you mention more than one action in one sentence. For example, let’s say you want to say something
like this. “I wake up at 6, do yoga, eat breakfast, and
go to work.” In English, you can just list all the verbs
as they are in one sequence like this, right? In Japanese, you have to change them into
TE form except for the final verb that ends the sentence. So, it’s going to be like this. Watashi wa roku-ji ni okite, yoga o shite,
asagohan o tabete, shigoto ni ikimasu. Like this, out of the four verbs in the sentence,
you change the first three into TE forms, and end your sentence with the MASU form. Point #4. TE form doesn’t have any Tense. It’s completely neutral. It can be future tense, present tense, or
past tense. It’s all determined by the end of the sentence. For example, take a look at this sentence. It ends with “ikimasu,” right? It means this sentence is in the present tense. Since masu form can also indicate future tense
depending on the context, if you have the time expression like “tomorrow” in the sentence,
then, of course, all the verbs are going to be in the future tense. But for now, let’s put them back to the present
tense. Now, take a look at this second sentence. You have all the same TE forms as in the first
sentence, but the ending is different. Now you have the verb in the past tense “went”
ikimashita. Can you guess what these TE forms mean in
the second sentence? Right. Because of the verb ikimashita at the end,
now this entire sentence is in the past tense. So, here the TE form okite means “woke up”
not “wake up,” shite means “did” and tabete means “ate.” Like this, TE form doesn’t have any tense. It is entirely influenced by the main verb
that comes at the end of the sentence. Point #5. In the same manner, TE form doesn’t specify
any speech style. It can be used in the Formal or Informal speech. Again, what matters is how you end the sentence. In this sentence, you have ikimasu at the
end. MASU form indicates formal speech, so you
are saying this sentence in the formal style. In the second sentence, let’s say you have
the plain form of the verb “go” which is iku at the end. Ending a sentence with a plain verb means
you are using the Informal speech. Like this, even though the TE forms in these
two sentences are completely identical, the first sentence is formal speech and the second
sentence is informal speech because of the endings. So, these are the five things that you need
to keep in mind when you use your TE form. From here, you are going to learn how to make
TE form and learn many expressions that you need to use TE form such as “Can I call you
later?” “Would you give me your email address?” “Please change this to Japanese yen” and “I
am married,” or “I am not married. I am single” in Japanese. You are also going to do some exercises to
improve your pronunciation in the course. Join me in the TE form master course and you’re
going to learn all about TE form. Go to smilenihongo.com/te to learn more about
the course.

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