Don't do anything! (Unit 1)

You're going to love ichidan verbs because the stem never changes.

For every type of conjugation, all you have to do is stick a verb ending on to it, and you're done.

That's why the verb stems of 食べる (たべる // to eat) and 寝る (ねる // to sleep) — which are 食べ- (たべ-) and 寝- (ね-), respectively — are the same in every form listed on our cheat sheet:

食べる taberu to eat
食べるな taberu na don't eat!
食べない tabenai don't eat
食べられる taberareru be eaten
食べさせる tabesaseru make/let (someone) eat
食べろ tabero eat!
食べれば tabereba if one eats
食べられる taberareru can eat
食べよう tabeyou let's eat
食べます tabemasu eat
食べません tabemasen do not eat
食べましょう tabemashou let's eat
食べなさい tabenasai eat!
食べて tabete eat and
食べた tabeta ate
食べたら tabetara if/when one ate

寝る neru to sleep
寝るな neru na don't sleep!
寝ない nenai don't sleep
寝られる nerareru have (someone) sleep
寝させる nesaseru make/let (someone) sleep
寝ろ nero sleep!
寝れば nereba if one sleeps
寝られる nerareru can sleep
寝よう neyou let's sleep
寝ます nemasu sleep
寝ません nemasen do not sleep
寝ましょう nemashou let's sleep
寝なさい nenasai sleep!
寝て nete sleep and
寝た neta slept
寝たら netara if/when one slept

There are a couple of other conjugation forms in which the stems of other verbs don't change, as well.

We've already seen the present tense of the positive plain form, which is the same as the dictionary form. That's when the verb doesn't change at all: 

Perhaps you remember that we talked about such verbs in an earlier lecture, in which we saw this dialogue:

あした よてい ある?
Do you have any plans tomorrow?
Literally: “tomorrow + plans + have?”

べつに。 ナミ は?
Not really. How about you?
Literally: “not particularly. + Nami + は?”

べんきょう する。
I’m gonna study.
Literally: “studying + do.”

えらい ね。
Literally: “admirable / impressive / great + ね.”

Let's talk about something new, though.


There is another conjugation form in which no verb stems change: 禁止形 (きんしけい // prohibitive form)!

When we are commanding someone not to do something, we can just snap a な onto the end of a dictionary-form verb. So, take a verb like 座る (すわる // to sit), snap な onto the end, and you get:

すわる な!
Don't sit down!

These negative commands are typically used in informal speech. They have the potential to sound quite rude, so please be careful using them. 禁止形 will be covered more in depth in a future JLPT N4 lesson.

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