Grammar

-MASU (-ます) -MASEN (-ません) -MASHITA (-ました)


The suffix -MASU (ます) is attached to the conjunctive base of a verb to make one's statement polite.

VERB (conjunctive base) + MASU

Here’s a brief reminder of the construction of the conjunctive base of a verb:

For “godan” verbs, replace the ending U with an I, then add the suffix -MASU.

飲む (nomu) 飲みます (nomimasu)
遊ぶ (asobu) 遊びます (asobimasu)

For “ichidan” verbs, replace RU with -MASU.

食べる (taberu) 食べます (tabemasu)
答える (kotaeru) 答えます (kotaemasu)

There are a few irregular forms that must be learned by heart:

来る (kuru) 来ます (kimasu)
する (suru) します (shimasu)
なさる (nasaru) なさいます (nasaimasu)
おっしゃる (ossharu) おっしゃいます (osshaimasu)
いらっしゃる (irassharu) いらっしゃいます (irasshaimasu)
くださる (kudasaru) くださいます (kudasaimasu)
ござる (gozaru) ございます (gozaimasu)

ARU “ある” and IRU “いる” become ARIMASU “あります” and IMASU “います” respectively.

MASU (ます) is actually the present and future form. To express the negative form or the past tense, other forms exist of course.

PRESENT

今日(きょう)映画館(えいがかん)()きます
Kyou wa eigakan ni ikimasu.
Today, I am going to the cinema.
Present = -masu

FUTURE

明日(あした)映画館(えいがかん)()きます
Ashita wa eigakan ni ikimasu.
Tomorrow, I will go to the cinema.
Future = -masu

PAST

簡単(かんたん)(こた)えました
Kantan ni kotaemashita.
I answered easily.
Past = -mashita

NEGATIVE FORM

もう(にく)()べません
Mou niku o tabemasen.
I don’t eat meat anymore.
Negation = -masen

NEGATIVE FORM OF THE PAST

宿題(しゅくだい)しませんでした
Shukudai o shimasen deshita.
I didn’t do my homework.
Negative Past = -masen deshita

Always keep in mind that ます let's you express yourself in a polite way. In dictionaries, verbs are not found in this form, but in the plain form (also called the dictionary form, for this reason). The plain form is very often used to talk to friends or family. To make the difference clear, observe again the difference in verb endings in the plain and polite forms:

 

PLAIN

POLITE

To eat 食べる (taberu) 食べます (tabemasu)
To drink 飲む (nomu) 飲みます (nomimasu)
To look 見る (miru) 見ます (mimasu)

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  Posted on Mar 21, 2020, 12:29:36 AM #2

Goldenangel3341



It will be cool to hover over Japanese words that we don't know to see what they mean. Or we could click them.
  Posted on Sep 27, 2016, 5:15:47 PM #1

WhyCoy



I enjoyed the condensed yet concise instruction. For me, it's just a review of grammar, so I'm not sure in my observation that if I were a beginner, that I would understand completely. Cheers.
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