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Japanese Grammar: Most Common Verb Tenses Explained

DEFINITION: Tenses can indicate a relationship between the time the action in a verb occurs and the time the verb is uttered, In Japanese exist only two tenses, the present and the past tense.

PRESENT TENSE

In this tense exist two forms the affirmative and negative present.

Affirmative

In Japanese for the affirmative tense you can add the word (masu) in the final of the verb or not.

**English****Japanese****Romanji**
I'm eating私は食べています*Watashi wa tabete imasu*
You are dancingあなたが踊っている*Anata ga odotte iru*
He is playing彼が演奏しているます*Kare ga ensō shite irumasu*
She is cooking彼女は料理です*Kanojo wa ryōridesu*
We are writing我々は書いている*Wareware wa kaite iru*
They are painting彼らは,塗装されています*Karera wa, tosō sa rete imasu*

Negative

In Japanese for the affirmative tense you can add the word masen in the final of the verb or not.

**English****Japanese****Romanji**
I do not play果たし再生されません*Watashi wa saisei sa remasen*
you don't danceあなたはダンスはありません*Anata wa dansu wa arimasen*
He is not singing彼は歌っていません*Kare wa utatte imasen*
She is not writing彼女が執筆されていません*Kanojo ga shippitsu sa rete imasen*
We are not swimming我々は,水泳されていません*Wareware wa, suiei sa rete imasen*
They are not jumping彼らはジャンプしていない*Karera wa janpu shite inai*

PAST TENSE

In this tense exist two forms the affirmative and negative past.

Affirmative

In Japanese for the affirmative tense you can add the word mashita in the final of the verb or not.

**English****Japanese****Romanji**
I was singing私が歌っていた*Watashi ga utatte ita*
You were eatingあなたが食べていた*Anata ga tabete ita*
He was jumping彼がジャンプした*Kare ga janpu shita*
She was running彼女は走っていた*Kanojo wa hashitte ita*
We were playing私たちは遊んでいた*Watashi-tachi wa asonde ita*
They were playing彼らが遊んでいた*Karera ga asonde ita*

Negative

In Japanese for the affirmative tense you can add the word masen deshita in the final of the verb or not.

**English****Japanese****Romanji**
I was not playing私は再生されていない*Watashi wa saisei sa rete inai*
You did not playあなたは演奏されなかった*Anata wa ensō sa renakatta*
He did not dance彼は踊ることはなかった*Kare wa odoru koto wa nakatta*
She did not read彼女が読んでいないKanojo ga yonde inai
We did not work我々は動作しませんでしたWareware wa dōsa shi*masendeshita*
They did not sing彼らが歌うしませんでしたKarera ga utaushi*masendeshita*

Author: Ichika
"新しい言語は、新たな人生の始まり。"
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