Conjugating Verbs to て Form

    • Verb
    • Conjugation Form
    The て form is a type of Japanese verb conjugation form used for many different purposes, including linking actions and making requests.

    What Is the て Form?

    The て form is a type of Japanese verb conjugation form, often called "te-form" or て形. On its own, it has two functions: linking actions and making requests.

    Let's take a look at how to turn Japanese verbs into their て forms.

    Godan  → 会って
     → 立って
    変わ → 変わって
     → 書いて
     → 泳いで
     → 死んで
     → 遊んで
     → 休んで
    Ichidan 食べ → 食べ
    起き → 起き
    閉じ → 閉じ
    Irregular  → 行って
     →  来てき 
    する → して

    There are several different ways to conjugate a verb to the て form depending on its ending. Let's break it down so it's a bit easier to understand.

    Godan Verbs

    To conjugate godan verbs that end in う, つ, or る, replace the ending sounds with って. For example, the て form of 会う (to see) is:

     + って = 会って

    Godan verbs that end in く are conjugated by replacing く with いて. For example, the て form of 書く (to write) is:

     + いて = 書いて

    This next one is a curveball. To conjugate godan verbs that end in ぐ, replace ぐ with いで. For example, the て form of 泳ぐ (to swim) is:

     + いで = 泳いで

    "Hey! This should be called で form, not て form 😠," you might say. You have a point, but we're still calling it て form (sorry, not sorry).

    Godan verbs that end in ぬ, ぶ, or む are also the で form (and you can call it that, if you want). Replace the ending kana with んで. For example, the て form of 死ぬ (to die) is:

     + んで = 死んで

    Ichidan Verbs

    As always, ichidan verbs are easy! Replace る with て. For example, the て form of 見る (to see) is:

     + て = 見

    Irregular Verbs

    Although 行く (to go) is a godan verb that ends in く, its て form is irregular.

    行く → 行って

    As usual, る (to come) and する (to do) conjugate irregularly. In the て form, they become:

    る → 
    する → して

    Negative て Form

    For the negative form of 〜て, turn the verb into the negative form first, then add で at the end.

    Godan 書く → 書かない + で = 書かない
    Ichidan 見る → 見ない + で = 見ない
    Irregular る →  ない + で =  ない
    する → しない + で = しない

    For example, for the verb 書く (to write), conjugate it to its negative form 書かない. Then add で to the end. You'll get 書かないで, right? That's the negative て form of 書く!

     + かない = 書かない + で = 書かないで