How to change a verb from “ます-form” to “ない-form”

Jane-san studies Japanese twice a week. Her teacher is Yamada-sensei.
She is planning to visit Tokyo next month with her Japanese classmates.
Jane-san and Yamada-sensei are discussing preparations for the trip.

全部 ぜんぶ何人 なんにん くでしょうね。アンさんも くでしょうか。アンさんは こしいた いと っていましたよね。
 I wonder how many people will go in total. I wonder if Ann-san will be there. She said her back hurts, right?

アンさんはたぶん かないおも います。
Ann will probably not go.

そうですか。 無理 むりしないほうがいいですよね。
I see. It’s better not to go.

The forms of “いかない” and “しない” in this conversation are the plain forms of “いきません” and “しません,” and are called the “Plain present negative form” or ない-form.”

When studying sentence patterns such as “~と おもいます(I think ~)” and “~ほうが いいです(~ is better),” you will also learn how to form the “ない-form,” but some people are not familiar with this.

Today, I will explain how to change the “ます-form ” to the “ない-form”.

Verbs are divided into three groups according to how they are conjugated.

Since each group has different rules, we will explain them separately. For reference, I will also write the dictionary form.

If you are not familiar with verb groupings or how to switch from the “ます-form” to the “dictionary form,” check articles below.


The verbs in Group Ⅰ

The verbs in Group I are as follows.

ます-formない-formdictionary form
 かます  kaimasu ない kawanai  kau  buy
 まます  machimasu ない matanai  matsu  wait
 つくます  tsukurimasu つくない tsukuranai つく tsukuru  make
 のます  nomimasu ない nomanai  nomu  drink
 よます  yomimasu ない yomanai  yomu  read
 あそます  asobimasu あそない asobanai あそ asobu play
 います  ikimasu ない ikanai  iku go
 かます  kakimasu ない kakanai  kaku write
 きます  kikimasu ない kikanai  kiku listen
 およます  oyogimasu およない oyoganai およ oyogu swim
 はなます  hanashimasu はなない hanasanai はな hanasu speak

Let’s look at hiragana above.

In the “ない-form”, the “-row ” sound in the Japanese syllabary in front of “ます” becomes the “-row ” sound, with “ない” behind it, as in “つくます” → “つくない” and “のます” → “のない”.

Note that “かます” becomes “かない. “

Let’s look at the romaji above.

As in [tsukurimasu] → [tsukuranai] and [nomimasu] → [nomanai], the [i] before [masu] in the “ます-form” becomes [a] in the “ない-form”, with “ない” behind it.

Note that [kaimasu] becomes [kawanai], [machimasu] becomes [matanai] and [hanashimasu] becomes [hanasanai].

The verbs in Group Ⅱ

The verbs in Group II are as follows.

ます-formない-formdictionary formMeaning
 みます  mimasu ない minai  miru  look
 おきます  okimasuおきない okinaiおきokiru wait
 たべます  tabemasuたべない tabenaiたべtaberu eat
 ねます   nemasuない nenaineru go to bed

The “ます” [masu] in the “ます-form ” becomes “ない” [nai] in the “ます-form”. The preceding “み,” “おき,” “たべ,” and “ね” remain unchanged.

The verbs in Group Ⅲ

★There are only two verbs in Group III, and they are as follows.

ます-formない-formdictionary formMeaning
 します   shimasuないshinaiする suru  do
 きます   kimasuないkonaiくる kuru  come

Please remember these two as they are.

Let’s do some practice.

【れんしゅう】 What is “ない-form” of the following verbs?

  •  a. かきます
  •  b. たべます
  •  c. まちます
  •  d. はなします
  •  e. のみます
  •  f.  つくります
  •  g. もってきます
  •  h. みます
  •  i.  かいます
  •  j.  いそぎます
  •  k. はこびます

Let’s think about it!

Here are the answers.

 a. かきます かかない
 b. たべます たべない
 c. まちます またない
 d. はなします はなさない
 e. のみます のまない
 f.  つくります つくらない
 g. もってきます もってこない
 h. みます みない
 i.  かいます かわない
 j.  いそぎます いそがない
 k. はこびます はこばない

Did you get everything right?

Japanese verbs have many other conjugated forms.

I’ll explain it in my blog later, so please watch out!

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