Japanese Study Materials: う・よう形 ・ Volitional Form

Japanese Study Materials: う・よう形 ・ Volitional Form
う・よう形 ・ Volitional Form

In Japanese you can express the idea of “lets do” or “shall we do” something by using the volitional form verb conjugation. Godan (Group I) verbs and ichidan (Group II) verbs both have their own conjugation rules.

ごだん動詞 Godan Verbs

Start with a plain form verb (ふつう形), remove the [u] ending sound and replace it with the [o] ending sound hiragana, and then add  う. All plain form verbs end in the [u] column on the hiragana chart, so you can just move down two rows to find the corresponding [o] ending sound. You can also start in the polite/masu form (ます形) by cutting off the ます and changing the [i] ending sound hiragana to the [o] ending sound hiragana.

Examples ・例えば

  • (I) buy  → Let's/shall we buy買う → 買おう
  • (I) drink  → Let's/shall we drink飲む → 飲もう
  • (I) return  → Let's/shall we return (home)帰る → 帰ろう
いちだん動詞 Ichidan Verbs

For this verb group you should start by finding the verb root, or verb stem. You can find the verb root by first starting in the polite/masu form (ます形 ). The verb stem is just the polite/masu form (ます形 ) without the ます. Once you’ve found the verb root all you need to do is add よう.

Examples ・例えば

  • (I) see/watch  → Let's/shall we see/watch見る → 見よう
  • (I) eat → Let's/shall we eat食べる → 食べよう
  • (I) walk  → Let's/shall we walk起きる → 起きよう
Irregular Verbs

Irregular verbs are just that — irregular. They don’t have any set rules. Fortunately there aren’t a whole lot of them. The most common are する・to do, and 来る・to come. 

Examples ・例えば

  • (I) do  → Let's/shall we doする・します → しょう・しましょう
  • (I) come → Let's/shall we come来(く)る・来(き)ます → 来(こ)よう
Quick Reference Sheet
Volitional Form PDF Download

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