～ばの形 ・ ば Conditional Form
In Japanese you can express the idea of “if” in terms of cause and effect (e.g. “if something then something else) by using the ば conditional form (ばの形) 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 [e] ending sound hiragana, and then add ば. All plain form verbs end in the [u] column on the hiragana chart, so you can just move down one row to find the corresponding [e] 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 [e] ending sound hiragana.
For the negative conjugation you must first conjugate the plain form verb (ふつう形), to the negative form by replacing the [う] ending sound with the [a] ending sound hiragana, and then add ければ. Here is the negative conjugation chart for a refresher.
- (I) rush → if (I) rush急ぐ → 急げば
- (I) don't rush → if (I) don't rush急がない → 急がなければ
- (I) live → if (I) live (in a town, city etc.)住む → 住めば
- (I) don't live → if (I) don't live (in a town, city etc.)住まない → 住まなければ
- (I) make → If (I) make作る → 作れば
- (I) don't make → If (I) don't make作らない → 作らなければ
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 れば or なければ for the negative form.
- (I) see → If (I) see見る → 見れば
- (I) don't see → If (I) don't see見ない → 見なければ
- (I) close → if (I) close閉める → 閉めければ
- (I) close → if (I) close閉めない → 閉めなければ
- (I) sleep → If (I) sleep寝る → 寝ければ
- (I) don't sleep → If (I) don't sleep寝ない → 寝なければ
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.
- (I) do・(I) don't do → If (I) do・If (I) don't doする・しない → すれば・しなければ
- (I) come・(I) don't come → If (I) come・If (I) don't come来（く）る・来（き）ない → 来（く）れば・来（こ）なければ
If you see a mistake please correct me! You can leave your correction in the comments below. I am not a native speaker. I just have a love of the language and enjoy studying it. I made these study materials in order to help my learning process. I am posting them online in hopes that it can help others too. Let’s learn Japanese together! 🙂