Handbook Of Japanese Verbs Paperback – Jun 12 2001
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About the Author
Taeko Kamiya is a Kodansha International author.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
In order to master a foreign language, it is crucial for students to acquire a solid knowledge of its verbs and their usage. Japanese is no exception.
Japanese verbs are often said to be difficult and complicated and hard to learn. That is not true. In fact, they are simple and less complicated to learn than those of many other languages. Unlike some European languages, you do not have to memorize different forms to indicate the number or person or gender of the subject of the sentence. The verb kaku, for instance, could mean I/we write, you (sing./ pl.) write, he/she/it writes or they write. Moreover, Japanese verbs are highly regular in the way they make their forms. Once you grasp certain rules for making such forms as the negative, conjunctive, conditional forms, etc., you will be able to apply these rules to almost any verbs.
The purpose of this book is to describe in detail not only how Japanese verbs conjugate, but how you should use the verb forms in connection with sentence structures.
The book is divided into two parts. Part I deals with the conjugations of the three types of verbs--regular I, regular II and irregular verbs, as well as copulas (be-verbs) and auxiliaries. A conjugation practice follows the description of a verb or a group of verbs. Part II deals with the usage of various verb forms. Each usage is illustrated with example sentences, and exercises are provided every few lessons to allow you to test your understanding.
I do hope that this book will prove to be helpful--you will discover how simple and easy conjugating and using Japanese verbs can be.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is, however, more of a workbook than a reference; for the latter, look no further than Naoko Chino's "Japanese Verbs at a Glance". For a workbook, however, this has (in my experience) no peer.
"Language learning is overlearning", and with that in mind, Kamiya offers lots of practice and sample bunkei which, when worked through, will offer a truly impressive insight into the mechanics of Japanese verb USAGE (not just academic conjugation).
My last class (I'm a second year student at the Geos School in NYC) taught me the '-nagara' verb ending. By using Kamiya's book at home these past few days I feel confident in my usage of what amounted to no more than a footnote in "Japanese For Busy People II" textbook. Excellent. Now I can tell my girlfriend not to talk with her mouth full!
A fun, fine, and ultimately indespensible book for any (that means all) verb-challenged intermediate students. Kamiya is one of the best teachers I've studied - try to get a copy of her "Japanese Particle Workbook" - another five star title on a stubbornly difficult subject.
Now if you know a fair amount of Japanese and if you know your kana, you might think you aren't going to need a book that deals only with verbs. Unlike a (proper) English sentence, a Japanese sentence can comprise nothing but verbs (although some of them might be acting like nouns). If you know why you say kawanai, but kaimasu, then you don't need this book. If you know the difference between sumitai and sumitagaru, then you don't need this book.
But if verbs are giving you a problem or if you are moving from a purely auditory learning system to the written language, then you will want this book. I found the "pattern" treatment of Type I or u-dropping verbs particularly helpful. (I learned it in about half an hour.) Also, since I am working with written Japanese more than spoken Japanese, I am finding the comprehensive list of patterns (over 150) extremely useful. But if I were concentrating on the spoken language I would still need to know which form goes with which auxiliary. And it's all here, presented systematically for easy digestion.
My only complaint is that the practices give too much help with the auxiliaries. It really needs two levels of practice -- one that reinforces verb endings and one that reinforces verb ending + auxiliaries.
The sections are broken down well, and there are very small practice sections at the end of each chapter. For what it is, it is an excellent resource. I would recommend this book to serious, college level learners of Japanese.
It is _not_ a good way to improve vocabulary, though. The included list of verbs is somewhat limited. This book is really for helping you apply verbs in new and different ways, not so much about teaching you new verbs.
Most recent customer reviews
This book is what I wanted so as to enable myself to "play" more freely with the Japanese verb system in my texts. Read morePublished on April 21 2014 by Dom
This book is an excellent source for learning verbs in Japanese Language. I would recommend it to all Japanese language learners.Published on April 23 2013 by ZK
I have japanese verbs at a glance but wanted something a bit more thorough and this book is it!
Great book and goes great with "A handbook of japanese adjectives & adverbs"!!!
I bought this book because Amazon was including it at a discount with one of Kodansha's Furigana Dictionaries. Read morePublished on May 28 2004 by Jason
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