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Teach Us, Teacher

Volitional form of verbs (Lesson 26)

GANBARÔ (Let's do our best, or I'll do my best), is a conjugating form of a verb known as "the volitional form." It expresses the will of the speaker. We also use it to invite the listener to do something together, or to urge the listener to do something. We wouldn't use this expression to our superiors. Let me explain how we make the volitional form from the MASU-form of verbs. First, if the vowel of the syllable just before MASU ends with "E", you change MASU to YÔ. For example, TABEMASU (to eat) becomes TABEYÔ (Let’s eat; I'll eat).

Second, if the vowel in the syllable just before MASU ends with "I", there are two patterns. In the first pattern, you change MASU to YÔ. OKIMASU (to get up) becomes OKIYÔ (Let's get up; I'll get up). SHIMASU (I do…) becomes SHIYÔ (Let's do it; I'll do it). In the other pattern, you drop MASU, change the vowel "I" in the syllable just before MASU to "O", and add U. One example is GANBARIMASU (I will do my best), in today's skit. It becomes GANBARÔ (Let's do our best; I'll do my best). Be careful. The pronunciation is GANBARÔ, even if it is spelled GA-N-BA-RO-U.

There is one exception. KIMASU (to come) becomes KOYÔ.
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