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Potential form of verbs (Lesson 35)

The potential form of verbs has two meanings.

One is ability to do something. For example, when you want to say "I can speak Japanese", you use the potential form of HANASHI MASU (to speak) and say HANASEMASU (can speak).

The other is permission to do something under a certain circumstance. For example, when you want to say you can use a credit card, you use the potential form of TSUKAI MASU (to use) and say TSUKAEMASU (can use).

But not all the verbs can conjugate to take this form. Anything that happens beyond the will of people cannot take this form, such as FURIMASU (to rain).

Now, this is how to make the potential form of verbs. The first method is for verbs where the vowel in the syllable just before MASU ends with E. Here, before MASU, you insert RARE. So, TABEMASU (to eat), becomes TABERAREMASU (can eat, or good enough to eat, fit for eating).

The second method is for verbs where the vowel in the syllable just before MASU is I. For these verbs, there are two patterns. One pattern is to change the vowel I to E. So, HANASHIMASU (to speak), becomes HANASEMASU (can speak). TSUKAIMASU (to use) becomes TSUKAEMASU (can use, or can be used). The other pattern is you insert RARE before MASU. MIMASU (to watch) becomes MIRAREMASU (can watch).
Some verbs conjugate irregularly. KIMASU (to come) becomes KORAREMASU (can come). SHIMASU (to do), becomes DEKIMASU (can do). So, please memorize them.
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