Some Grammars using Japanese Verb te-form -
Intermediate Lessons: 12

In this lesson, you will learn some new grammars making use of Japanese verb te-form. You have already learned how to change verbs from dictionary-form to te-form in the basic lessons and how te-form is used in some grammars.

Japanese Verb (て-form) みます

This first grammar is about using te-form to express the action you are trying to do.

The sentence pattern of this new grammar is very simple...

Verb (て-form) みます
Verb (te-form) mimasu

It emphasizes that the action denoted by the verb is a trial. Let's use some examples so that you can see how to use it.

  1. 私はいつもシャツを買う前に着てみます。
    watashi wa itsumo shatsu wo kau mae ni kite mimasu
    Meaning: I always try out the shirt before I buy it.

  2. 新しいペンを買う前に書いてみました。
    atarashii pen wo kau mae ni kaite mimashita
    Meaning: I tried out the new pen before I bought it.

  3. もう一度考えてみます。
    mou ichido kangaete mimasu
    Meaning: I will (try to) think it over again.

  4. この靴を履いてみてもいいですか。
    kono kutsu wo haite mitemo ii desu ka
    Meaning: May I try on this pair of shoes?

Note

For Verb (て-form) みます: I try, I will try (present tense or future tense)
For Verb (て-form) みました: I tried (past tense)

Japanese Verb (て-form) みたいです

Another common use is to use the たい-form (tai-form) to express something you want to try. The sentence pattern is...

Verb (て-form) みたいです
Verb (te-form) mitai desu

It is used for something you have not done before and you want to try to do it. For example...

  1. 世界旅行をしてみたいです。
    sekai ryokou wo shite mitai desu
    Meaning: I would like to experience a world tour.

  2. 富士山に登ってみたいです。
    fujisan ni nobotte mitai desu
    Meaning: I would like to experience climbing Mount Fuji.

  3. 宇宙から地球を見てみたいです。
    uchuu kara chikyuu wo mite mitai desu
    Meaning: I want to see the earth from the space (to know how it looks).

Verb1 (て-form) Verb2 and Verb1 (ない-form)で Verb2

In the next grammar Verb1 is an action or condition which accompanies the action denoted by Verb2. Take note that the second Japanese verb (Verb2) is the main action in the sentence.

Let's look at the sentence patterns...

Verb1 (て-form) Verb2
Verb (te-form) Verb2

Verb1 (ない-form)で Verb2
Verb (nai-form)de Verb2

For example...

  • 眼鏡をかけて本を読みます。
    megane wo kakete hon wo yomimasu
    Meaning: I read book with my glasses on.

眼鏡をかけます (megane wo kakemasu) - to wear glasses. And with this condition remained (i.e. with my glasses on), I read book (doing another action).

  • 眼鏡をかけないで本を読みます。
    megane wo kakenaide hon wo yomimasu
    Meaning: I read book without my glasses on.

眼鏡をかけない (megane wo kakenai) - not to wear glasses. And with this condition remained (i.e. without my glasses on), I read book (doing another action).

Look at the above two examples, whether the glasses is put on or not when the action 読みます takes place is stated. Verb1 and Verb2 are actions done by the same person.

More Examples

  1. ネクタイをして会社へ行きます。
    nekutai wo shite kaisha e ikimasu
    Meaning: I go to the office with my tie on.

  2. ネクタイをしないで会社へ行きます。
    nekutai wo shinaide kaisha e ikimasu
    Meaning: I go to the office without my tie on.

  3. 電気を消して寝ます。
    denki wo keshite nemasu
    Meaning: I go to bed with the light off.

  4. 電気を消さないで寝ます。
    denki wo kesanaide nemasu
    Meaning: I go to bed without the light off.

  5. 砂糖を入れてコーヒーを飲みます。
    satou wo irete ko-hi- wo nomimasu
    Meaning: I drink the coffee with sugar.

  6. 砂糖を入れないでコーヒーを飲みます。
    satou wo irenaide ko-hi- wo nomimasu
    Meaning: I drink the coffee without sugar.

What is the Difference Between This Pattern and ~ながら (nagara)?

Let's use the 眼鏡 (megane) example to show the difference...

  1. 眼鏡をかけて本を読みます。
    megane wo kakete hon wo yomimasu

  2. 眼鏡をかけながら本を読みます。
    megane wo kakenagara hon wo yomimasu

In example 1, after putting on glasses, (with this state remained) you continue to read book. Whereas in example 2, you are putting on glasses and reading book at the same time.

Another Sentence Pattern for Verb1 (ない-form)で Verb2

There is another meaning for the same sentence pattern Verb1 (ない-form)で Verb2. This pattern is used when the speaker indicates a course of action taken out of two alternative possibilities presented. This is different from the previous pattern where the speaker remains under the condition of the first action and performs the second action. For example...

  • 来週の日曜日はどこも行かないで、うちでゆっくり休みます。
    raishuu no nichi youbi wa dokomo ikanaide uchi de yukkuri yasumimasu
    Meaning: Next Sunday I won't go anywhere. I will rest at home instead.

In this example, the speaker chooses to do one of the two actions (go somewhere and rest at home).

More Examples

  1. バスに乗らないで駅まで自転車で行きます。
    basu ni noranaide eki made jitensha de ikimasu
    Meaning: I go to the station without taking the bus. I ride the bicycle instead.

  2. ケーキは買わないで自分で作ります。
    ke-ki wa kawanaide jibunde tsukurimasu
    Meaning: I don't buy the cake. I will make it myself instead.


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