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.


watashi wa itsumo shatsu wo kau mae ni kite mimasu

Meaning: I always try out the shirt before I buy it.


atarashii pen wo kau mae ni kaite mimashita

Meaning: I tried out the new pen before I bought it.


mou ichido kangaete mimasu

Meaning: I will (try to) think it over again.


kono kutsu wo haite mitemo ii desu ka

Meaning: May I try on this pair of shoes?


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...


sekai ryokou wo shite mitai desu

Meaning: I would like to experience a world tour.


fujisan ni nobotte mitai desu

Meaning: I would like to experience climbing Mount Fuji.


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


nekutai wo shite kaisha e ikimasu

Meaning: I go to the office with my tie on.


nekutai wo shinaide kaisha e ikimasu

Meaning: I go to the office without my tie on.


denki wo keshite nemasu

Meaning: I go to bed with the light off.


denki wo kesanaide nemasu

Meaning: I go to bed without the light off.


satou wo irete ko-hi- wo nomimasu

Meaning: I drink the coffee with sugar.


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...


megane wo kakete hon wo yomimasu


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


basu ni noranaide eki made jitensha de ikimasu

Meaning: I go to the station without taking the bus. I ride the bicycle instead.


ke-ki wa kawanaide jibunde tsukurimasu

Meaning: I don't buy the cake. I will make it myself instead.

Pretty Big Deal Sale! Get Forever 40% OFF Discount on Premium or Premium PLUS plan! Ends on 17 May 2024

Click Here to Get Forever 40% OFF Discount on Premium or Premium PLUS plan and be on the fast track to fluency in Japanese.

The link above is an affiliate link, which means that I would earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you do end up purchasing the related learning course.



Buy me a coffee

Like This Page?

Facebook Comments

Don’t see the comments box? Log in to your Facebook account, give Facebook consent, then return to this page and refresh it.
Enjoy this page? Please tell others about it. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.