Learn Japanese grammar to the tune of the silver bells

Lesson #18 Insights on how to use the Base TE-て form of the verb.

Remembering how stem verbs are put can be a challenge, but singing the following syllables in the following order to the music of Silver Bells will help you better remember which syllable of the verb ending goes with which te ending.

(To be done with the music of Silver Bells preferably the version of Bing Crosby)

Bu mu nu nde

u tsu ru tte

ku ite


This is how we put the verbs in base te ——

(Play it again Sam) repeat

*Verbs ending in BU, MU or NU become NDE. Verbs ending in U, TSU, RU become TTE o. Verbs ending in KU become ITE and verbs ending in GU become IDE.

Verbs that end in these syllables

Become These Basic Te Endings





Here are some examples of how to put a verb in base te.

1asobu – play – becomes asonde

1. asonde iru = playing

2. asonde kudasai = please play

3. asonde wa naranai = you can’t play here, it’s against the rules to play

Ex. 2 kamu – chew – becomes kande

1. kande iru – chew

2. kande kudasai – please chew

3. kande wa naranai – you must not chew

Ex 3. harau – pay – becomes haratte

1. haratte iru – paying

2. haratte kudasai – please pay

3. haratte wa naranai- you better not pay.

Ex4 Inoru – pray – become inotte

1. inotte kudasai – please pray

2. inotte iru – praying

3. inotte wa naranai – it is bad to pray here

Ex 5 utsu – hitting becomes ute

1. ute iru – to strike

2. utte kudasai – please press

3. utte wa naranai – it is bad to hit here

Ex 6 hataraku – work – becomes hataraite iru

1. hataraite iru – working

2. hataraite kudasai – please work

3. hataraite wa naranai – it is forbidden for you to work.

Ex 7 oyogu – swim – becomes oyoid

1. oyoid iru – swim

2. kudasai oyoid – please swim

3. oyoide wa naranai – you shouldn’t swim around here

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