Forum Rocket Japanese Japanese Feedback and Comments Lesson 6.10; use of 'Dictionary form'.

Lesson 6.10; use of 'Dictionary form'.

Hnrutt

Hnrutt

In Culture lesson 6.10 it refers to hanaseru as the 'dictionary form'. But surely the dictionary form is hanasu. Hanaseru is the positive potential plain form isnt it? Although in a way its a technicality, to extend to other verbs its not the 'dictioary form' you need surely for this xxxx you ni narimashita, its this potential plain form isnt it?
2679

2679

Well, in this case it depends very much on what you want to say. In the example that I think you are given in the lesson, the stem form of hanasu is used in order to form the 'can' form of it. example (dict. form -> stem form -> 'can' form): hanasu -> hanase -> hanaseru. Nihongo o hanaseru you ni narimashita -> I became able to speak Japanese/ I could speak Japanese However, you can also use the dictionary form here (I'll use another particle instead of 'o' in order for the sentence to sound right and for you to be able to understand): nihongo ni/de hanasu you ni narimashita -> I/We ended up talking in Japanese/ I/we talked in Japanese. What is important in that lesson isn't the 'dictionary form' problem, but the 'no you ni' structure. For now, think of it as it is explained in the lesson, as in later lessons, after continuous usage you'll get the hang of how the structure can be used. Hope this helps :D
Hnrutt

Hnrutt

Again thanks. I got the basic 'point' of the lesson without difficulty; it was really a 'technical' query about the proper use of the term 'dictionary form'; I guess it comes from being a scientist, I like my terms well defined (ie, pedant.... :-) ) So my problem was the use of the term 'dictionary form' for 'hanaseru'; as far as I can see that is not the dictionary form, which is hanasu. I understand how you form hanaseru *from* the dictionary form (as you form the other parts); but surely hanaseru itself is not 'the dictionary form'; its the positive potential plain isnt it? I'm very diffident about suggesting their might be a mistake given my very low level of Japanese! But if it *is* the 'dictionary form', I dont understand the definition of 'dictionary form' properly, & want to correct that technicality.
Pascal-P

Pascal-P

@コッド Your example should be "Nihongo ga hanaseru you ni narimashita". Also, I think the particle would be "de". @Hnrutt The dictionary form of a verb is identified by ending in ~u or ~ru and marks the informal present affirmative of that verb. The only way I can see "hanaseru" being considered in the "dictionary form" is by noting, that other dictionary form verbs can be formed from dictionary form verbs by using certain endings to give certain meanings. So while "hanasu" is dictionary and means "(I) speak", "hanaseru" can be considered the dictionary form of the verb "to be able to speak", though these won't actually appear in the dictionary. Basically, what I'm saying is that "hanaseru" isn't just a certain conjugation of "hanasu", it's actually a new verb and can be conjugated just a normal verb like "taberu". So you could say "hanasetai" which means "I want to be able to speak". In this case, you could start from hanasu -> hanase -> hanaseru -> hanase -> hanasetai, but instead you already have the verb for "to be able to speak", so you can just add the ~tai ending. Also, this would explain why in the polite form, "hanashimasu" means "I speak" while "hanasemasu" means "I can speak". The ~masu form is actually conjugated from the new verb "hanaseru". Basically, I think it might be considered being tentatively in it's dictionary form because it can conjugate like any other verb. (If this is entirely wrong, someone tell me; I've never really thought much about potential verbs being separate and conjugating normally) Summary: Dictionary form ends in ~u/~ru. By using the stem (or 4th base) of a normal verb, the ending ~ru can be added. However, this effectively makes a new verb, which can be conjugated to the same extent that the original verb, and can be considered the dictionary form of "to be able to X".
Sayaka-Matsuura

Sayaka-Matsuura

Minasan, Great work! Good point Pascal san, and sugoku attention to detail Hnrutt. In this instance, Pascal has the right idea! To talk and to be able to talk are different verbs, both exist as a dictionary form (ending in ~ru-~u). Ganbatte! -Sayaka san
Hnrutt

Hnrutt

OK, both thank you. This is a rather fundamental point that is not well explained in the books I have (& a lot of web sources), that "hanaseru" is just like a completely new verb, despite getting called "positive potential plain form", you can conjugate it. Risking making a fool of myself, is a *very* common example of this dekimasu? Its always puzzled me that it declines like a normal verb, but if you type dekimasu into most dictionaries it comes up with suru, of which it is the plain positive potential form, just as hanaseru is for hanasu, but suru of course is wildly irregular.
Pascal-P

Pascal-P

Yeah. Not sure what you mean by "declines like a normal verb" though.
Hnrutt

Hnrutt

Sorry, not technically the right word; my grammatical terminology is not great I'm afraid & I used conjugate & decline interchageably; oops. I should first learn the terminology of my own language! In scientific matters I'm inclined to jump on students for such errors, say muddling up power & energy :-) Lets just say 'use it like a normal verb' just as if it was any other ichidan verb, although actually it originates from suru. Decline :3. Grammar To inflect (a noun, a pronoun, or an adjective) for number and case. Conjugate 1. Grammar To inflect (a verb) in its forms for distinctions such as number, person, voice, mood, and tense.) I'll get it right in future.

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