て form

One of the stumbling blocks I had to learning Japanese was learning the て form of verbs. I guess I thought that if I just kept going that I'd eventually learn it. How wrong I was.

Learning て form is kind of like memorizing multiplication tables. You don't have to memorize them but it sure cuts down on a lot of time and work if you do.

Learning て form is kind of like memorizing multiplication tables. You don't have to memorize them but it sure cuts down on a lot of time and work if you do.

The good news is that て form only applies to verbs. The bad news is that there are several rules and some exceptions to the rules.

In my first year of study, my daughter-in-law sent me this Youtube video to help me memorize how to conjugate different endings of verbs to their て forms:

"It's that simple." I still chuckle when I hear that.

While this helps me a little now, I still find it a bit confusing in some parts. It's difficult for me to memorize my conjugations like this.

My favorite way to practice any of my conjugations now is by completing the conjugation chart at Seth Cydedale's Genki Resources over and over until I get them right:

Click or tap on the orange button at the top of the page. It's labeled "Study Conjugation Chart."

If you lose this link, you can find it by visiting the home page of and scrolling all the way to the bottom of the page for the link. Look for Conjugation Chart. It's under the subject heading for the Appendix of Genki II.

You don't even need to finish Genki II to use it. I just complete the Genki I part, the top half of the page, hit return, and see what I missed. Rinse and repeat until I get them all correct.

My language exchange partner, Chang, says that remembering the conjugations in columns makes it easier to remember. This works for other conjugations besides て form, too.

To really learn my て forms, I practice speaking with them in conversation practice. I still stutter a lot, but I have faith I'll get there and you can, too!

These are just some methods of learning て forms. If you have a favorite way which isn't described here, please post in the comments below. I'd love to hear them.