Auxiliary verbs

Authored by: Naomi H. McGloin , Mutsuko Endo Hudson , Fumiko Nazikian , Tomomi Kakegawa

Modern Japanese Grammar

Print publication date:  October  2013
Online publication date:  March  2017

Print ISBN: 9780415571999
eBook ISBN: 9780203856628
Adobe ISBN: 9781135151393


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Auxiliary verbs in Japanese are attached to the te-form or the stem of the main verb. An auxiliary verb has its own meaning when it is used as the main verb, but as an auxiliary verb, it often loses its original meaning. Auxiliary verbs add aspectual meaning to the action/event denoted by the main verb. They are conjugated to express past/nonpast tense, affirmative/negative distinction, and formal/informal styles. When responding to a question with V-te/V-stem + auxiliary structure, the main verb needs to be repeated with the auxiliary verb.

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