Monday, September 14, 2009

Book Review - Complete guide to Japanese verbs

Book Review – Complete Japanese Verb Guide







Publisher: Hiroo Japanese Centre, Tokyo.Japan.
Published by: Charles Tuttle, 1999 (13 edition)
ISBN: 0-8048-1564-X, Pages, 352
Dimensions: 13cm wide, 18cm high, 2cm deep, Weight 339 grams

A reference guide to 600 Japanese verbs

The book is split into five sections, 1. Acknowledgements, 2. An Introduction, 3.A guide to Japanese verbs, 4. A list of compounds and 5. A list of Suru verbs

A number of sections that relate to verb groupings, an explanation of verb forms, polite language, transitive and intransitive and a key to symbols and abbreviations are provided.

The book is a stand alone guide to Japanese verbs that explores 600 verbs in great detail. Each verb is given one page. The verb is then shown in a range of various forms including the present form, masu form, imperative, te form, conditional, presumptive, volitional, potential, passive, causative, causative passive and the affirmative and negative contexts for each form. What group it is in 1, 2 or 3 and whether it is transitive or intransitive. The different meanings for the verb are then shown in practical sentences (in romaji and English). The sentence examples provide a range of everyday phrases that are very useful and a wide range of new vocabulary is presented throughout the book.

The content presented is excellent but unfortunately from a self study perspective, no guide is given on how to best use the book and in this respect the book is but a reference.






The book doesn’t provide the Japanese name for each verb form presented, making it hard for you to ask a teacher or study partner for any help you may need. Romaji is used throughout the book which is good for pronunciation but the kanji is missing for each form and sentences examples. The books biggest weakness is when it provides a verb with four different kanji and the reader has no way to discover which form of the verb is being used in the example sentences.

From a students perspective the book is good to gain the context of verbs through practical examples and the various forms. Added to this are the chance to gain new vocabulary as you read each page and drill the different verb forms.

The book is a reference for verbs but unfortunately is not a complete guide.

Rating: ****

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Complete Japanese Verb Guide