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Japanese Verbs and Essentials of Grammar 2nd Edition

13 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0071435147
ISBN-10: 007143514X
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Your all-in-one resource for Japanese verbs and grammar

Simplify your Japanese-language learning with this compact, yet comprehensive guide to verbs and grammar. Everything you need to know about Japanese sentence structure and its elements is right here in one helpful volume.

Japanese Verbs & Essentials of Grammar, Second Edition, gives you an introduction to all major verbal and grammatical concepts of the Japanese language. Each entry is clearly explained and illustrated by plenty of examples based on contemporary situations. Divided into two parts--verbs and grammar--the book's user-friendly layout makes it easy for you to look up what you need quickly.

Here you will find all you need to know about :


  • Romanizations and pronunciation
  • Kinds of verbs
  • Desu
  • The Masu form
  • The informal form and informal endings


  • Basic principles
  • Demonstrative forms ("Ko-so-a-do")
  • Interrogatives + ka, mo, demo
  • Common noun prefixes and suffixes

In the grammar section, you will also find helpful expressions covering everyday topics such as the family, the weather, directions, health and body, shopping, and more.

This latest edition of the popular and accessible guide has been updated to include:

  • Expanded vocabulary lists featuring common idiomatic phrases
  • New examples of sentences and sentence structure
  • An in-depth introduction to Japanese scripts

Whether you are a novice looking for basic information or an intermediate learner who needs a quick refresher, Japanese Verbs & Essentials of Grammar, Second Edition, untangles Japanese sentence structure and helps you express yourself with confidence in your new language.

About the Author

Rita Lampkin is a Japanese instructor and the author of Easy Japanese Crossword Puzzles Using Roomaji.


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Product Details

  • Series: Verbs and Essentials of Grammar Series
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 2 edition (April 9, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 007143514X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071435147
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.4 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #670,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Hummer on May 21, 2004
Format: Paperback
I bought this book as a beginning Japanese student, and the scope of it blew my mind and I quickly put it away. However, after some basic grammar and vocabulary training, I soon after picked this book up again and found it to be a gem! It goes through every possible verb conjugation, with Japanese and English examples, and teaches you new and different ways to use what you know and make your sentences more meaningful. After the verb section is also a grammar section which outlines the essentials of grammar (hence the name I suppose). This is also a priceless guide. At the back, there is a small dictionary type section of basic commonly used words, both Japense-English and English-Japanese. There are also appendixes with common and useful phrases, broken down into when and where you can use them. Last of all, the back of the book hold a guide chart with both hiragana and katakana characters, which is helpful because the book is all written in roomanji. My only complaint with this book is that the sections are mixed up: The essentials of grammar should be the first section, with the verbs as the second. You could even read it that way if you would like, and I think it will be more enriching if you do. Be forewarned, however, that the verb section, while it covers all basic conjugations (-masu), also goes very deep into additional (and much more difficult) conjugations. It's helpful if you need more extensive training or to enrich your verbage, but just don't get in over your head and be overwhelmed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Moonspot on March 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book fully lives up to its purpose, to teach Westerners about Japanese grammar, and especially verbs.

In my opinion there are four major challenges to learning Japanese -- vocabulary, verbs, particles and alphabets. This book addresses verbs and particles, with strong emphasis on verbs. Presenting the stems, bases and endings in an ordered way, it makes a great deal of sense out what might otherwise be a difficult subject.

Some of the reviews here complain that the book is written entirely in Romaji -- the reviewers think that Westerners should be learning the Japanese alphabets.

I agree with them, but I don't believe this book is or ought to be the means for teaching the alphabets. If the book undertook instead to be teaching the alphabets, would the same reviewers complain that it wasn't also teaching grammar?

The point is that some people may learn best when presented with all features of the language simultaneously, but people learn differently. I for one study alphabets and vocabulary together, but when I go to understand verbs and particles, I don't want to be delayed by a book written in an alphabet and a language I'm still trying to master.

The only caution I would give is that not everyone learns language systematically, as this book presents it -- with charts and lists. I think that most people do learn well that way, though.

For the majority of people trying seriously to learn the language, not just in tourist phrases "I'm sorry, how far is it to the Oosaka train station?" but in a structured way, this book is the best and simplest teacher of basic verb forms I've seen.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gerritt on September 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
I bought the first edition of this book a long time ago, and it's become completely ragged through use. I rely on it so much for basic grammar reference. While the first edition had an index that was mostly useless, from what I've seen of the second edition, the index (among other things) has been improved greatly. This alone makes me say that this book is a must have. It does help to have background knowledge of Japanese, because if you don't then you'll spend three weeks trying to figure out what the hell stem and base mean, and how to tell what part ofthe verb is which, but if you already know the basics, then this book opens up a wealth of options when it comes to your grammatical abilities. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L. Johansen on August 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
Ok, this book is very useful for studying japanese grammar and for quick reference. It's a very good idea though to have some basic knowledge about the language and have a, if not decent, then small vocabulary.

Also being 'in' to grammar in general will help you a lot. But great book if you want to look at the very technical side of the language.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By g@by couver on October 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
t5his book is a wonderful tool. it gives wonderful examples of verbs and sentences. but you have to dedicate time to it. you have to use a nother book to learn katakana and hiragana and kanji.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Matheny on December 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book could be overwhelming for complete beginners (mostly because Japanese is a difficult language for English-Speakers to learn) but I would still recommend it to anyone that is serious about learning Japanese.

This was the first Japanese language book that I ever purchased in my quest to teach myself Japanese. I still think it was the best choice for me even though I was a complete beginner when I first started to read it.

Overall I love this book. Every time I open it, I learn something. Most of the examples aren't confusing at all, and all the sections are extremely useful.

In particular, I have gotten a lot of use out of the Noun Expressions section, which lists common statements that wouldn't necessarily be in a dictionary. (things like: "no you ni" )

I only have two minor complaints: Neither was serious enough for me to remove stars from my rating.

At first, the layout some of the examples was very confusing for me. It goes into a lot of detail about conjugating verbs and just assumes that the reader knows what to look for in the example sentence.

For example:
Ageru - Do for [someone other than the speaker]
Chizu o Kaite agemasho ka? Shall I draw you a map?

It took me a long time to be able to identify that the verb (in this case: ageru)had been conjugated to agemasho in the example. A little more explanation may have been helpful.

I agree with the other reviewers that the book could be improved by including Japanese characters throughout the book. This wasn't a problem for me, because I initially purchased it to learn to speak Japanese, I had no intention of learning to read it at the time.
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