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A Very Handy
(But Not Comprehensive)
Book of Japanese Verbs

Complete Japanese Verb GuideJapanese verbs are often a pain. Many of them sound alike, and many are tough to conjugate. Though they're always going to be a bit tough to use and often quite tough to learn in the first place, The Complete Japanese Verb Guide is a very handy reference tool.

Why It's Useful

Knowing your Japanese verbs at least pretty well can get you far. The flip side of that is if you don't know the verbs so well, you're going to be in the dark a lot of the time. Time spent picking up verbs is about the most useful way to spend your "Nihongo time."

If you want to pick up a lot of them quickly, The Complete Japanese Verb Guide is one good way to do that. If you are sick of rooting around in the dictionary and shuffling through a bunch of other words when all you want is a verb, this book is also very good for that.

Why I Like It

It has 600 verbs. The front of the book contains a reference section, in case you forget your conjugations. The page for each verb has a quick list of the conjugations, and also some example sentences that show you how to use the verb in everyday speech. Last but not least, it has a big (but not comprehensive) list of -suru verbs at the end. Even though it has a ton of this handy, quick-to-use reference material, the book is not a clunker.


Though it covers most of the really important verbs, there are some missing. Also, because the Japanese language has an almost infinite amount of -suru verbs, the handy, pretty long list of them in the appendix doesn't cover all the bases. Also absent are foreign verbs (like saboru) and onomatopoeia verbs (kiri-kiri)-anything with katakana. Though the list of katakana verbs is huge and often changing, they're essential verbs you just gotta know.

My Humble Overall Opinion

For what it is, it's great: The Complete Japanese Verb Guide covers most of the key stuff. It's extremely handy, but it simply doesn't cover all the useful verbs out there.

Book Info:  The Complete Japanese Verb Guide. Compiled by the Hiroo Center. Tuttle Publishing, 2001. ISBN-10: 0804834245.

Did you know...
Baseball (yakyuu) is the most popular sport in Japan.

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