日本語の秘密 19/33


日本語の秘密/ The Key to NIHON-GO

by 岸本建夫 [Kishimoto Tatsuo] 1999
OCR/Corr by most.cyak@gmail.com, Oct 2014


Section 4 Japanese is a Free-Spirited Language

→ The Subjunctive Form Can be Arranged in Three Ways

  Let’s use the example sentence Ame ga huru ‘It rains/will rain’, and take a look at the conjugation of the subjunctive mood.

  In the subjunctive form of the verb, the final character is changed from the character in the “u” column, to the character on the same line in the ”e” column, and then ba is added. In other words, it changes like this:

     hu ru   hu re ba
     ふ  → ふ

  Using the same verb, let’s consider future, present and past forms of subjunctive expressions. Each one of these forms depends on the occurrence of some condition (in this case, rain).

  First, in the future tense form, you simply use fureba as it stands. The dictionary forms of Japanese verbs can express both present and future tense, but in this case, the verb represents the future tense (In the same way, you would write, If it rains, I will not go, in English, but normally not If it will rain).

  Next let’s address the present tense. Japanese uses a form to indicate the progressive tense or some present state or condition, and since futte iru is the progressive form of the verb furu, this will become the subjunctive mood if you change iru to ireba.

  Lastly, in the past tense, you would use the past progressive form of the verb. This would be futte ita. Then you would add naraba to that.

  You may add the word mosi if you like, but it’s not necessary. If you want to make absolutely sure that people know you are using the subjunctive mood, then you would use mosi. Also, when you want to clarify that the resulting action really does depend on the situation, there is no need to add darou (for example, if you want to make it clear that he will not go, in the sentence above).

  This is all there is to the subjunctive mood in Japanese. It’s simpler than English, isn’t it?

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