Languages › Japanese How to Conjugate the Japanese Verb "Kuru" (to Come) Share Flipboard Email Print Cultura/Twinpix/Getty Images Japanese Japanese Grammar History & Culture Essential Japanese Vocabulary By Namiko Abe Japanese Language Expert B.A., Kwansei Gakuin University Namiko Abe is a Japanese language teacher and translator, as well as a Japanese calligraphy expert. She has been a freelance writer for nearly 20 years. our editorial process Namiko Abe Updated July 02, 2019 The word kuru is a very common Japanese word and one of the first that students learn. Kuru, which means "to come" or "to arrive," is an irregular verb. The following charts will help you understand how to conjugate kuru and use it correctly when writing or speaking. Notes on "Kuru" Conjugations The chart provides conjugations for kuru in various tenses and moods. The table begins with the dictionary form. The basic form of all Japanese verbs ends with -u. This is the form listed in the dictionary and is the informal, present affirmative form of the verb. This form is used among close friends and family in informal situations. This is followed by the -masu form. The suffix -masu is added to the dictionary form of verbs to make sentences polite, an important consideration in Japanese society. Aside from changing the tone, it has no meaning. This form is used in situations requiring politeness or a degree of formality and is more appropriate for general use. Note also the conjugation for the -te form, which is an important Japanese verb form to know. It does not indicate tense by itself; however, it combines with various verb forms to create other tenses. Additionally, it has many other unique usages, such as speaking in the present progressive, connecting successive verbs, or asking for permission. Conjugating "Kuru" The table presents the tense or mood first in the left column, with the form noted just below. The transliteration of the Japanese word is listed in bold in the right column with the word written in Japanese characters directly below each transliterated word. Kuru (to come) Informal Present(dictionary form) kuru来る Formal Present(-masu form) kimasu来ます Informal Past (-ta form) kita来た Formal Past kimashita来ました Informal Negative(-nai form) konai来ない Formal Negative kimasen来ません Informal Past Negative konakatta来なかった Formal Past Negative kimasen deshita来ませんでした -te form kite来て Conditional kureba来れば Volitional koyou来よう Passive korareru来られる Causative kosaseru来させる Potential korareru来られる Imperative(command) koi来い "Kuru" Sentence Examples If you're curious about how to use kuru in sentences, it can be helpful to read examples. A few sample sentences will allow you to peruse how the verb is used in various contexts. Kare wa kyou gakkou ni konakatta.彼は今日学校に来なかった。 He didn't come to school today. Watashi no uchi ni kite kudasai.私のうちに来てください。 Please come to my house. Kinyoubi ni korareru?金曜日に来られる？ Can you come on Friday? Special Uses The website Self Taught Japanese notes that there are several special uses for kuru, particularly to specify the direction of an action, as in: Otōsanha `arigatō' tte itte kita. (お父さんは「ありがとう」って言ってきた。) > My dad said "thanks" to me. This sentence also uses kita, the informal past (-ta form). You can also use the verb in the -te form to indicate the action has been going on for some time up until now, as in: Nihongo o dokugaku de benkyō shite kimashita. (日本語を独学で勉強して) > Up until now, I’ve studied Japanese on my own. Self Taught Japanese adds that in this example, it’s difficult to capture the nuance in English, but you can think of the sentence meaning that the speaker or writer has been gathering experience before "arriving" at the present moment. Learn How to Conjugate Japanese Verbs Using the Verb "Te" in Japanese The 3 Japanese Verb Groups Learn How to Conjugate the Japanese Verb "Suru" Japanese Verb Conjugations Japanese Verb Conjugations: Group Two The Difference Between "Kudasai" and "Onegaishimasu" in Japanese How to Say "Want" or "Desire" in Japanese Japanese Verb Conjugations: Group One All About the Japanese Word Sate Japanese Verb Conjugations - Matsu Expressions of Ability and Potential Verbs in Japanese Useful Japanese Verbs Frequently Asked Questions in Introductory Japanese "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" Christmas Carol in Japanese Japanese Lesson: Particles "O" and "No"