Grammar Info

N5 Lesson 4: 8/13

う-Verb (Past)

う - Verbs (Past tense)


(すわ) + った
(うた) + った
() + った

(ある) + いた
(およ) + いだ

() + んだ
() + んだ
(やす) + んだ

(はな) + した

()く → ()った
()う → ()うた
()う → ()うた


  • Part of Speech


  • Word Type

    Auxiliary Verb

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About う-Verb (Past)

To make the past form of a う-Verb in Japanese, just like all other conjugations of う-Verbs, you will need to change the last kana, before adding the auxiliary verb た (casual), or ました (polite). This change in kana is a bit different to other conjugations of う-Verbs, so let's take a look at them for the casual form.
  • 5キロ(はし)った。5キロ(はし)ました
    I ran 5 kilometers. (Example of a verb ending in る)
  • (あたら)ペン()った(あたら)ペン()ました
    I bought a new pen. (Example of a verb ending in う)
  • 昨日(きのう)(えき)(ふん)()った昨日(きのう)(えき)(ふん)()ました
    I waited for 5 minutes at the station yesterday. (Example of a verb ending in つ)
  • ノート名前(なまえ)()いた。ノート名前(なまえ)()ました
    I wrote my name on the notebook. (Example of a verb ending in く)
  • テイラー(いけ)(およ)いだ。テイラー(いけ)(およ)ました
    Taylor swam in the pond. (Example of a verb ending in ぐ)
  • 去年(きょねん)、ペット金魚(きんぎょ)()んだ去年(きょねん)、ペット金魚(きんぎょ)()ました
    My pet goldfish died last year. (Example of a verb ending in ぬ)
  • 冷蔵庫(れいぞうこ)台所(だいどころ)(はこ)んだ冷蔵庫(れいぞうこ)台所(だいどころ)(はこ)ました
    I carried the refrigerator to the kitchen. (Example of a verb ending in ぶ)
  • (にわ)フェンス(かこ)んだ(にわ)フェンス(かこ)ました
    I surrounded my yard with a fence. (Example of a verb ending in む)
  • 電気(でんき)()した電気(でんき)()ました
    I turned off the lights. (Example of a verb ending in す)
As can be seen in these examples, the changes consist of った, いた, いだ, んだ, した (the same as the changes for て form, but using た instead). For the conjugations using だ in place of た, this is simply a sound change in the language that happened over the course of history, to make words easier/smoother to say. It is not the auxiliary verb .
For the polite past form of う-Verbs, the change in sound is far more consistent. This only requires a change from the う sound, to the い sound within the same column (from う to い, or from く to き, for example).
  • (あたら)漢字(かんじ)(なら)ました
    I learned a new kanji.
  • (くるま)(うご)ました
    The car moved.
When た is added to verbs (or any other word), it can have one of three possible meanings.
Past: 過去(かこ) - Happened at some point in the past. (Did/Was)
Completion: 完了(かんりょう) - An action that has finished 'happening'. (Done)
Continuation: 存続(そんぞく) - A new state of something that is continuing. (Has been done)
  • 昨日(きのう)、カラオケ(うた)(うた)った
    I sang a song at karaoke yesterday. (An example of past)
  • (いま)、コーヒー(たの)んだ
    I ordered coffee (just) now. (An example of completion)
  • ()った自転車(じてんしゃ)(こわ)
    The bike I rode broke, and is still broken. (An example of continuation)
With う-Verbs, there are a few verbs that are exceptions to the regular conjugation rules. Please check the structure guide for these.


  • 昨日(きのう)(ほん)()んだ

    I read a book yesterday.

  • 牛乳(ぎゅうにゅう)()んだ

    I drank milk.

  • ロンドン()んだ

    I flew to London.

  • (わたし)たちチーム()った

    Our team won!

  • メアリー日本(にほん)(かえ)った

    Mary returned to Japan.

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う-Verb (Past) – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (18 in total)

  • Tjack102


    About 7 months ago

    for this question: 彼は学校へ行った。彼は学校へ行きました。

    the correct answer is: いった but it says my answer is wrong. the only way that it’ll accept my answer is if i copy/paste った and add い. am i missing something here? annoying af

  • MikkaT


    About 5 months ago

    I’m using hints so I have no problem, but out of curiousity.

    Is there actually a way to know that the past is requested just by looking at the sentence?


  • IcyIceBear


    About 5 months ago

    Nope. None whatsoever from that sentence.

    Unless the sentence references some event in the past, like “yesterday, before, when I attended college” you usually won’t know it’s past tense until the end, without having any context from earlier conversation

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