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Presumptive/Volitional 2015/9/23 21:37
Hello Japan-guide users o/
I am back with yet another question I would appreciate some personal clarification on rather than just digging up endless google fodder, that could very well be misguiding.

My question

Currently I am learning to memorize Presumptive\volitional conjugation rules and I am very close to having it mastered, there is however one problem.

I am not entirely sure if I am on the right track on how to use it.

To make it easier to understand my question I'll write it down the exact way I would in my textbook. (apologies in advance for pure hiragana)

Verb in question
つく "let's" form, "Probably" , Negative
Present Presumptive - つきましょう, つくでしょう, つかないでしょう
Past Presumptive - ついたでしょう, つかなかったでしょう
presumptive past ^, Presumptive past negative
Volitional Present - つこう, つくだろう, つかないただろう
Definitely, Most likely, negative
Volitional Past - ついたろう, ついただろう, つかなかっただろう
Definitely (past), Most likely (past), Negative(past

Sorry for the mess, I promise it looks better in my textbook x)

So as you can see I have taken the liberty of arranging them into categories for a better well rounded understanding of how to apply these conjugations in a sentence.

A few questions

- Is presumptive always formal/polite?
-Is Volitional always informal/plain
-Is the "let's" form always formal/polite
-Is there a volitional equivalent of "let's" or is it already volitional, but formal.

The site I am using to memorize the conjugation, and the verb I have used as my example.


My conclusion of how to consider this specific conjugation process is that overall you can summarize this base with a single line - They depict different degrees of certainty.

I hope someone can help me clarify, and if this baffles you, please refrain from redirecting me to a website unless you are certain that it can help me understand better, otherwise it's just going to make me more confused when dealing with several sources of information.

Thanks for reading o/
by Bearbudah  

Re: Presumptive/Volitional 2015/9/24 09:59
I don't understand why this textbook decides to put presumptive and volition into one group. Presumptive (probably.../maybe...) and volition ( want to ) are quite separate things. Also the selection of that verb is not quite appropriate, I must say. In Japanese, the verb "to arrive" is more like to reach as a result, not something you can do at will. So I will take the verb "to go" "iku" for my example.

"I want to go."
いきたい (informal) いきたいです(polite)
"I don't want to go"
いきたくない (informal) いきたくないです(polite)

"I wanted to go."
いきたかった (informal) いきたかったです(polite)
"I didn't want to go.
いきたくなかった (informal いきたくなかったです (polite)
As you ca tell, once you change the verb into -tai, volitional form, it conjugated into negative and past just like the i-adjectives.

"Maybe he/she will go."
いくだろう (informal) いくでしょう(polite)
Maybe will not go
いかないだろう (informal) いかないでしょう(polite)

Maybe did go
いっただろう (informal) いったでしょう (polite)
Maybe did not go
いかなかっただろう (informal) いかなかったでしょう (polite)

Inviting someone... Let's... Shall we...
Let's go
いこう (Informal) いきましょう (polite)
by AK rate this post as useful

Re: Presumptive/Volitional 2015/9/24 20:26
Thank you very much for your reply it really helps me \o/
It seems as if volitional isn't even included in the category I am practicing, did you take a look at the link I provided?

I was likewise, very confused by them including volitional along with presumptive since it just didn't quite add up when I was learning the context of the conjugations.
Also informal only depicting "Most likely" and "definitely" only caused more confusion for me, because how would I go about finding the formal version of those, if that was the case.

Fortunately you were able to help me understand, and I'll go back and rework some of my footnotes on the conjugations so it won't be a lasting mistake in the back of my mind I already invested a lot of time into presumptive, so it's a bit of a shame if I were to continue solidfying this misguided idea of mine of the context of them, which makes it all that much greater that you were able to help me.

Again, thank you so much I genuinly appreciate your help!
by Bearbudah rate this post as useful

Re: Presumptive/Volitional 2015/9/24 21:08
I have one more answer regarding something this website keeps bringing up and that is.


What is the correct appliance of these two when the only thing that seperates them is the だ
minus だ seems more formal to me, but attempting to translate the two there is no real way for me to tell the difference.
by Bearbudah rate this post as useful

Re: Presumptive/Volitional 2015/9/24 21:09
Sorry for the spam, I have no idea how to edit my posts...

What I meant to say was that it seems more INformal to me, not formal.
by Bearbudah rate this post as useful

Re: Presumptive/Volitional 2015/9/25 08:36
I am not quite familiar with this teaching approach when it comes to teaching Japanese to non-native speakers of the Japanese language. This one is so focused on verb conjugation that it lacks the context or the situations where you would use those verbs. I mean, what is the use (almost) of memorizing all these verb conjugations/forms if you don't learn (at the same time) the situations where you would use them? :) I hope you have another textbook that introduces you to different sentences and dialogues.

Yes, いったろう sounds informal.
by AK rate this post as useful

Re: Presumptive/Volitional 2015/9/25 20:18
It does indeed look like they are just conjugating words based on zero context, but the idea is pretty simply that I learn how to conjugate words once I begin stringing together sentences so I won't be stopped by what a certain verb sounds like in past tense for example.

To memorize these rules is integral for me (and anyone learning any language for that matter) to be able to learn to string together sentences correctly.

Once this stuff sticks like dried concrete to the back of my mind, it'll help me tremendously in speaking the language. It also means I can learn a new verb and know how to conjugate it immediately, i.e apply it to my vocabulary instantaniously to its full extend unless of course it's one of the few irregular verbs.

I'm not sure why it wouldn't make sense after all grammar is arguably the most important part of any language :0) Thanks again.

by Bearbudah rate this post as useful

Re: Presumptive/Volitional 2015/9/25 20:24
Curse the lack of an edit button!

That being said (my response to your second post)
I get where you are coming from, you'd be concerned that I'm applying these verbs wrongfully due to the lack of context and I understand that, but fortunately I am able to tell if it doesn't quite add up \o/
by Bearbudah rate this post as useful

Re: Presumptive/Volitional 2015/9/26 12:11
Yes, I see your approach to studying :) I am just saying that I hope you have a textbook with conversational dialogues, for example, to show how those forms are actually used in real life.

It is just that the Japanese grammar IS quite different from English (or other Western languages), there is no one-to-one correlation between English and Japanese verb conjugations, so that when you get started it can be more rewarding (or encouraging) to start with learning simple sentences where those different forms are used, learn how things are said in sentences, then get explanations about how these verb forms are used in what kind of expressions.

Also as I noted earlier, "tsuku/tsukimasu" (to reach, to arrive) in Japanese means "to reach (as a consequence)" and nothing you can "will" to do. So I would not see anyone saying 3じに つこう or つきましょう (let's arrive by 3 o'clock). I would say for example 3じに つくように いきましょう (let's go so that we will arrive by 3 o'clock.) So this textbook, I feel, is extensive in covering just forms, but not quite appropriate. That is why I said I hope you have another textbook to give you dialogues/verbs in actual use.

One thing to note about conjugations; please note as you go which "group" a certain verb belongs to. That would help tremendously (though I'm sure you know of it already).
by AK rate this post as useful

Re: Presumptive/Volitional 2015/9/28 20:31
Ah yes I understand and yes I've come across that realization before which makes it all the more complicated to improvise writing sentences. My current approach is very black and white and I do hope I'll get to some more down to earth material soon that will focus more on natural speech.

It's a very mathmatical procedure this specific measure takes in order to conjugate whatever, regardless of whether it would make sense in speech or not and I am sure that once I begin studying how to build a sentence it will/should become much more evident so that I may avoid trying to "englishfy" my japanese if you get what I mean.
by Bearbudah rate this post as useful

Re: Presumptive/Volitional 2015/9/28 20:39
I'm getting a hold of "japanese for dummies" the whole series due my next paycheck. This specific series seems highly regarded by most people studying the language and contains a cd with exactly the stuff you are talking about.

The CD apparently features basic conversation between native japanese, so it ought to help me get back on track.
Meanwhile, I'll continue studying "In the dark" so once more it helps me tremendously to have people like you help me out with some answers to my questions.
by Bearbudah rate this post as useful

Re: Presumptive/Volitional 2015/9/28 22:39
Yes I see your approach :)

What I meant about sentences and context is something like this (sorry for the dorky examples):

How do you say it when you want to ask someone to do something for you?
- Nihongo wo oshiete kudasai. (Please teach me Japanese.)
(te-form of verb) + kudasai. (Please do ...)
- Nihongo wo oshiete morasemasen ka. (Won't you teach me Japanese?)
(te-form of verb) + moraemasen ka? (Won't you do ... for me?)

How do you say it when you want to say "if I've done something..."?
- Moshi nihon ni ittara, sushi wo takusan tabemasu. (If I could go to/land in Japan, I will eat a lot of sushi.)
(Use "tara"-form (-ta+ra) of verb)
etc., one lesson after another gradually. In any case, I hope you continue to enjoy learning.
by AK rate this post as useful

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