Are you coming or going? Learn Japanese Verbs Iku(いく) and Kuru(くる) : Join us in today’s online Japanese lesson, exploring the wonderful uses of the verbs いく and くる.

Hey Everyone, In today’s online lesson we are going to be looking at the Japanese verbs いく and くる. Iku(いく), meaning “to go” is an extremely common verb in Japanese much like it counterpart kuru(くる), meaning “to come”.

Some of you may be thinking that this is really basic and that you’ve already mastered these verb uses, so as well as looking at lots of sentences to see how these verbs work in context, we are also going to look at how they affix to other verbs to say things such as “Buy and come back” “Go and take” etc.  

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 So let’s first start by looking at some simple “Iku(いく)” sentences. In most cases the particle に is used after the destination and before いく indicate where the speaker or subject is going. 

Ginkou ni iku
Go to the bank
Ashita kouen ni iku
Tomorrow I will go to the park

As you can see here, this formula is very straight forward when it comes to describing a destination you are going to. Here are a few more sentences with some simple verb conjugations.

Gakusei wa gakkou ni ikanakatta
The student did not go to school
Disneyrando ni ikitai
I want to go to Disney Land


Now let’s take a look at “kuru(くる)” in the same way and digest, firstly, some simple sentences. Much like “Iku(いく)” you can use に as a travel marker after the noun that you are coming to.

Toshokan ni kuru
Come to the library
Asatte, panya ni kuru
Come to the library the day after tomorrow

Super simple again here just like with “Iku(いく)” so now let’s take a look at some different conjugations of the same verb and see how that works in a sentence.

Paatei ni kite kudasai
Please come to the party
Kanojo ga kimasen deshita
She didn't come to the party.

So there are a few examples of how to use Iku(いく) and kuru(くる), admittedly this is the simple stuff, lets now take the next step into part 2 and learn how to combine these verbs with others and use てくる and ていく。

Te kuru(てくる)

In actuality the exact grammatical usage of Te Iku(いく) and Te Kuru is extremely different to nail down in terms of rules as they are largely context based. Even though they have a few different meanings attached to them, the meaning that we are going to concentrate on today is Te Kuru “To do something and come back” and Te Iku “To do something and go”

So lets start by looking at ていく to do something and go.

Hikouki ga tondeikimashita
The plane flew (and went) away.

We can see here that the planes primary action is first flying (とぶ) then when the いく is fixed to that it shows that it flew and went away or more simply flew away. To create these sentence structures all you need to do is take the primary verb and turn it into the て form adding いく straight after. Let’s have a look at another examples to ensure that we really understand the structure.

Fune ha minato wo deteitta
The boat left the harbour and went

The good news is the way we form this for てくる is exactly the same way, so you take the primary verb in て form and simply add くる. This is the counter part of ていく and means “To do something and comeback” Lets look at some examples.

Chotto toire ni ittekimasu.
I’ll go to the toilet and come back.

You can see here that the primary verb is いく to go, so adding kuru to the end gives the meaning of “to go and come back” You may have heard this popular phrase when someone leaves their house or the office on break. Now you can see exactly how this famous phrase has come to be through the magical power of grammar study! Let’s look at another sentence. 

Chotto mizu wo kattekimasu
I will buy water and then come back


So guys that brings us to the end of today’s online lesson. As always be sure to make plenty of your own examples and keep challenging yourself. To really master and understand new concepts in Japanese, and infacet any language, you must ensure that you keep practicing what you have learnt over and over again in varying scenarios. Really picture it in your mind and try to connect with it on a deeper level. This way you will be able to call upon your new found skills and language tools much faster and feel alot better about retaining information.

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