In today’s online Japanese lesson, we are going to be looking at the Tai たい form in Japanese. The Tai form(たい) lets you express what you want and what you don’t want in Japanese. This is really useful to know as expressing what you want and don’t want can really open up a lot of opportunities when it comes to your Japanese communication skill and what you can do with it.

The Japanese Tai Form: Expressing what you want and don’t want

Want to order in a restaurant? no problem.  Want to tell someone you are thirsty? No problem? Want to tell your mom you don’t want to do the dishes, NO PROBLEM! Sit back and relax because we WANT you to learn this really cool Tai form in Japanese.

How to Create the Tai form

So how exactly do we create the Tai form? Thankfully it is extremely simple. All you have to do is take a verb in masu form, remove the “masu” and add “tai”. It really is as simple as that. You don’t have to worry about different very groups or anything either.

The Tai form is only used in verbs and this specific form can’t be used on adjectives or nouns.

Let’s take a look at a quick example

To eat (Plain form) たべるーTo eat (Masu form)たべますーWant to eat (Tai form) たべたい

As you can see here, all that has been done is that the “Masu” has been removed and “Tai” put into it’s place. 

Take a look at the table below to see a whole host of verbs turned into the Tai form.

To Writeかきますかきたい
To Cookりょうりしますりょうりしたい
To Apologiseあやまりますあやまりたい
To Runはしりますはしりたい
To Sendおくりますおくりたい
To Laughわらいますわらいたい
To Danceおどりますおどりたい
To Readよみますよみたい


Tai form – past, negative and past negative

So now you know the plain form, let’s have a look at making the past, negative and past negative forms for the tai form.

Negative: ~たくないです
Remove い and add くない
To study べんきょうします Don’t want to studyべんきょうしたくない
Past:    ~たかったです
Remove い and add かったです
To study べんきょうします Wanted to studyべんきょうしたかったです
Past Negative: ~たくなかったです
Remove い and add くなかったです
To study べんきょうします Didn’t want to study べんきょうしたくなかったです

You can also add です to the end of a sentence much like with adjectives to make the sentence more polite.

Tai form sentence examples

So now we’ve learnt how to construct the Tai form, let’s now look at how we can use some of the verbs in sentences to bring it full circle. Remember that the more times you actually use and experiment with things you have just learnt, the faster you will learn and retain the use of the new information. This will result in being able to call upon the Tai form or anything you have just learnt a lot quicker and allow you to utilize it smoothly in a conversation.

We are going to look at some really basic sentences now but feel free to go ahead and create some more complex ones of your own with the verbs you know. Try also to work in some adverbs and adjectives.

I want to read a book
I want to listen to music
I want to study Japanese
I want to return home

So there we have it. You should now have a basic understanding of the Tai form and how to use it. But, as mentioned earlier, you need to ensure you practice it and learn to integrate it with your current conversation and other Japanese study practices for it to really stick and become effective for you. 

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