Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone. My name is Risa.
Welcome to Know Your Verbs, the series that will help you build more Japanese sentences.
In this episode, we’re going to talk about the verb 行く(iku). By the end of this lesson, you will know how to use it and how to conjugate it! You will also know an everyday expression that uses this verb!
Let’s get started.
First, let’s look at the basic definition of this verb.
The basic definition of the verb iku 行く (iku) is “to go.” We use this verb when we’re talking about moving from one place to another. For example:
来週、アメリカに行きます。(Raishū, Amerika ni ikimasu.)
I’m going to the USA next week.
一緒に、海へ行きませんか。(Issho ni, umi e ikimasen ka.)
Do you want to go to the beach with me?
OK, let’s look at how to conjugate this verb.
Formal:
Non-past formal: 行きます (ikimasu)、行きません (ikimasen)
Past formal: 行きました (ikimashita)、行きませんでした (ikimasendeshita)
Volitional formal: 行きましょう (ikimashō)
Informal:
Non-past informal: 行く (iku)、行かない (ikanai)
Past informal: 行った (itta)、行かなかった (ikanakatta)
Volitional informal: 行こう (ikō)
Te-form:
行って (itte)
Now let’s look at some other meanings of this verb.
The first one is "to come."
The verb いく can be used in Japanese much in the same way as "come" is used in English. In many sentences where an English speaker would usually use the word "come," in Japanese, the word いく is used.
Let’s look at some examples.
In the following situation, Yukio Yamashita and his friend Ben need to rush to a lecture after a late lunch on campus. Yukio calls out to Ben,
べん君!
Ben!
うん!今から行くよ!
Yeah! I’m coming now!
English speakers might feel tempted to directly translate their natural response here (and use the verb “to come” which is 来る), but this would sound unnatural in Japanese. This sentence literally means "from now I go," but it translates as "I'm coming now!"
In the next situation, Shin is inviting his friend Sasha to the pool.
明日プールに行かない?
Do you wanna come to the pool tomorrow?
いいね!一緒に遊びに行こう。
Sounds good! I’ll come hang out!
In the second example, we see the verb used in two ways.
In the question プールに行かない?, the verb is used in the negative form to create an invitation.
Using 行かない with a question intonation creates a question.
Yes, this is the non-past negative form of the verb and it can be used to mean "won't go," but here, because it's part of a question, it takes the meaning "won't you come?" The response is in volitional informal to show agreement.
Here, 行く combines with the verb 遊び、which means "to play," but it can be understood as "to hang out." This conversation appears as "tomorrow, pool won't come?" "Good! Hang out and go!" But it translates as "Do you wanna come to the pool tomorrow?" "Sounds good! I'll come hang out."
OK, let's look at the next way to use this verb.
The next use of いく is to mean "to be gone somewhere," or "to currently be in a place."
It’s important to note that this isn’t actually a separate meaning for the verb. Rather, when we use the verb in the ている form it takes this meaning. This is a bit different from how we express states in English, so we want to introduce it here.
When we use いく in this way, we typically see it used in the 行っている or 行っていた forms (in non-past and past forms). You may know that ている is usually used when someone is doing something right now, but with iku it shows a result. For example, 東京に行っている appears as “I’m going to Tokyo” but it actually means “I’m in Tokyo” and it describes the result (rather than the action in progress). You can think of it as “someone went and now remains.”
Let’s look at some examples.
In the following conversation, Ben visits his local coffee shop and asks the barista, an acquaintance, about a mutual friend.
最近、彼と会ってる?
Have you seen him recently?
彼はアメリカに行っているよ。
He’s in America.
The barista responds with アメリカに行っている to express that the person in question has gone to America (and is currently there). This sentence may appear as "He is going to America," but it translates as "He is in America."
Let’s look at another example.
In this conversation, Ben’s friend Hana asks him about where he was.
今日はどこに行っていた?
Where were you today?
病院に行っていたよ。
I was at the hospital.
In this situation, the verb is used in two ways. The young woman asks: どこに行っていた?The verb 行く is in the past informal ている form, which tells us this is a past tense question about a previous location. Like with the first example in this section, this ている is not translated as a continuing action; rather, a state. We therefore understand this question not as "where were you going today?" but as "where were you today?" The reply uses the same form: 行っていた。Again, this refers to a state; “I was at the hospital.” Note that it's possible to answer this question with 行った as well. This would mean simply "I went to the hospital." The example response looks like "hospital was going to," but it translates as "I was at the hospital."
All right, let’s move on to another way to use this verb.
The third way to use 行く is to indicate a method of transportation.
Note that when 行く is used in this way, the particle preceding the verb is で、which marks the method. Because this use of いく is used to describe a method of transportation, we can translate the verb into English as whatever is most appropriate for the situation. For example: drive, cycle, take, etc.
Let’s take a look at some examples.
In the following conversation, Itsuki asks his son Shin about how he plans to travel to the beach.
どうやって海に行く?
How are you going to get to the beach?
電車で行くよ。
We’re going to take the train.
To make the question, Itsuki uses the non-past informal 行く with upward intonation. Literally, it means "how beach go?" but in natural English, we translate it as "How are you going to get to the beach?" The son responds with 電車で行くよ。Again, here in the response, 行く is used in the non-past informal form. It is preceded by 電車で。で can mark a method of doing something. In this case, it follows 電車, train. We could understand this as meaning "by train." When we pair this with 行く、the meaning becomes "go by train." よ is added at the end for emphasis. A natural English translation (with appropriate verb) is "We're going to take the train."
Let’s look at another example.
In the following conversation, Sasha expresses surprise in a moment where she believes her classmate Satsuki might have run to school.
学校まで走った?!
Did you run to school?!
いや、自転車で行った!
No, I rode my bike!
Sasha begins by asking her classmate a confirmation question: 学校まで走った? Did you run to school?! The classmate responds by clarifying that no, she did not run. She explains the method of transportation used by marking the mode of transport with で。Here, the method is 自転車、so the phrase becomes 自転車で、or "by bicycle." The sentence ends with 行った in the past form, which tells us that the action is complete. While the literal translation of 行く is "go," when we refer to bicycles in English, we use the verb "ride." The sentence appears as "no, by bicycle I went," but translates as "no, I rode my bike!"
Now, let's look at a variation.
上手く行く: to go well, to turn out okay
Please note that when this expression is used in writing, it may be expressed only in hiragana, or only the first part, 上手く, may be expressed with kanji. This is up to the writer.
Let’s take a look at some examples.
In the following sentence, Noriko shares her opinion about an upcoming work project.
このプロジェクトはうまく行かないとおもいます。
I don’t think this project is going to go well...
Here, the speaker uses the non-past negative form of the expression 上手くいく、上手くいかない。Although this is a work situation (where formal language is typically used), this verb ends in the simple non-past form because it precedes the formal と思います。The subject of this sentence is このプロジェクト。We know this because it's followed by the topic marking particle は。上手くいかない、to not go well, follows immediately after. This sentence may appear as "this project well not go I think," but it translates as "I don't think this project is going to go well."
Let’s take a look at another example. In this situation, Ichika waves goodbye to her son and his teammates as they leave for a tournament.
大会が上手く行くように願っています!
I hope the competition goes well!
Here, the grammar pattern ように is used, which connects to the verb it follows and means "in order to," or "so that." It's commonly used to express hopes and wishes. The sentence ends with the non-past formal 願っています、which can be understood as "to hope" or "to wish." This sentence may appear as "competition go well in order to I wish," but it translates as "I hope the competition goes well!"
Great! Now you know 3 different ways to use the verb 行く, the basic conjugated forms of the verb, and an additional expression that uses this verb!
All right, that’s all for this time!
Thanks very much for watching this lesson, and I'll see you again soon. Bye Bye!

10 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

JapanesePod101.com Verified
November 6th, 2020 at 06:30 PM
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Can you make a sentence using the verb 行く(iku)?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
December 23rd, 2020 at 03:47 PM
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Musaabさん


Thank you so much for your comment😄

The present tense is -ます like 行きます.

You can study the progressive form here😉

https://www.japanesepod101.com/lesson/beginner-lesson-88-babysitter-1/


Please let us know if you have any questions :)


Sincerely

Ryoma

Team JapanesePod101.com

JapanesePod101.com Verified
December 23rd, 2020 at 07:06 AM
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こんにちは Katja,


You are very very welcome. 😇❤️️ We were so happy to read your positive message!

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

We wish you good luck with your language studies.


Kind regards,

レヴェンテ (Levente)

Team JapanesePod101.com

Katja
December 22nd, 2020 at 07:19 PM
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WOW!

That was a very helpful and great lesson! Thank you!

Do you plan to continue a "Know Your Verbs"-series?


Sincerely

Katja

Musaab
December 19th, 2020 at 09:37 PM
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No I'm talking about the PRESENT tense:);)

JapanesePod101.com Verified
December 16th, 2020 at 02:41 PM
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Musaabさん


Thank you so much for your comment😄

You are talking about "be going to" as a future tense, right?

If it's a future tense, then no. You can just say 行きます since ます is both present and future😇

Please let us know if you have any questions :)


Sincerely

Ryoma

Team JapanesePod101.com

Musaab
December 14th, 2020 at 08:45 PM
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I have a question

For saying "(pronoun) is/am/are going to (location)" in Japanese, do we have to use the the -te form of the verb 来る います/いる/る?

ありがとうございます in advance!

JapanesePod101.com Verified
November 11th, 2020 at 09:20 AM
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Bryanさん

コメントありがとうございます😄

がんばりましょう😅笑


Musaabさん

質問(しつもん)ありがとうございます😄

Nope, in Japanese, the present and future forms are the same. For example, if you say 新宿駅に行く (or 行きます in masu-form), it can be both "I go to Shinjuku station" and "I will go to Shinjuku station."

For the use of よ, you can study this lesson😉

https://www.japanesepod101.com/lesson/particles-13-we-agreewe-have-strong-feelings-about-japanese-particles-ne-yo-wa-ze-and-zo/?lp=128

It's "volitional" form😉 It's used to express intention on the part of the speaker or to invite someone to do something ("let's ~") in informal situations; for example, 行こう means "Let's go."

Please let us know if you have any questions :)


Sincerely

Ryoma

Team JapanesePod101.com

Musaab
November 9th, 2020 at 09:12 PM
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How about

新宿駅で行きよ。

?

I intend for it to mean "I'm will go to Shinjuku station."

Please let me know if there are any mistakes in the sentence and correct them for me.

By the way, I have two other questions.

1- To make a verb in the future tense, do we just add " よ" to the end of the verb and sometimes replace "ます" with it?

2- What did りさ 先生 mean when she said "volutional"?

ありがとうございます in advance!

Bryan
November 7th, 2020 at 05:17 PM
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After this lesson, my head hurts. アスピリン お さがし に いきます