In generalizing what I have learned from Japanese "conjugations" I learned quite a bit.

I have come to the realization that the same verb forms ARE present in English although English uses cue words as opposed to changing the verb ending.

The verb forms: Present/future [es, s] [will],
potential[can, may, might],
passive, causative, passive causative,
Neg. (imperfect)[don't/won't],
Positive Past Perfect [did, (ed)
negative past perfect (never did, did not,
volitional let's, I suggest you...
imperative [(you) do this], conditional [when this happens that will happen], situational [IF this happens THEN this will happen],
representative [a long list of verbs, and finally formal,
and First person volitional (I want this to happen),

Can anyone give me a few of the cue words for passive and causative passive? ( I am having trouble with those two.... maybe I just need more coffee).

  • 1
    You're confusing words with functions with constructions, and you're going to need to get them straightened out before you can get anywhere with your intuition. Which is, btw, more or less correct, provided it's stated carefully in terms of forms and functions. – John Lawler Feb 20 '15 at 20:41
  • I think I remember reading that the passive and causative passive work a bit differently in Japanese from how they do in English, so you may not be able to find an exact equivalent. – herisson Mar 23 '15 at 5:10

It would be better to use normal grammar terms instead of new fancy terms. The passive in English is formed with the forms of to be + past participle. There is also a passive with to get + past participle.

The forms of a verb can be expressed by endings added to variations of the verb stem as in Latin or by auxiliary verbs for the tenses and modal verbs for various modalities such as possibility (can/may), ability (can), recommendation (should) etc.

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  • This is a good explanation of what linguists actually call those words which OP refers to as cue words (that is, auxiliary verbs and modal verbs) – Brian Hitchcock May 22 '15 at 6:48

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