Beginner (20) Short Form – What is Short Forms?

After watching the lesson, please watch this HW club video!

Today, we are learning the difference between “Short form” and “long form”.

Short form is considered as “Dictionary form” and “Casual form” such as 読む, and “Long-form is considered as “formal form” such as 読みます。

But, its’ not only that. For formal writing, short form is not casual or rude. So when you write some kind of official article or submit report, you have to choose short form or long form, then, you shouldn’t mix both of them. In this case, short-form is not casual at all.

On the other hand, if it’s casual blog like my “Hanako’s stories”, I mix both of the short form and long form because I write like I talk to someone.

For speaking, short form is considered as casual form and used when we talk to strangers, older people teachers or someone you want to make distance!

(1) Family, friends – short from 食べる
(2) Stranger, older people,boss, teacher long-form 食べます
(3) Formal writing – either short form or long form -食べる or 食べます, but it shold be consistent in the same writing.
(4) Teacher who are younger than me – long form 食べます
(5) Teacher who are younger than me and friend – maybe short form 食べる
(6) Casual blog – up to you. in my case, mix of short and long form. 食べる and 食べます
(7) Transition from strangers to friends – First long form, then, gradually change it to short form, like 100-0, 50-50, 60-40, 70-30. Some Japanese can do it naturally, however, in my case, I have to do it manually!

Also, you need to learn how to form short-form in order to construct sentences. Many grammar rules involve “short-form”.

For example, short-form is necessary to form quotation as follows.

かのじょは かわいい、 と 思います。
I think she is cute.

This one below is wrong.
かのじょは かわいいです と 思いません。
Present tense, affirmative

Short forms Long forms
Verbs: 読む 読みます
いーadjective: かわいい かわいいです
なーadjective: 静かだ 静かです
Noun + です: 学生だ 学生です

To construct short-form

* ”Verbs” and “いーadjective” – dictionary form.
* “な-adjective” and “noun+です” – replace です with だ
* We have learned how to form “stem form (masu form) – 読むー読みます

Present tense, negative

Short forms Long forms
Verbs: 読まない 読みません
いーadjective: かわいくない かわいくないです
なーadjective: 静かじゃない 静かじゃないです
Noun + です: 学生じゃない 学生じゃないです
To construct short-form

* “い-adjective” “な adjectives” and ”noun +です” – drop “です” after “ない”.

Let’s practice!

How would you say these in short form?

Change the affirmatives into negatives.

えいが を みる
I watch the movie.

スカート を はく
I wear skirt.

おさらを あらう
I wash dishes.

彼女は かわいい
She is cute.

This watch is inexpensive.

He is good looking.

She is beautiful.

I strongly recommend you to watch “Homework club” to practice these!