This article is about the first 50 most-frequent verbs as determined by the Balanced Contemporary Corpus of Written Japanese (2011). “Balanced” refers to the utilisation of online web forums as well as television subtitles in addition to novels and newspapers.

1 言う to say, to speak. いう
2 する to do.
3 ある to be (inanimate existence), to have (possession).
4 なる to become.
5 思う to think. to have an opinion. おもう
6 行くto go.  いく
7 来る to arrive. くる
8 見る to see, to watch, to look. みる
9 やる to do,
10 いる to be (animate)


11 できる to be able; to happen.
12 持つ to hold. to have. もつ
13 出る to go out; to exit, leave. でる
14 考える to contemplate. かんがえる
15 分かる to understand. わかる
16 入るto enter. はいる
17 作る to make. つくる
18 聞く,聴くto listen, to listen deeply. きく
19 使う to use, to utilise. つかう
20 取る to take. とる

21 知る to know. しる
22 行うto carry out/hold (an event). おこなう
23 仕事(する) to do one’s work. しごと(する)
24 食べる to eat. たべる
25 書くto write. かく
26入れる to insert. いれる
27 付くto stick to, to affix, to attach.  つく
28 出す to take out, to bring out. だす
29 ございます・ござる polite form of “de aru,” to be (inanimate)

30 違う to be differing, “wrong.” ちがう
31 受ける to receive, to take in. うける
32 話す to tell, to talk. はなす
33 帰る to return. かえる
34 掛ける to hang, to take or cost or require resources or time. かける
35 終わる to come to an end. おわる
36 意味(する) to mean. to create meaning. いみ(する)
37 付ける to apply, to turn on. つける
38 感じる to feel. かんじる
39 かかる to take or cost or require resources or time.
40 住む to live, to reside. すむ

41 生活(する) to live your life (lifestyle). せいかつ(する)
42 あげる to lift, to raise.
43 乗る to get on, to ride. のる
44 見える to be seen. みえる
45 変わる to undergo change. かわる
46 読む to read. よむ
47 教える to teach, to share, to tell. おしえる
48 置く to place, to set or leave sth. in preparation for later. おく
49 残る to remain. のこる
50 呼ぶ to call. よぶ

Get familiar with these 50 above on your way to Japanese mastery!

Next: Read “To Learn Japanese, you need a Rocketship.”

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