|sci.lang.japan FAQ / 8. Slang and colloquialisms|
These are contractions of the regular verb endings made with "te shimau" or "te wa". For example "tabete shimau", meaning "eat up", becomes "tabechau", with the auxiliary verb "shimau" contracted into the "te" form of "taberu". (For more on the "te" form of the verb ending, see 2.1.6. How does the te form work?)
The following table gives some of the most frequent contractions used in everyday Japanese.
|"Standard" verb ending||Contracted form||Examples and notes|
|-te shimau||-chau||Makete shimatta ("We lost") becomes makechatta or makechimatta|
|-de shimau||-jimau||Shinde shimae! (literally "Go and die!", or "Go to hell!") becomes shinjimae!. See also 8.5. What are some Japanese insults and swear-words?|
|-te iru||-teru||Shitte iru ("I know") becomes shitteru}.|
|-te oku||-toku||Tamete oku ("save up") becomes tametoku.|
|-te wa||-cha||Mane shite wa ikenai ("don't copy that") becomes mane shicha ikenai.|
|-de wa||-ja||Nonde wa ikenai ("don't drink") becomes nonja ikenai|
|-te wa shinai||-te ya shinai||This is an emphatic negative.|
|-te ageru||-tageru||Yatte ageru yo ("I'll do it for you") becomes yattageru yo|
|Other verb forms|
|-ru no||-nno||Nani o yatteiruno ("What are you doing?") becomes nani wo yattenno?|
|-ranai||-nnai||Shiranai `I don't know' becomes shinnai.|
|-nakute wa||-nakucha||Tabenakute wa ikenai ("You must eat") becomes tabenakucha ikenai. Sometimes the ikenai is dropped too.|
|Negative nai||n||Kuwanai ("I won't eat it") becomes kuwan. This is more emphatic than the form with "nai".|
|De wa nai ka or ja nai ka||jan||Ii ja nai ka becomes ii jan.|
The ending nai is often reduced to just n. De wa nai ka or ja nai ka may be contracted into jan, so, for example ii ja nai ka may become ii jan. This "n" ending is also used in phrases like shiranpuri, "pretending not to notice".
Constructions using to and the verb iu, "to say", are often contracted. For example, to iu may be contracted to tte, and to ieba may be contracted into tteba. Similarly, ttara is a contraction of to ittara, meaning "if I/you say".
The words kore, sore, and are are also often contracted in a similar way, as is de mo.
See also 8.6. What are itee and sugee?
This list was partly taken from a post by John Reeves.
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