Verb Potential Form

Form: verb and adjective
Form: verb and adjective

On this page, you can learn about Japanese verb potential form.


‘can’ is ことができる in Japanese. However, there is another way to describe ‘can’. That is called Potential Form.


‘go’ is いく. There are two ways to say ‘can go’ in Japanese.

  • いくことができる
  • いける(Potential Form)

How to make Potential Form (Plain Form)

Click here if you don’t know about Japanese verb groups: Irregular Verb, Ichidan Verb (Group 2) and Godan Verb (Group 1)

Irregular verb

  • する → できる
  • くる → これる

Ichidan Verb or Group 2

Cut off る then add られる.

(Ex) たべる → たべられる

Godan Verb or Group 1

Change the last symbol from ‘u’ sound to ‘e’ sound. Then, add る at the end.

(Ex) いく → いける

Polite Potential Form

To make Potential Form in Polite Form, change る at the end of Potentinal Form into ます.

  • でき → できます (can do)
  • これ → これます (can come)
  • たべられ → たべられます (can eat)
  • いけ → いけます (can go)

Note: を to が

を is often replaced with が in front of Potential Form.


My mother can play piano.


My mother can play piano.


The first one (with を) is understandable but does not sound right.


Task: Change into Japanese, using Polite Potential Form.

  • My father can speak Japanese.
  • I can come to the party.
  • My uncle can play soccer.
  • I can carry the heavy box.
  • My mother can drive a car.

Task: Change into English.

  • 私はきょう六時にねられます
  • 母はピアノがひけます
  • 川でさかなつりがたのしめます
  • あるいて学校にいけます
  • へやからはなびがみられます


Extension task

Task: Change into English.

  • 父はとてもはやくはしれます
  • くうこうで車がかりられます
  • 日本語と英語がはなせます
  • あしたのパーティにこれますか。
  • 私はすしがつくれます