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Where are you going?

ikimasu & kaerimasu"to go" & "to return"

Ikimasu, "to go", and kaerimasu, "to return", are verbs. These verbs come at the end of a sentence and conjugate to indicate the present tense or the past tense as well as the affirmative form or the negative form.

In Japanese, there are two tenses, past and non-past. Since there is no future tense in Japanese, the non-past tense is used for both habitual actions and the future tense.

  Affirmative Negative
non-past iki-masu iki-masen
Past iki-mashita iki-masendeshita
go ikimasu ikimasen ikimashita ikimasendeshita
return kaerimasu kaerimasen kaerimashita kaerimasendeshita

(place) ni ikimasu

The place you are going to or coming to is indicated by the particle ni or e, which means "to".

At Coscom, we use ni in our learning materials. The particle ni is an indirect object marker. This particle follows an indirect object such as direction of an action or a purpose of going or coming.

The subject is often omitted if it is obvious without mentioning it; "time" or "place" can also be omitted if it is obvious without mentioning it. When you omit "place" you must also omit the particle ni.

person wa time   place ni ikimasu / kaerimasu

Densha de ikimasu"to go by train"

The particle de expresses a means or a method, for example, densha de "by train", kuruma de "by car". When asking "how", the word dooyatte is commonly used.

There is an exception, however: "on foot / by walking" is aruite or aruite ikimasu meaning "go on foot".

densha de by train jitensha de by bicycle
chikatetsu de by subway hikooki de by plane
kuruma de by car aruite on foot, by walking
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