Welcome, future Japanese masters! Today, we have a list of 10 adjectives that you simply cannot do without! Why? Because they’re so convenient! Seriously, you’ll use them so much in daily conversation in Japan that you’ll pat yourself on the back for having studied them beforehand. Let’s see what they are!

TOP 15 BASIC Japanese i-adjectives You must know first in Japanese | Japanese language lesson
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Japanese Adjectives

Before we begin, it’s important to know that there are two types of adjectives in Japanese: iadjectives and naadjectives. Iadjectives are adjectives that end with the hiragana character い (i). Naadjectives are adjectives that you need to attach な (na) to the end of before they can modify nouns.

I-adjective examples:

白いシャツ
Shiroi shatsu
white shirt
大きい象 
ookii zou
big elephant

Naadjective examples:

綺麗な女
kirei-na onna
beautiful woman
有名な俳優
yuumei-na haiyuu
famous actor

Do you see how they work? Now, let’s get started with our list!

1. いい (ii) –Japanese Adjectives

English: good

This is an essential Japanese word to start out with. In all walks of life, we need to be able to identify whether something is good or bad. If it’s good, then we communicate this by using the word いい (ii).

Examples:

彼はいい人です。
Kare wa ii hito desu.
He is a good person.
今日はいい天気です。
Kyou wa ii tenki desu.
It’s good (nice) weather today.

2. 悪い (warui) – Japanese Adjectives

English: bad

On the flip side, in case things take a turn for the worse and end up bad, then we need to be able to communicate that as well.

Examples:

これはとても悪いことです。
Kore wa totemo warui koto desu.
This is very bad.
私は気分が悪いです。
Watashi wa kibun ga warui desu.
I don’t feel well.

3. 好き(な) (suki-na) – Japanese Adjectives

English: like

Believe it or not, the word “like” is an adjective in Japanese. That’s why Japanese beginner English speakers often make the mistake of saying, “Cake is like,” rather than, “I like cake.” Being able to communicate what you like is essential in order to convey what kind of person you are. It will also win you some good friends if you happen to have the same interests!

Examples:

私はケーキが好きです。
Watashi wa keeki ga suki desu.
I like cake.
あなたはどんな音楽が好きですか?
Anata wa donna ongaku ga suki desu ka?
What kind of music do you like?
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4. 嫌い(な) (kirai-na) – Japanese Adjectives

English: hate

As with “like,” the word “hate” is also an adjective. It may sound a bit negative, but “hate” doesn’t have the same strong connotation it does in English. It can also mean “dislike” depending on the tone of voice and expression on your face.

Examples:

私は野菜が嫌いです。
Watashi wa yasai ga kirai desu.
I hate/dislike vegetables.
嫌いな食べ物はありますか?
Kirai-na tabemono wa arimasu ka?
Are there any foods that you dislike?

5. 高い (takai)
Japanese Adjectives5. 高い (takai)

English: expensive

We’re all shoppers at heart, and Tokyo is one of the fashion capitals of the world! However, each person has a different amount of funds available at their disposal. Therefore, it’s important to be able to convey that something is a little bit out of our price range.

Examples:

この店は高いです。
Kono mise wa takai desu.
This shop is expensive.
高いレストランで食べたくないです。
Takai resutoran de tabetakunai desu.
I don’t want to eat an expensive restaurant.

6. 安い (yasui) – Japanese Adjectives

English: cheap

Cheap can also mean low quality, but in Japan just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it isn’t good value. Sometimes cheap can be a good thing!

Examples:

私は安い所に行きたいです。
Watashi wa yasui tokoro ni ikitai desu.
I want to go to a cheap place.
安い服屋はどこですか?
Yasui fukuya wa doko desu ka?
Where is a cheap clothing store?

7. 美味しい (oishii) – Japanese Adjectives

English: delicious

If there’s one word the Japanese love, it’s “oishii.” Any trip to the bathroom at any restaurant in Japan, you’ll always hear at least 10 “oishii”s along the way. This is the word used to convey to anyone within earshot that something is mmm…mmm… good!

Examples:

これは美味しいです!
Kore wa oishii desu!
This is delicious!
美味しいお店はわかりますか?
Oishii o-mise wa wakarimasu ka?
Do you know of any delicious restaurants?

8. 面白い (omoshiroi) – Japanese Adjectives

English: interesting/funny/entertaining

Both “interesting” and “funny” are the same word in Japanese. Therefore, I like to just think of it as meaning “entertaining.” If there were a #2 on the list of words favored by the Japanese, it would be this one. Omoshiroi is your go-to word for any opinion that the Japanese ask of you. That is, of course, unless you’re eating (that would be oishii)!   

Examples:

彼は面白いです。
Kare wa omoshiroi desu.
He is funny.
面白い映画が好きです。
Omoshiroi eiga ga suki desu.
I like funny movies.

9. 楽しい (tanoshii) – Japanese Adjectives

English: fun

Who doesn’t like to have fun? The Japanese tend to be on the joyful side, so most experiences they will describe in retrospect as “fun.” So, if anyone asks you how your experience was, just say it was “tanoshii.” It’s a great way to show how grateful you are to be able to partake in these experiences.

Examples:

カラオケは楽しかった!
Karaoke wa tanoshikatta!
I enjoyed karaoke!
遊園地は楽しそう!
Yuuenchi wa tanoshisou!
The amusement park looks fun!

10. 危ない (abunai) – Japanese Adjectives

English: dangerous

Japan is one of the safest countries in the world. That’s because Japanese people are always contemplating what is the safest route to go and what is the most dangerous. I guarantee you’ll hear more about what is dangerous (abunai) than what is safe (anzen).

Examples:

危ないよ!
Abunai yo!
That’s dangerous!
危ない!危ない!
Abunai! Abunai!
Get out of there! It’s too dangerous!

Now that you have 10 essential adjectives under your belt, it’s time to get out there and practice them! Remember, practice makes perfect, so practice the new things you learn every chance you get! 

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