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:

Shiroi shatsu
white shirt
ookii zou
big elephant

Naadjective examples:

kirei-na onna
beautiful woman
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).


Kare wa ii hito desu.
He is a good person.
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.


Kore wa totemo warui koto desu.
This is very bad.
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!


Watashi wa keeki ga suki desu.
I like cake.
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.


Watashi wa yasai ga kirai desu.
I hate/dislike vegetables.
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.


Kono mise wa takai desu.
This shop is expensive.
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!


Watashi wa yasui tokoro ni ikitai desu.
I want to go to a cheap place.
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!


Kore wa oishii desu!
This is delicious!
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)!   


Kare wa omoshiroi desu.
He is funny.
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.


Karaoke wa tanoshikatta!
I enjoyed karaoke!
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).


Abunai yo!
That’s dangerous!
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! 

Other ways to express your feelings in Japanese

ここに来られてワクワクしています。I’m excited tobe here.
あなたをここに迎えることができて、私たちは嬉しいわ!We’re happy to heve you here!
あなたに会えて嬉しいです。I’m glad to see you.
それを聞いて悲しい。I’m sad to hear that.
それを聞いて残念です。I’m sorry to hear that.
あなたが婚約をしたと知って驚いています。I’m surprised to know that you got engaged.
わあ、なんて素敵な部屋!Wow, what a lovely room!
なんて素敵な、大きな部屋!What a nice, big room!
なんて美味しい食事!What a delicious meal!
なんて壮大な眺め!What a magnificent view!
あなたはなんて親切なの!How kind of you!
そんな風に言ってくれるなんて優しいね。How sweet of you to say so.
そんなことを言うなんて、彼はなんて失礼なんだろう。How rude of him to say such a thing.
来てくれて嬉しいよ。I’m glad you come.
電話をくれて嬉しいよ。I’m glad you called me.
やって良かった。I’m glad I did it.
後で「やって良かった」と思うはずだよ。You’ll be glad you did.
よくぞ聞いてくれました。I’m glad you asked.
気に入ってもらえて良かった。I’m glad you liked it.
この映画を選んで本当に良かった!I’m so glad we chose this movie!
あなたのお話し、とても興味深いです。Your story is very interesting.
笑わないで。ちっともおかしくないよ。Don’t laugh. This is not funny.
彼らのコントは超面白い。Their satand-up comedy is hilarious.
昨夜のサッカーの試合はワクワクした。Last night’s soccer dame was exiting.

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