- 1 What is an Japanese Adjectives ?
- 2 The Ultimate Guide to Japanese Adjectives
- 3 Japanese NA Adjectives
- 4 Japanese Adjectives : i-keiyoushi
- 5 The only irregular adjective of Japan
- 6 Learn Japanese Adjectives with BondLingo?
- 7 Study in Japan?
What is an Japanese Adjectives ?
“Japanese Adjectives are words that describe the qualities or states of being of nouns: enormous, doglike, silly, yellow, fun, fast. They can also describe the quantity of nouns: many, few, millions, eleven.”
The Ultimate Guide to Japanese Adjectives
Adjectives in Japanese are really useful for describing things and also really easy to use! First we must learn the 2 types of adjectives, “I” adjective and “Na” adjectives.
Examples of some common Japanese adjectives
|背が高い||se ga takai||tall|
|背が低い||se ga hikui||short|
Japanese NA Adjectives
Now we need to learn the second type of adjective, “Na” adjectives. Here are some examples:
So, why do they call these things “na” adjectives, well basically … they don’t end in “i”
So why do they call them “Na” adjectives? Well, this comes when we start to describe nouns.
Using Japanese adjectives in a sentence
Let’s now start describing some nouns like big dog, small boy and easy question.
With the “I” adjectives it is extremely simple, we just put the adjective in front of the noun.
|Ookii hon||Big Book||大きい本||おおきいほん|
|Chiisai ki||Small Tree||小さい木||ちいさいき|
|Muzukashii shitsumon||Difficult Question||難しい質問||むずかしいしつもん|
As you can see it’s really easy to utilize these adjectives, you simply but them before the noun and don’t change anything.
Now with the Na adjectives this is where the “Na” comes in. All you need to do is use “Na な” to join the adjective to the noun.
Here are some examples.
|Kantan na hon||Easy Book||簡単な本||かんたんなほん|
|Shizuka na heya||Quiet room||しずかなへや||静かな部屋|
As you can see all you do is add the “Na” after the adjective and before the thing you are describing.
There are however a few exceptions to the rule such as “Kirei” “きれい” Even though this ends with an I い it is actually a na adjective. There are a few cases like this but not too many so watch out, you will soon get used to these few exceptions.
Past tense Japanese adjectives
Now we’ve looked at using both na and I adjectives in the present tense, we will now try to conjugate them to the past tense.
Let’s start with I adjectives. All you do here is take off the final い I and かった Katta.
|big, large||おおきい||Was big||おおきかった|
With the Na adjectives all you need to do is add deshita or datta after the noun.
Japanese Adjectives : i-keiyoushi
In the previous blog, we discussed how na-keiyoushi have the same conjugations as a noun except how it uses na instead of wa or ga. For i-keiyoushi, or ii adjectives, these are adjectives that always end in the hiragana character “い”. Do not get these confused with a few na-keiyoushi words that end in “i” (ei. Kirei, Yuumei, etc).
Examples of I adjectives
ふるい (old) Furui
|That laptop is old.||Sono pasokon wa furui desu.||そのパソコンは古いです。|
|That laptop was very old.||Sono pasokon wa totemo furu katta desu.||そのパソコンはとても古かったです|
|Very old laptop||Meccha furui pasokon desu||めっちゃ古いパソコンです|
|That laptop is not old.||Sono pasokon wa furu ku arimasen.||そのパソコンは古くありません。|
|That laptop was not old.||Sono pasokon wa furu ku arimasen deshita.||そのパソコンは古くありませんでした。|
おいしい (tasty/delicious) Oishii
|That pizza is delicious.||Sono piza wa oishii desu.||そのピザは美味しいです。|
|That pizza was delicious.||Sono piza wa oishi katta desu.||そのピザは美味しかったです。|
|Very delicious pizza||Meccha oishii piza desu||めっちゃ美味しいピザです。|
|That pizza is not delicious.||Sono piza wa oishi ku arimasen.||そのピザは美味しくありません。|
|That pizza was not delicious.||Sono piza wa oishi ku arimasen deshita.||そのピザは美味しくありませんでした。|
|My dog is stinky.||Watashi no inu wa kusai.||私の犬は臭い。|
|My dog was stinky.||Watashi no inu wa kusa katta.||私の犬は臭かった。|
|Stinky dog||Kusai inu||臭い犬|
|My dog is not stinky.||Watashi no inu wa kusa ku nai.||私の犬は臭くない。|
|My dog was not stinky.||Watashi no inu wa kusa ku na katta.||私の犬は臭くなかった。|
The only irregular adjective of Japan
As we have discussed before, there are two main categories of Japanese adjectives. We talked about na-keiyoushi and i-keiyoushi and their different forms and conjugations and although they are the main categories, there is one word in the Japanese language where these rules absolutely DO NOT apply. The word we are talking about is actually quite common and can be considered as quite an “easy” word to learn. The problem with that is how it might confuse beginner students because of how even though it is a commonly used word, normal rules for na and i keiyoushi do not apply to it.
This is word means “good”. It was originally spelled and used as よい(良い）but eventually became いい with time. Technically, it is considered as an i-keiyoushi but confusingly, i-adjective rules do not apply to it. We will discuss it through the table below so be sure to study it!
|Was good||Yokatta desu||良かったです|
|Was good (casual)||Yokatta||良かった|
|Not good||Yoku arimasen||良くありません|
|Not good (casual)||Yoku nai||良くない|
|Was not good||Yoku arimasen deshita||良くありませんでした|
|Was not good (casual)||Yoku na katta||良くなかった|
There we have it, you can now add adjectives to nouns in Japanese. Well done you!
Learn Japanese Adjectives with BondLingo?