Nihongo - Let's Learn Grammar

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  • 公開済み: 21 8 2013
  • アップデートされたもの: 14 7 2015
  • 状況: 完了
This movella teaches you straightforward the grammar of Japanese. From 助詞 to 動詞, you will be able to get a complete and organised movella that includes all major particles and essential grammatical usages to make cool Japanese sentences! 行きましょうね!


15. Adjectives

There are two types of adjectives in the Japanese language. Just like in English, they modify nouns and describe them. Additionally, modifying nouns are called subordinate clauses. As you get more familiar with Japanese, you will tend to use a lot of subordinate clauses, just like you do in English.





An い-adjective is what is called a true adjective. This is because the grammatical Japanese rules can directly modify the adjective. Adjectives that end in い are considered い-adjectives.

• 悲し 【かな・しい】= Sad

• 暑 【あつ・い】= Hot

• 寒 【さむ・い】= Cold

• 冷た 【つめ・たい】= Cold (to the touch)

• 可愛い 【か・わい・い】= Cute

☆• 暖か 【あたた・かい】= Warm

☆ あったかい is a slang of あたたかい. Since it's difficult to say the two た's, a lot of people tend to cut it to one た to make speaking easier. However, for formality, make sure you have two た's.



To modify the tenses in an い-adjective, you will always drop the い.

• To change to past, drop the い and add かった.

悲しい → 悲しかった = Was sad.

暑い → 暑かった = Was hot.

可愛い → 可愛かった = Was cute.


• In Japanese, negatives are a part of the adjective. In English, "not" is an adverb modifying the adjective. For い-adjectives, this is exactly what's going on, as well. To change to negative, make the adverb form of the adjective, dropping い and adding く, and then attach ない.

悲しい → 悲しく + ない → 悲しくない = Not sad

暑い → 暑く + ない → 暑くない = Not hot

可愛い → 可愛く + ない → 可愛くない = Not cute


• Notice that the negative modifier ends in い. This is because, in Japanese, "not" is an adjective, modifying the adverb form of the adjective before it. To make a past tense negative, simply repeat how to change a past tense with the negative.

悲しい → 悲しく + なかった → 悲しくなかった = Was not sad.

暑い → 暑く + なかった → 暑くなかった = Was not hot.

可愛い → 可愛く + なかった → 可愛くなかった = Was not cute.



A な-adjective is an adjective that cannot be directly modified. な-adjectives do not usually end in い. Why I say "usually" is because there are な-adjectives that end in い. This is where kanji plays a big role in reading Japanese. If the い is a or a part of a kanji, it is a な-adjective.


綺麗 【き・れい】= Pretty/Nice

有名 【ゆう・めい】= Famous

馬鹿 【ば・か】= Stupid/Foolish

元気 【げん・き】= Fine/Healthy


Because you cannot modify a な-adjective directly, you will need to make verbs. This is where です or だ comes in. You may get away with just saying the adjective, but naturally です or だ follows.

綺麗 + です/だ → 綺麗です/。= Is pretty.

有名 + です/だ → 有名です/。= Is famous.


Keep note that they may be な-adjective, but you cannot have the accompanying な that they are known for if you are not stating a subordinate clause.

X 綺麗なです。= It is a pretty.

〇 綺麗です。 = Is pretty.



い-adjectives CANNOT have だ. い-adjectives are true adjectives and do not need an explicit だ. Avoid using だ at the end of い-adjectives just as much as you'd avoid committing a crime!



Taking there verb finishers, this is how you change the tenses of な-adjectives.


• To change to past:


Drop す and add した.

綺麗です → 綺麗で + した → 綺麗でした。 = Was pretty.

有名です → 有名で + した → 有名でした。= Was famous.

Attach った after だ.

元気だ → 元気だ + った → 元気だった。= Was fine/healthy.

馬鹿だ → 馬鹿だ + った → 馬鹿だった。= Was stupid/foolish.


• To change to negative:


Drop す and add はない. (This will make the adjective into an い-adjective!)

綺麗です → 綺麗で + はない → 綺麗ではない。= Not pretty.

元気です → 元気で + はない → 元気ではない。= Not fine/healthy.

Because だ is an explicit ending, there is no way to change to the negative using it. However, many learners like to pair だ with じゃない. Although this is fine, じゃない is more accurately the slurred version of ではない, the negative form of です.



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