Adjective Course

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Marshall
JLPT Basic, JLPT Course
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Adjective Course

Lesson 1: How to classify Japanese Adjectives?

There are two types of adjectives in Japanese. They are i-adj and na-adj.

How can I know an adjective is a i-adj or na-adj?

There is a い in the end of a i-adj, that’s why they are called as  i-adj.

And if you want to use i-adj to describe nouns, it will be very simple.

It’s the same as English. For example:

たかやま

a high mountain

たかい is a i-adj(There is a い in the end, right?), its meaning is “high”.

And やま is a noun, its meaning is “mountain”.

However, na-adj is different.

Usually, a na-adj is two kanji(like 親切しんせつ安全あんぜんけん), or one kanji+か(しずか、あきらか、たしか), But there are other patterns too.

If you want to use na-adj to describe nouns, you need to add a な between na-adj and noun.

So if you see a な before a noun, then it means that you met a na-adj.

For example,

しずかな部屋へや

quiet room

しずか is a na-adj, its meaning is “quiet”, 部屋へや is a noun, its meaning is “room”.

親切しんせつひと

kind person

親切しんせつ is a na-adj, its meaning is “kind”, ひと is a noun, its meaning is “person”.

Exceptions:

There are two exceptions that are similar to i-adj, but they are na-adj. They are:

きれい: its meaning is “beautiful”, for example, きれいな女性じょせい→beautiful woman. The kanji of きれい is れい, because it’s hard to write, many people use hiragana instead.

きらい: its meaning is “dislike”, for example, きらいなひと→people I dislike.

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5 thoughts on “Lesson 1: How to classify Japanese Adjectives?

  1. Sir, I heard yuumei (famous) is na-adj. Is that true? And thank you for this amazing site.

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    1. Admin bar avatar

      yes! And you are welcome! If you have any questions, feel free to ask me in the forum! Forum

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    2. 有名な人

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  2. I’ve noticed 大きい and 小さい can also be written as 大きな and 小さな. Are these i-adjective or na-adjectives and why do they appear to have both forms?

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    1. Admin bar avatar

      大きな、小さな is often used to describe abstract things, and 大きい、小さい is often used to describe specific things.

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