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[Step.8] Adjective

Two types of adjective

There are two types of adjective in Japanese.

One type is the adjective that the last part is “i”. (I call it “i-type”.)
Another type is the the adjective that the last part is “na”. (I call it “na-type”.)

Each type of the adjective has different inflection.

An adjective is either i-type or na-type, but there is no rule to fix the type.
So you have only to learn each adjective with the type.

But i-type are more than na-type.

[Examples of i-type]
hayai (fast), osoi (slow), takai (high), hikui (low), takai (expensive), yasui (cheap), atsui (hot), samui (cold), oishii (tasty), shiroi (white), kuroi (black), utsukushii (beautiful)
("Takai" has the both meaning of "high" and "expensive".)

[Examples of na-type]
shizukana (calm), kireina (beautiful, clean), shinsetsuna (kind), genkina (cheer), sukina (like), kiraina (dislike), kantan-na (easy)
("Sukina" and "kiraina" are verbs in English but adjective in Japanese.)

Modification of noun by adjective

Modification of noun by adjective is easy to understand.

In Japanese, adjective as a modifier is put just before noun like English.
And the form of adjective is equal to the base form.

That’s very easy.

fast Shinkansen = hayai Shinkansen
high mountain = takai yama
tasty sushi = oishii sushi
beautiful kimono = kireina kimono
kind nurse = shinsetsuna kangoshi

Adjective as complement of sentence

Adjective is put at the part of complement in a sentence to explain the condition or property of the subject.
The pattern of sentence is the following.


Verb Group

You have only to put an adjective at the part of complement.
At that time, you put an adjective in the following way.

  • i-type : Base form
  • na-type : The form without "na"

The examples are the following.

Shinkansen is fast.
Shinkansen wa hayai desu.

That kimono is beautiful.
Ano kimono wa kirei desu.

When they are past sentences, adjectives are changed to past tense.
At that time, the end part is changed to the following.

  • i-type : "i" to "katta"
  • na-type : "na" to "datta"

These are the form that auxiliary verb of past tense "ta" is connected after the adjective.

Shinkansen was fast.
Shinkansen wa hayakatta desu.

That kimono was beautiful.
Ano kimono wa kireidatta desu.

(Pattern-B, Negative sentence)

Verb Group
de wa ari masen.

As negative sentence, above pattern is used.
At that time, the end part is changed to the following.

  • i-type : "i" to "ku", and "de" in the verb group is omitted
  • na-type : "na" is omitted

In this case, the usage is a little difficult.

Bus is not fast.
Basu wa hayaku wa ari masen.

That kimono is not beautiful.
Ano kimono wa kirei de wa ari masen.

Adjective as adverb

By changing the end part of adjective, it becomes an adverb.

  • i-type : "i" to "ku"
  • na-type : "na" to "ni"
He runs fast.
Kare wa hayaku hashiri masu.

I read a book quietly.
Watashi wa shizukani hon o yomi masu.

Using adjective with a verb meaning change

For example, the sentence "It becomes cold." shows the changing of the adjective.

In Japanese, the verb "naru" is the same as the word "become".
When the auxiliary verb of politeness "masu" is connectd, the verb group becomes "nari masu".

The adverb changed from an adjective like above is put before the verb group, above sentence is made.

It becomes cold in Kyoto.
Kyôto wa samuku nari masu.

She gets beautiful with this kimono.
Kanojo wa kono kimono de kireini nari masu.

Japanese adjective doesn't have the comparative

Japanese adjective doesn't have the comparative.
Therefore, when such expression is needed, the followings are often used.

  • motto = more
  • mottomo = most
  • ichiban = the top of all
  • (noun) + yori / yorimo = than (noun)
  • (noun) + no naka de / no uchi de = among (noun)
This camera is more expensive than that.
Kono kamera wa are yorimo takai desu.

I want to eat more tasty sushi.
Watashi wa motto oishii sushi o tabe tai desu.

Mt.Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan.
Fujisan wa Nihon de ichiban takai yama desu.

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