Adjectives part 1
Types of Japanese adjectives and な-adjectivesNeed help?
Air, Mood, Spirit
Sky, Empty, Void
Beautiful, Pretty, Clean
Grandfather, Old man
Grandmother, Old woman
Adjectives part 1
Previously in Beginner Lesson 1 you learned how to form basic sentences by using です. Now we will learn how to make these sentences more descriptive through the addition of adjectives. Adjectives are a type of word which explain the nature or condition of an item e.g. big, tall, cheap, beautiful. Adjectives can be used in two main ways: to modify a noun, or by themselves.
In Japanese, there are two types of adjectives: な-adjectives and い-adjectives. They are called this as な and い are the last syllables of the adjective when it is used to modify a noun. Both types of adjectives have the same four standard forms (past affirmative, past-negative, non-past affirmative, non-past negative) as です. This lesson will cover な-adjectives and the following lesson will cover い-adjectives.
な-adjectives have foreign language origins such as Chinese or English. Let's take a look at the dictionary form (how the word would be displayed in a dictionary) of some な-adjectives:
- きれい : Beautiful/clean
- 好き : Favourite
When な-adjectives are used to modify nouns, the adjective takes the dictionary form with an additional な at the end.
- Clean air
- My favourite sky
- Energetic old man
In the previous lesson we covered です and it's four standard forms. The table below shows a quick recap of this:
To change forms of な-adjectives, we can simply use the dictionary form together with the appropriate です form from above. Let's take a look below using the な-adjective of 元気:
Here are some example sentences which show the same adjective being used by itself and then again to modify a noun. Remember, you only need to add the な to the end of the adjective when it is being used to modify a noun.
- The sea is beautiful.
- This is the beautiful sea.
- My grandmother was not healthy.
- My grandmother was not a healthy person.