Adjectives and adverbs
There are two forms of adjectives:
い adjs are always listed in the dictionary as ending in い
な adjs typically end in anything but い (although there are few exceptions).
Na-adjectives are listed as (adj-na) in the JWPce dictionary, while i-adjectives are just (adj)
痛い （いたい） (itai) – Painful
暑い （あつい） (atsui) – Hot
寒い （さむい） (samui) -- Cold (in reference to the weather)
冷たい（つめたい）(tsumetai) – Cold (in reference to e.g. drinks, food, attitudes)
眠い （ねむい） (nemui) – Sleepy
下らない （くだらない）(kudaranai) -- good for nothing, stupid, trivial
嫌い （きらい） (kirai) – hated / to hate
Some colors are いadjs
白い （しろい） (shiroi) – white
黒い （くろい） (kuroi) – black
青い （あおい） (aoi) – blue
赤い （あかい） (akai) – red
馬鹿 （ばか） (baka) – stupid
無理 （むり） (muri) – impossible
暇 （ひま） (hima) – free (to have free time) / to be bored
綺麗 （きれい）(kirei) – pretty / clean*
好き （すき） (suki) – likeable
嫌 （いや） (iya) – disagreeable, unpleasant
Some colors are なadjs
緑 （みどり）(midori) – green
黄色 （きいろ）(kiiro) – yellow
茶色 （ちゃいろ）(chairo) – brown
紫 （むらさき）(murasaki) – purple
* -- An exception: this word ends in i when written in hiragana, but this ‘i'
is really a long ‘e’ sound (‘kiree’), and therefore
it counts as a na adjective and not an i adjective.
Most adjective i adjectives. However, most foreign adjectives that have been imported into Japanese are na-adjectives (e.g. ロマンチック (romantikku) – romantic)
Adjectives are placed in the same way that they are in English –
i.e. before a noun: “This is a blue car.”
Or after the noun: “This car is blue.”
i-adjectives do not change when used in this form.
青い車です。 (Aoi kuruma desu) : A blue car.
車は青いです。(Kuruma wa aoi desu) : The car is blue.
(Side note: You may have noticed that the ‘ha’ hiragana character was used instead of the ‘wa’ character in the chart. This is standard whenever ‘wa’ is a particle. More on this in the last chapter on sentence construction.)
However, na-adjectives take a –na when they precede a noun, but not otherwise:
綺麗な女です。 (Kirei na onna desu) : A pretty girl.
女は綺麗です。 (Onna wa kirei desu) : The girl is pretty. [Note: No –na!]
(In practice, the na is occasionally dropped, such as with colors preceding a noun, but in theory, the na should be there.)
Or: How to say: “I’m not stupid!”
When converting an adjective to its negative form (“not [adj]”):
Impolite form: i-adj: the i is converted to ku, and ‘nai’ is added.
Polite form: Use arimasen instead of nai.
い + く ＋ ない /
嫌くない : Don’t dislike. (Impolite)
嫌くありません : Don’t dislike (Polite)
Impolite form: ‘ja nai’ is added (no na)
Polite form (spoken): use ‘arimasen’ instead of nai
Polite form (in writing): use ‘dewa arimasen’ instead of ‘ja nai’
[adj] + じゃない
好きじゃない : Don’t like. (Impolite)
好きじゃありません : Don’t like (Polite; spoken)
好きでわありません : Don’t like (Polite; written)
’Arimasen’ is the standard polite form of ’Nai’.
‘Dewa’ is the standard polite form of ‘Ja’.
This is true for nouns as well, which will be covered in the following chapter.)
Adverbs are simple.
To convert an adj into an adverb:
い + く
[na-adj] + に
· 早く してください (Hayaku shitekudasai): Please do (this) quickly.
早く – Quickly
してください – From する (verb: to do) à te form + kudasai = Please do …
· 暑く なる (Atsuku naru): It becomes hot / It will become hot.
なる – To become (impolite, future / present tense).
· 暇に なる (Hima ni naru): To become free / to get free time.
· 馬鹿に しないでください (Baka ni shinai de kudasai): Please do not be stupid.
しないでください: する (verb: to do) à negative (nai) form à + de kudasai = Please do not…
Between 2 objects
To say ‘A is more hot than B’, one changes the sentence, not the adjective in question. (Therefore, i-adjs will retain their i, while na-adjs will appear in their basic form – i.e. sans na)
1. A no hou ga [adjective] desu: A is more [adjective].
2. A no hou ga B yori [adjective] desu: A is more [adjective] than B. / B is less [adjective] than A.
i-adj: A no hou ga kirai desu: I hate A more.
na-adj: A no hou ga B yori hima desu: A is more free than B / B is less free than A.
Note that sentence order doesn’t matter:
“B yori A no hou ga [adjective] desu” is the same as sentence 2.
no hou ga … yori (or vice versa) puts equal emphasis on both A and B. It practically says A is more … than B and B is more … than A.
To emphasize either A or B, use ‘wa’ instead. More on this in sentence construction, but for now, ‘wa’ turns whatever precedes it into the subject of the sentence.
A wa B yori [adjective] desu: A is more [adjective] than B.
B wa A no hou ga [adjective] desu: B is less [adjective] than A.
This can get confusing, because for A is more [adj] than B, we still have ‘yori’ in the sentence, which loosely translates into ‘less than’, if you’re thinking in English. It’s important to remember that ‘no hou ga’ or ‘yori’ refers to the noun just before it, which may not be the subject of the sentence. It would probably help to read it backwards:
i.e. B yori = B less than
A wa = A.
Therefore, B is less than A.
Therefore, A is more than B.
At least, that’s the way I’ve always remembered it. ^^
Question form: “Which is more [adj], A or B?”
A to B to dochira no hou ga [adj] desu ka?
[Correct me on the second ‘to’ if I’m wrong. This is the problem of trying to actively think about what has become unconscious without your notes. -_-]
Between three or more objects
Three objects is easy.
Therefore, “I like A the most”
A ga ichiban suki desu.
For the complete sentence: “I like A the most out of A and B and C (and D and E…)”
A to B to C (to D to E…) no naka de, A ga ichiban suki desu.
Question form: “Which is more [adj], A or B or C or..”
A to B to C no naka de, dore ga ichi ban [adj] desu ka?
End with i
End with everything else.
Before a noun:
[i adj] + noun
[na adj] + na + noun
After a noun:
Noun + wa + [i adj]
Noun + na + [na adj]
[na adj] + ja nai (impolite)
[na adj] + ja arimasen (polite)
[na adj] + dewa arimasen (polite)
[na adj] + ni + verb
Between 2 obj
A no hou ga B yori [adj] desu.
A is more [adj] than B; B is less [adj] than A.
A to B to dochira no hou ga [adj] desu ka.
Which is more [adj], A or B?
Between >2 obj
A to B to C no naka de, A ga ichiban [adj] desu.
Between A and B and C, A is the most [adj].
A to B to C no naka de, dore ga ichiban [adj] desu ka.
Between A and B and C, which is the most [adj]?
1. All things that end in –nai conjugate like an i-adj
Therefore, if you want to say: “Becomes not cold”, it would be
Samu ku na ku naru.
”I’m tired” is a verb.
疲れる （つかれる）: To get tired.
Therefore, I’m tired = the past tense of tsukareru = tsukareta.
I’m tired = Tsukareta.
He’s tired = Ano otoko no hito ga tsukareta. / Kare ga tsukareta. (Very informal.)
[Someone correct me if I’m wrong on the latter. Suddenly, I can’t recall every having seen it being used like that.]
Polite = Tsukaremashita / Tsukaretan desu.
Questions? Comments? What to find out how to say something? Go here.