Japanese Adjectives


Japanese Adjectives
Introduction This is a companion tutorial to my Japanese Verbs, and I trust that it will also become a concise and convenient resource for those learning or reviewing Japanese. Please have an English-Japanese/Japanese-English dictionary and notebook handy as you study. As new words are introduced, use your dictionary to learn or check their meanings, and make a word list in your notebook to add new vocabulary to. It's a proven fact that the process of looking up and writing vocabulary will help the learning process, along with regular reviewing. Please see A Bit of the Language for pronunciation guides and other relevant information about basic Japanese. Please note: In order to avoid technical explanations, only the simplest and most general translations of words are given. Also, romaji (romanized Japanese words) used herein are written in their true, romanized form: elongated vowels are shown as such, etc.
© 2003 - 2006 Tim R. Matheson

Table of Contents
1. Introduction to Japanese Adjectives 2. Plain Positive and Plain Negative 3. Colors 4. Adjectives suki, kirai, hoshii, jouzu and heta 5. Adverbial Forms 6. Conditional Forms 7. The Te Form + mo 8. Plain Past 9. Adjectives with sou and sugiru 10. Adjective Modifiers 2 7 12 14 17 18 18 19 20 22


Japanese Adjectives


1. Introduction to Japanese Adjectives
Japanese adjectives come in two basic flavors: “true” and “quasi.” In some circles they are also known as “i adjectives” and “na adjectives” because those are the suffixes they get when they're followed by a noun. Nevertheless, I prefer calling them “true” and “quasi” and will do so throughout these lessons. Some examples of true adjectives are:
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

いい 良い 悪い 高い 安い 低い 長い 短い 硬い 柔らかい 暑い 熱い 寒い 冷たい 広い 狭い 強い 弱い きつい

(ii) (yoi) (warui) (takai) (yasui) (hikui) (nagai) (mijikai) (katai) (yawarakai) (atsui) (atsui) (samui) (tsumetai)

good good bad expensive; high; tall cheap low long short hard soft hot (used for weather or room temperature) hot (used for tangible objects: food, drinks, etc.) cold (used for weather or room temperature) cold (used for tangible objects, food, drinks, and unfriendly feelings between people: a cold look, a cold reply, etc.) wide; spacious narrow; cramped strong (used for things which are powerful or sturdy, etc.) weak (used for the opposite of the above) strong (usually used for “too strong,” as in flavors, medicines, personalities, etc.) dangerous bright dark light heavy old (not used with people or animals) fast; early slow; late interesting

• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

(hiroi) (semai) (tsuyoi) (yowai) (kitsui)

危ない (abunai) 明るい (akarui) 暗い (kurai) 軽い (karui) 重い (omoi) 古い (furui) 早い(速い) (hayai) 遅い (osoi) 面白い (omoshiroi)

Many true adjectives end in shii:
• • •

おいしい 難しい 美しい

(oishii) (utsukushii)

delicious beautiful

(muzukashii) difficult


as in easy to do easy. awkward As you can see. comfortable empty pretty.” It could be too confusing at first.timwerx. severe too bright. as in an easy situation. glaring lonely. destitute frequent convenient inconvenient impatient. proper full.Japanese Adjectives http://www. clean stingy (not generous) poor.pdf • • • • • • • • • • • 楽しい 嬉しい 悲しい 苦しい 忙しい 厳しい 喧しい 眩しい 寂しい 恥ずかしい 新しい (tanoshii) (ureshii) (kanashii) (kurushii) (isogashii) (kibishii) (mabushii) (sabishii) (hazukashii) (atarashii) fun happy sad hard. desolate ashamed. there are quasis that end in i when the na is omitted.) strict. painful busy (This is Japan's most popular adjective — you'll hear it used several times an hour. 3 . quick-tempered stubborn sick healthy.net/language/jpadj/jp_adjectives. which is why I avoid calling them “i adjectives” and “na adjectives. abundant safe perfect (busaiku na) clumsy. to be feeling well natural. shy new (yakamashii) noisy The basic colors are often used as true adjectives: • • • • • 赤い 青い 黄色い 白い 黒い (akai) (aoi) (kiiroi) (shiroi) (kuroi) red blue yellow white black And now let's look at some good quasi-adjectives: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 簡単な 楽な 空な きれいな けちな 貧乏な 頻繁な 便利な 不便な 不細工な 短気な 頑固な 病気な 元気な 当然な 豊かな 安全な 完全な (kantan na) (raku na) (kara na) (kirei na) (kechi na) (binbou na) (hinpan na) (benri na) (fuben na) (tanki na) (ganko na) (byouki na) (genki na) (shizen na) (yutaka na) (anzen na) (kanzen na) easy.

timwerx. isn't it. 一番簡単な方法を教えてあげる。 (Ichiban kantan na houhou o oshiete ageru. when a true adjective comes after the noun it modifies it usually does not change: その本はいいですよ。 (Sono hon wa ii desu yo. Here are some with true adjectives: それはいい本です。 (Sore wa ii hon desu. With both true and quasi you include the final i or na when placing them before a noun.) That book is good. Now. like: • • 大きい・大きな 小さい・小さな (ookii / oki na) (chiisai / chiisa na) big small Many quasi-adjectives are made by adding teki na to a noun: • • • • • 国際的な 科学的な 歴史的な 一般的な 楽観的な (kokusaiteki na) (kagakuteki na) (rekishiteki na) (ippanteki na) (rakkanteki na) international scientific historical general optimistic It's time for some examples. tsumetai gyuunyuu o nonde kudasai.) He's a stubborn person. 彼は頑固な人です。 (Kare wa ganko na hito desu.) I'll show you the easiest way to do it.) Is this milk cold? 4 . have some cold milk. adjective use in Japanese is very similar to English.) Please.net/language/jpadj/jp_adjectives. この牛乳は冷たいですか。 (Kono gyuunyuu wa tsumetai desu ka.) This is a heavy box. (with dropping intonation) And here are some examples using quasi-adjectives: それはきれいな犬です。 (Sore wa kirei na inu desu. どうぞ、冷たい牛乳を飲んでください。 (Douzo.) That's a good book.) That's a pretty dog.Japanese Adjectives http://www. From a grammatical angle.pdf There are even a few adjectives that can be used as true or quasi. 重い箱ですね。 (Omoi hako desu ne.

(with dropping intonation) 彼は頑固! (Kare wa ganko!) He's stubborn! これは簡単。 (Kore wa kantan.) That dog is pretty. most do.” and suku means “to be empty. the “adjectival idea” is conveyed through verbs. Some examples of these are: • • お腹(が)すいた のど(が)渇いた (o-naka [ga] suita) (nodo [ga] kawaita) hungry thirsty Naka literally means “middle. so don't concern yourself with it until you have to be official. vague However.timwerx. (with dropping intonation) But. Just do what I do: think of this as “a verb in an adjective's role. 5 . First. In these.” so you're saying “my middle is empty” when you put these together.pdf この箱は重いですね。 (Kono hako wa omoi desu ne. in everyday “unofficial” life it is perfectly acceptable — even preferred — to use na.Japanese Adjectives http://www. Sure.” and. when a quasi-adjective comes after its noun.) This box is heavy. I am told that na is normal. according to the dictionaries and grammar books.” and kawaku means “to be dry. however. When I ask about the discrepancy. the ta form of the verb is used for the present. isn't it.net/language/jpadj/jp_adjectives. the rules slightly change. Now it's time to introduce the quirks. isn't it. leave off the na: その犬はきれいですね。 (Sono inu wa kirei desu ne. but many don't. and official documents use no.) This is easy. Nodo is “throat. I have heard native speakers use na with these. while it's true that the books say no.” so these together equal “I'm thirsty. There are. which will be a bit confusing to beginners because this form is normally used for the plain past. So.” Here. colors which use no and never na after them when modifying a noun: • • • 緑の傘 紫の花 ねずみ色の帽子 (midori no kasa) (murasaki no hana) a green umbrella a purple flower (nezumiiro no boushi) a gray hat It's only natural to think that adjectives which exist in English should exist in Japanese.(quasi-quasi?) adjectives that. use the multi-purpose no particle instead of na: • • • 特別の 特定の 不明の (tokubetsu no) (tokutei no) (fumei no) special specific unclear. as such. there are some strange quasi.

) Looks like you've put on a little weight. When commenting about others. become fat There are true adjectives for “fat” and “thin” (futoi and hosoi).) We'll probably get hungry. have to be used carefully because they can be offensive. (Base 3 for infinitives and the future tense) お腹(が)空いたでしょう。 (O-naka [ga] suita deshou. (Te Form + inakatta / imasen deshita for the negative past) The ga is optional.) I wasn't hungry. and is usually omitted in familiar situations.Japanese Adjectives http://www. use the verbs: 少し太ったみたい。 (Sukoshi futotta mitai. right? (Ta Form for the present) お腹(が)空いていない。 (O-naka [ga] suite inai. like their English counterparts. It will keep them hemming and hawing for a while. Actually. Here are two more that are often used: • • 痩せる 太る (yaseru) (futoru) to lose weight. let's take a look at the different popular tenses. I guess our throats aren't as honorable as our stomachs.timwerx. colloquial “-tai adjectives” that I should mention: nemutai and omotai.) I'm not hungry.prefix” and nodo doesn't. (Te Form + inai / imasen for the present negative) お腹(が)空いていた。 (O-naka [ga] suite ita.) Have you lost weight? There are a couple of strange.pdf Using hungry. 痩せましたか。 (Yasemashita ka. they are: • • 眠い 重い (nemui) sleepy (omoi) heavy 6 . (Te Form + ita for the past) お腹(が)すいていなかった。 (O-naka [ga] suite inakatta.) You're hungry. Note the verb changes: お腹(が)空くでしょう。 (O-naka [ga] suku deshou.net/language/jpadj/jp_adjectives.) I was hungry. The next time you're at a party with native speakers and run out of topics to discuss. become thin to gain weight. but they. ask about this. Note also how naka gets the “honorable o.

Plain Positive and Plain Negative As in English.pdf However.) It's easy.net/language/jpadj/jp_adjectives. As far as I know. By the way.) It's comfortable. using Japanese adjectives in plain positive statements is simple — just say the adjective. 楽。 (Raku. (delicious) 暑い。 (Atsui. these are the only adjectives that can do this.Japanese Adjectives http://www. Here are some true adjectives: おいしい。 (Oishii. this -tai ending on these two adjectives has nothing to do with the “want to do” -tai ending used on Base 2 verbs. Finally. when used as simple exclamations. And here are some quasi-adjectives: 便利。 (Benri.) It's good. 難しい。 (Muzukashii. “Want to sleep” is netai.timwerx. native speakers will often leave the final i off of some adjectives: (Samu! ) It's cold! (Atsu! ) It's hot! (Uma! ) It's delicious! (Mazu! ) It's nasty! (Ita! ) Ouch! 2.) It's difficult. 簡単。 (Kantan. 7 .) It's hot. nemutai and omotai are used often in daily conversation.) It's convenient.

) It's not easy.) It's not comfortable. dewa or ja can be used instead. Note: Although de is standard after quasis in negative constructions.) it probably is かどうか (ka dou ka) whether or not it is かも しれない・しれません (kamo shirenai / shiremasen) it may be なら (nara) if it is らしい (rashii) it seems to be. (There are others. Now let's look at some endings and combinations which can be added to plain adjectives.) It's not good. I hear it is Group B • • • はず 方がいい の (hazu) (hou ga ii) (no) it is supposed to be it would be better if it were one(s) (used in place of nouns when they are known) 8 . It is always used as it is and never conjugated. Group A • • • • • • でしょう? (deshou?) .) If you've already been through my Japanese Verbs. 楽でない。 (Raku de nai.. these should look familiar. Quasis add de and then nai: 便利でない。 (Benri de nai.) It's not convenient. but these are the most used in my opinion.net/language/jpadj/jp_adjectives. 簡単でない。 (Kantan de nai...timwerx. 難しくない。 (Muzukashiku nai. adjectives use nai to do this. (not delicious) 暑くない。 (Atsuku nai.) It's not difficult. Use ja only in familiar settings.Japanese Adjectives http://www.pdf Now let's make all these negative. right? (request for agreement) でしょう。 (deshou. True adjectives drop their final i and add ku before adding nai: おいしくない。 (Oishiku nai.) It's not hot. Note: The exception is ii (good). Like the verbs.

isn't it? 難しいらしい。 (Muzukashii rashii. 安いから買った。 (Yasui kara katta. Those in Group A are added without any particle: 空でしょう。 (Kara deshou. With quasis.net/language/jpadj/jp_adjectives. Any add-on from any group above can be added after a true adjective without changing it: おいしいでしょう? (Oishii deshou?) It's good. First. go to the hospital.) I bought it because it was cheap.) I hear it's difficult. 白いはず。 (Shiroi hazu.pdf • • ので のに (node) (noni) because it is in spite of the fact that it is Group C • • • から けれども・けど と思う (kara) (keredomo / kedo) (to omou) because it is although it is I / We think it is You may want to call the above three groups “quasi handling groups” because they only apply to quasi-adjectives. 真里のかばんは大きいと思う。小さいのは恵子の。 (Mari no kaban wa ookii to omou.timwerx.Japanese Adjectives http://www.) I think Mari's bag is big. 9 .) It's probably empty.) I don't know if it's good or not. it gets a bit trickier. 良いかどうか分からない。 (Yoi ka dou ka wakaranai. The small one is Keiko's.) It's supposed to be white. 病気なら病院に行きなさい。 (Byouki nara byouin ni ikinasai. We'll get to those a little later. Chiisai no wa Keiko no.) If you're sick.) It might be convenient. 便利かもしれない。 (Benri kamo shirenai. some positive examples.

which could be used with kara or kedo (keredomo) instead of da to make it more polite.” Those in Group B are added after first adding na: もっと簡単なはず。 (Motto kantan na hazu. For more about desu. 真里のかばんは大きくないと思う。 (Mari no kaban wa ookikunai to omou. And add da before adding those in Group C: きれいだから、彼女は人気者です。 (Kirei da kara. please see Lesson 7 of my Japanese Verbs.) Ron's stubborn. ローンは頑固だけど、性格がいい。 (Ron wa ganko da kedo.pdf Note: In Japan you don't “go see a doctor. kanojo wa ninkimono desu.) I hear it's not difficult.” you “go to the hospital. First some with true adjectives: おいしくないでしょう。 (Oishikunai deshou. この問題は簡単だと思う。 (Kono mondai wa kantan da to omou. Now let's do some negative ones.) I think this problem is easy.) She's popular because she's pretty. seikaku ga ii. Da is actually the plain form of desu.net/language/jpadj/jp_adjectives. but he has a good personality. 難しくないらしい。 (Muzukashikunai rashii.) A relaxing trip is best.) It's supposed to be easier.) Carl came to school even though he's sick. カールは病気なのに学校に来た。 (Carl wa byouki na noni gakkou ni kita.) It's not very good. (with dropping intonation) 白くない方がいいでしょう。 (Shirokunai hou ga ii deshou. 旅行は楽な方がいい。 (Ryokou wa raku na hou ga ii.) I don't think Mari's bag is big. is it. 安くないかもしれない。 10 .) It would probably be best if it weren't white.Japanese Adjectives http://www.timwerx.

) It might not be cheap.) It has to be simple.Japanese Adjectives http://www.. “if it's not.. it it doesn't need to be (literally.net/language/jpadj/jp_adjectives.) It's not supposed to be easy. They are: • • なければならない なくても いい if (nakereba naranai) won't do”) (nakutemo ii) it's not. And with a quasi: 簡単でなければならない。 (Kantan de nakereba naranai...) Joe's not stubborn. 便利でないかもしれない。 (Benri de nai kamo shirenai. ジョーは頑固でないけど、性格が難しい。 (Joe wa ganko de nai kedo.) It doesn't have to be simple.) It might not be convenient..) Bob didn't come to school even though he's not sick.pdf (Yasukunai kamo shirenai.. 大きくなくてもいい。 (Ookiku nakutemo ii. but he has a difficult personality. 簡単でなくてもいい。 (Kantan de nakutemo ii. 11 . ボブは病気でないのに学校に来なかった。 (Bob wa byouki de nai noni gakkou ni konakatta. “even Here they are with a true adjective: 大きくなければならない。 (Ookiku nakereba naranai. There are two more handy negative add-ons that I'd like to introduce here.) It doesn't have to be big. 簡単でないはず。 (Kantan de nai hazu.) It has to be big.) It's probably not empty. And here are some with quasi-adjectives: 空でないでしょう。 (Kara de nai deshou.timwerx. seikaku ga muzukashii. it's good”) it must be (literally.

) My dog's white and brown.timwerx. but may add spaces for clarification in long constructions. shiro iro (white.pdf Note: In written Japanese there are no spaces between “words. Colors Because colors are usually used as adjectives. Here are ten popular colors as they are used when not preceding a noun. 3. which is most of the time: • • • • • • • • • • 赤 青 黄色 緑 紫 橙色 茶色 白 黒 ねずみ色 (aka) (ao) (kiiro) (midori) (murasaki) (daidaiiro) (chairo) (shiro) (kuro) (nezumiiro) red blue yellow green purple orange brown white black gray Please keep in mind that iro (色) means “color. etc. whitish). This is why there will sometimes be inconsistencies.” In my lessons I usually use what is most common for romanized Japanese. 12 .) The next time I buy a bicycle I want a blue one.) Rick's car is red. Here are a few examples where the color comes after the noun it modifies: リックの車は赤。 (Rick no kuruma wa aka. 私の犬は白と茶色。 (Watashi no inu wa shiro to chairo. greenish). this is how these colors are used most of the time.” and that four of the above are made by adding iro to a noun: • • • • kiiro: daidaiiro: chairo: yellow (ki [sulfur] + iro [color]) orange (daidai [a kind of orange] + iro [color]) brown (cha [tea] + iro [color]) nezumiiro: gray (nezumi [mouse] + iro [color]) While it is possible to leave off the iro in some instances. It is also possible to add iro to the others which usually don't use it: midori iro (green.net/language/jpadj/jp_adjectives. and because Japanese colors have their own strange set of rules. 今度自転車を買ったら青がいい。 (Kondo jitensha o kattara ao ga ii. I thought I'd make a separate lesson out of them.Japanese Adjectives http://www.

net/language/jpadj/jp_adjectives.) She wore a greenish hat. All colors become true adjectives with it attached: 彼女は緑っぽい帽子を被った。 (Kanojo wa midorippoi boushi o kabutta.) That bright red flower is pretty.) Bob bought a big gray desk. it's after the subject or object in question. shiro and kuro.) Look at her beautiful black hair. この赤い辞書はだれの? (Kono akai jisho wa dare no?) Whose red dictionary is this? この紫の風船は店でもらった。 (Kono murasaki no fuusen wa mise de moratta. most of the time the color of something is mentioned in Japanese. daidaiiro and nezumiiro. murasaki. and you can add either i or no to kiiro and chairo: 彼女の美しい黒い髪を見て。 (Kanojo no utsukushii kuroi kami o mite.pdf Again. those with no behave like quasis.Japanese Adjectives http://www. They are regular quasiadjectives. and comes in handy when you don't know what to call a color.) I got this purple balloon at the store. add no — not na — to midori.” Note how the pronunciation changes with ma added: • • • 真っ赤 (makka) 真っ白 (masshiro) 真っ黒 (makkuro) bright red pure white jet black Strangely.) I want to buy some white shoes. There's a handy prefix that works especially well with three colors. and use na: あの真っ赤な花がきれいですね。 (Ano makka na hana ga kirei desu ne. nor do you add no. 淳子は黄色い傘を持っている。 (Junko wa kiiroi kasa o motte iru. 私は白い靴を買いたい。 (Watashi wa shiroi kutsu o kaitai. ボブは大きなねずみ色の机を買った。 (Bob wa ooki na nezumiiro no tsukue o katta. When you want to put a color directly before the object. add i to aka. like in the above examples. Colors with i added become and behave the same as true adjectives. 13 . It's ma. ao.) Junko's holding a yellow umbrella. isn't it? And here's a useful suffix: -ppoi. you never add i to these. It works like “-ish” in English.timwerx. and it means “true.

) 14 . If you'll check your dictionary.) Kazuko is liked wherever she goes. especially the primary ones. Suki means “to like” and kirai means “to dislike.) That yellowish sushi is nasty. the reverse is also true.) I like autumn in Japan. 納豆はたくさんの人から嫌われている。 (Nattou wa takusan no hito kara kirawarete iru. Aka can mean anything from dark orange to copper or reddish purple.) Nattou (fermented soybeans) is disliked by many people.) Everyone hates cockroaches. You will. straightforward talk about what you and others like and don't like.) I don't like summers in Japan because they're hot and humid. jouzu and heta These five adjectives play by their own set of rules. as mentioned in Lesson 1.Japanese Adjectives http://www. hear them used in passive constructions. use suki and kirai in quasi-adjective form: 日本の秋が好き。 (Nihon no aki ga suki. hoshii. however. and go when it's ao. 皆ゴキブリが嫌い。 (Mina gokiburi ga kirai. ao from green to bluish purple. and kiiro from light orange to pale yellow.pdf その黄色っぽい寿司はまずい。 (Sono kiiroppoi sushi wa mazui. but the chances are very slim that you'll ever hear them used that way. you will find that the names for colors in Japanese. By the way. very much) before suki or kirai to emphasize them: リンダは苺が大好き。 (Linda wa ichigo ga dai suki. Note that ga is used to link suki or kirai to their object when there is no other necessary element between them. kirai. like: 和子はどこに行っても好かれる。 (Kazuko wa doko ni itte mo sukareru. that's right — just as there are ideas conveyed through verbs in Japanese where adjectives would be used in English. In Japan. have a more abstract role than their English counterparts. Adjectives suki.net/language/jpadj/jp_adjectives. I think it would be good to get used to their weird ways as soon as possible.timwerx. 4. For regular. you'll see that both of these exist in verb form: suku and kirau.” Yes. you stop when the light's aka. 日本の夏は蒸し暑いから好きではない。 (Nihon no natsu wa mushiatsui kara suki dewa nai. You can put dai (a lot. Since they are used regularly.

もっと英語を勉強して欲しい。 15 .) That's the music that I like. Tanaka makes is the stuff I don't like. It's not used on yourself.net/language/jpadj/jp_adjectives. 刺身が嫌いな人がたくさんいます。 (Sashimi ga kirai na hito ga takusan imasu. It's used like this: 僕は今この部屋を掃除したい。そして君に手伝って欲しい。 (Boku wa ima kono heya o souji shitai. 田中さんは僕の嫌いな食べ物ばかり作る。 (Tanaka-san wa boku no kirai na tabemono bakari tsukuru. it's used to represent the English verb “want. Soshite kimi ni tetsudatte hoshii.) There are many kids who want a red balloon.." just like -te moraitai. and mainly colloquially.) They don't have the color I want. While hoshii is a true adjective.) Beth really hates spiders.) I want to clean this room now. Although hoshii isn't necessarily a kid's word.. I should mention here that hoshii can be used with verbs in the Te Form to imply "want (someone) to. Interestingly.pdf Linda loves strawberries.) All the food Mrs.timwerx. 赤い風船の欲しい子供が多い。 (Akai fuusen no hoshii kodomo ga ooi. When you put the object in question after suki or kirai. and I want you to help..Japanese Adjectives http://www. so you'll want to be careful with it.” It also uses ga when following its object. ベスはクモが大嫌い。 (Beth wa kumo ga dai kirai. these can also be used to modify the indirect object: 野菜の好きな子供が少ない。 (Yasai no suki na kodomo ga sukunai. use the quasi indicator na: それは僕の好きな音楽。 (Sore wa boku no suki na ongaku.) There are many people that don't like raw fish. but remains alone when preceding it: 風船が欲しい! (Fuusen ga hoshii!) I want a balloon! 私の欲しい色がない。 (Watashi no hoshii iro ga nai.) There are few kids that like vegetables. outside of familiar circles it could make you sound like one when expressing your own desires.

下手な歌! (Heta na uta!) What a poorly done song! カラオケが上手な人が少ない。 (Karaoke ga jouzu na hito ga sukunai. isn't she.) I want you to study English more. They also use ga before or na after in the same manner.) I want you to read this.) He speaks English well. 私はピアノが本当に下手です。 (Watashi wa piano ga hontou ni heta desu. これを読んで欲しい。 (Kore o yonde hoshii. jouzu and heta are quasi-adjective opposites that fill the role of ideas usually expressed by verbs in English.net/language/jpadj/jp_adjectives. well done. Be sure to upgrade to something like -te kudasai or -te itadakitai when necessary. however. This is very plain and familiar.) That's a nicely done painting.) Like suki and kirai. (See Japanese Verbs Lessons 55 and 61.pdf (Motto eigo o benkyou shite hoshii. (with falling intonation) それは上手な絵。 (Sore wa jouzu na e. There are a few expressions with jouzu where the ga is often omitted: 彼は英語上手。 (Kare wa eigo jouzu.Japanese Adjectives http://www. isn't she? 16 .) There aren't many people who are good at karaoke.timwerx.) She's a good cook. 幸は料理上手でしょう? (Sachi wa ryouri jouzu deshou?) Sachi's a great cook. Jouzu means “to be good at.” and heta means the exact opposite: 彼女は料理が上手ですね。 (Kanojo wa ryouri ga jouzu desu ne.) I'm really bad at playing the piano.

With true adjectives. just replace the final i with ku before adding the verb. Use suru with descriptive adverbs for “to make”: 大きくしてくれる? (Ookiku shite kureru?) Would you make it bigger? 暖かくしてあげましょう。 (Atatakaku shite agemashou. just add ni: おじいさんはいつも遅く食べる。 (Ojii-san wa itsumo osoku taberu.) My job gets more difficult every year.) We must make it safe.) I'll make it warmer for you. 私たちは安全にしなければならない。 (Watashitachi wa anzen ni shinakereba naranai.Japanese Adjectives http://www.) Grampa always eats slowly. With quasis.) Don't worry! You'll gradually become better at it.timwerx. 早くしなさい! (Hayaku shinasai!) Do it quickly! 和也は絵を上手に描ける。 (Kazuya wa e o jouzu ni kakeru. この仕事は簡単にできるよ。 (Kono shigoto wa kantan ni dekiru yo. リサは海外から帰ると、いつも病気になる。 (Lisa wa kaigai kara kaeru to. 17 . The verb naru (to become) is often used with adverbs: 心配しないで!段々上手になるよ。 (Shinpai shinaide! Dandan jouzu ni naru yo.net/language/jpadj/jp_adjectives.) Kazuya can draw pictures well. Adverbial Forms Making adverbs from adjectives is quite easy.pdf 5.) Lisa always gets sick after returning from overseas. 毎年僕の仕事は難しくなります。 (Mai toshi boku no shigoto wa muzukashiku narimasu. itsumo byouki ni naru.) You'll be able to do this job easily.

) I don't want to go out if it's hot outside. The first is mo ii. 外は暑ければ出たくない。 (Soto wa atsukereba detakunai..) If it's inexpensive.) If it's large that's okay. 18 . juui ni tsurete ikou. Please see Lesson 2 for more about negative structures.Japanese Adjectives http://www. let's go. 少し古くてもいい。 (Sukoshi furukute mo ii. kyaku ga sukunai deshou.. 店の場所は便利でなければ、客が少ないでしょう。 (Mise no basho wa benri de nakereba...) If it's not cold tomorrow. which means “it's okay if. and de nakereba (the negative-forming de nai + kereba) with quasis: 明日は寒くなければ行きましょう。 (Ashita wa samuku nakereba ikimashou.) It's all right if it's a little old.” and the second is mo kamawanai. replace the final i with kereba in true adjectives. a similar ending meaning “I don't mind if. 7.) If you don't want this computer.” remove the final i and add kute.pdf 6..) If the store isn't in a convenient location. but nara is more common. let's go to another store. For negative conditionals. let's take him to the vet.. and add nara to quasis: 安ければ買いましょう。 (Yasukereba kaimashou.net/language/jpadj/jp_adjectives.” To convert true adjectives to the “te form. Conditional Forms To make positive conditionals. The Te Form + mo There are just two adjective “te form” endings that I hear used often enough to mention. このパソコンが欲しくなければ、別の店に行きましょう。 (Kono pasokon ga hoshiku nakereba. it probably won't get many customers. betsu no mise ni ikimashou. 犬は病気なら、獣医に連れて行こう。 (Inu wa byouki nara.) If the dog's sick. use ku nakereba (the negative-forming ku nai + kereba) with true adjectives. quasis just need a de.timwerx. Note: Naraba can also be used after quasi-adjectives. Here are a few examples: 大きくてもいい。 (Ookikute mo ii. let's buy it.

Note: Sensei is the name suffix for “teacher.) The math test was very difficult.” その店は不便でも構わないの? (Sono mise wa fuben de mo kamawanai no?) Don't you mind that store being inconveniently located? To make these polite. Plain Past Use katta and datta to make adjectives plain and past. 外は寒くても構いません。 (Soto wa samukute mo kamaimasen.) I was sick yesterday. The negative forms of -kute mo ii and de mo ii were covered at the bottom of Lesson 2.net/language/jpadj/jp_adjectives. 8. And here are some quasi examples: 昨日病気だった。 (Kinou byouki datta.timwerx.Japanese Adjectives http://www. add desu to ii and use kamaimasen instead of kamawanai: 少し不便でもいいです。 (Sukoshi fuben de mo ii desu. and is added after removing the final i.) I don't mind if Mr.) It's okay if it's a bit inconvenient. 19 . 昨日の旅行は楽しかった。 (Kinou no ryokou wa tanoshikatta. Johnson's strict. Datta is the universal plain form of deshita.) It's okay if he's not good at it.) I don't mind if it's cold out. Katta is for true adjectives only.pdf 彼は下手でもいい。 (Kare wa heta de mo ii. ジョンソン先生は厳しくても構わない。 (Johnson sensei wa kibishikute mo kamawanai.) Yesterday's trip was fun. Here are a few true adjective examples: 今日は暑かった! (Kyou wa atsukatta!) It was hot today! 数学の試験はとても難しかった。 (Suugaku no shiken wa totemo muzukashikatta. and can be used at the end of many sentences to make them plain and past. however.

Use yokatta to say that something “was good. Finally.) The meeting was long.net/language/jpadj/jp_adjectives.timwerx. 彼はとても頑固だったらしい。 (Kare wa totemo ganko datta rashii.) It seems he was very stubborn. having done this. 食事は完全でした。 (Shokuji wa kanzen deshita. 20 .” 9. like those in Lesson 2: 寒かったでしょう。 (Samukatta deshou?) It was cold. Note: The adjective ii (good) is not conjugated into the past tense.) It was supposed to be small.Japanese Adjectives http://www. Here's how they work: Sou (I hear that [something] is [adjective]) is basically used to report hearsay or the reports of others without the involvement of your personal senses or opinion. you can further conjugate using the endings and combinations applicable to other plain forms. 歴史の宿題は簡単だった。 (Rekishi no shukudai wa kantan datta. It is added after both true and quasi-adjectives with no change to the adjective itself: あの大学の入学試験は難しいそうです。 (Ano daigaku no nyuugaku shiken wa muzukashii sou desu.pdf 10年前にジョンは貧乏だった。 (Juu nen mae ni John wa binbou datta.) The history homework was easy.) Ten years ago John was poor. wasn't it? 小さかったはず。 (Chiisakatta hazu. if you're ending a sentence with an adjective and want to make it past and polite. and use deshita instead of datta with quasis: 会議は長かったです。 (Kaigi wa nagakatta desu. Adjectives with sou and sugiru This lesson should clarify sou (I hear that [something] is [adjective]) and sou ([something] looks/sounds/seems [adjective]). just add desu after katta in true adjectives. Now.) I hear that that university's entrance exam is difficult.) The meal was perfect.

In the first sou outlined above. 彼は頑固そうなおじいさんですね。 (Kare wa ganko sou na ojii-san desu ne. あの新しい店の場所は不便そうです。 (Ano atarashii mise no basho wa fuben sou desu.) I hear that book's expensive. these two sous are fairly easy to keep straight. and is often used as a simple exclamation: 楽しそう! (Tanoshisou!) Sounds fun! 寒そう! (Samusou!) Looks cold! (as one might say while watching a program about Alaska) まずそう! (Mazusou!) Sounds nasty! (not good to eat) 簡単そう! (Kantan sou!) Looks easy! 楽そう! (Raku sou!) Looks comfortable! Note: The adjective yoi is an exception with this sou. You need to add sa first: yosasou (sounds good). seeing a picture. The other sou ([something] looks/sounds/seems [adjective]) is used to express your own impression of something based on hearsay. is how you add sou to the negative nai as well. (That's why I added desu in the examples. by the way. and is added after quasis. Also. I've noticed that native speakers will usually add desu or da after it.) The second sou is stressed and drawn out. etc. This one takes the place of the final i in true adjectives.) I hear that the new store is in an inconvenient location. doesn't he? Thanks to various unwritten rules.pdf その本は高いそうです。 (Sono hon wa takai sou desu.) That bicycle looks expensive.net/language/jpadj/jp_adjectives. sou is said without stress.) He seems like a hard-headed old man. It doesn't need desu or da. and said with at least a little excitement if it's describing something good.Japanese Adjectives http://www. This. just like the other sou: おいしそう! (Oishisou!) Sounds delicious! その自転車は高そう。 (Sono jitensha wa takasou.timwerx. for 21 . in a matter-of-fact kind of way.

) Ken's dog is bigger than Shizuka's dog. 10. これは簡単すぎる! (Kore wa kantan sugiru!) This is too easy! 彼女はけちすぎるから、友達がいない。 (Kanojo wa kechi sugiru kara.net/language/jpadj/jp_adjectives. Comparatives In sentences where an adjective is used to compare two things. meaning it replaces the final i of true adjectives: このお茶は熱すぎる! (Kono o-cha wa atsusugiru!) This tea is too hot! あの箱は重すぎる! (Ano hako wa omosugiru!) That box is too heavy! 今日の試験は難しすぎた。 (Kyou no shiken wa muzukashisugita. use yori after the object which is used for comparison. Adjective Modifiers In this last lesson we will look at the bits and pieces needed to adjust the meaning of adjectives so they convey exactly what we want.) Today's exam was easier than yesterday's.) I like fried rice more than fried noodles.Japanese Adjectives http://www.) Today's test was too difficult.. Sugiru means “too (much of something).pdf example: yoi (good) + nai = yokunai (not good) + sou = yokunasasou (doesn't sound good).” and is also used a lot. 22 . 今日の試験は昨日のより簡単だった。 (Kyou no shiken wa kinou no yori kantan datta.) She doesn't have any friends because she's too stingy.timwerx. . tomodachi ga inai.. Note how the compared object (underlined) sits between the subject and adjective of the main idea: 賢の犬は静香の犬より大きい。 (Ken no inu wa Shizuka no inu yori ookii. Everything here applies to both true and quasi-adjectives. It works like the second sou above.but how it comes before other objects which are not a part of the subject: 私は焼きそばより焼き飯が好き。 (Watashi wa yakisoba yori yakimeshi ga suki.

23 .) This is the worst. それは僕の一番好きな本です。 (Sore wa boku no ichiban suki na hon desu.pdf Alternately. or make the adjective negative. but Ken's dog is bigger. as in: これは最も悪い。 (Kore wa mottomo warui. there is no equivalent to the least. 中島さんのラーメンは一番! (Nakajima-san no ramen wa ichiban!) The ramen Ms. Ken no inu wa yori ookii.net/language/jpadj/jp_adjectives. Ken no inu wa motto ookii. Nakajima makes is the best! Negative Comparatives and Superlatives Negative comparatives and superlatives are not used that much in Japanese. but they say it's going to be hotter tomorrow. 今日は暑かったけど、明日はもっと暑くなるそうです。 (Kyou wa atsukatta kedo. Note: Mo is sometimes added to yori — yorimo. but Ken's dog is bigger. It's completely optional and does not change the meaning of the sentence.timwerx. ashita wa yori atsukunaru sou desu. In fact. It is placed directly before the adjective it modifies. Another popular way to compare things is to use motto.) This is the cheapest computer in this store. just use an adjective with that meaning. ashita wa motto atsukunaru sou desu. yori can be placed after the subject in structures that follow other finalized statements: 静香の犬は大きいですが、賢の犬はより大きい。 (Shizuka no inu wa ookii desu ga.) Shizuka's dog is big. which is roughly the equivalent of “more” in English. and could be used to replace yori in the last set of examples above: 静香の犬は大きいですが、賢の犬はもっと大きい。 (Shizuka no inu wa ookii desu ga. but they say it's going to be hotter tomorrow. 今日は暑かったけど、明日はより暑くなるそうです。 (Kyou wa atsukatta kedo. Superlatives Mottomo or the well-known ichiban (number one) can be placed before adjectives to make them superlative.) Today was hot.) That's my favorite book.) Shizuka's dog is big. To convey something in a negative superlative way.Japanese Adjectives http://www.) Today was hot. Ichiban without an adjective can be used to simply mean “the best”: これはこの店の最も安いパソコンです。 (Kore wa kono mise no mottomo yasui pasokon desu.

You must also make the adjective negative.) This is the least delicious. 今日はあまり暑くないね。 (Kyou wa amari atsukunai ne. For negative comparatives where “less” is implied. 昨日の試験は今日のほど簡単ではなかった。 (Kinou no shiken wa kyou no hodo kantan dewa nakatta.Japanese Adjectives http://www. Two More There are two other handy modifiers I'll mention here because they're used a lot: toku ni and amari. あの映画はあまり面白くない。 (Ano eiga wa amari omoshirokunai.) Today's not that hot.” after the object of comparison. Note how the subject and compared object change places in order to convey the same meaning: 静香の犬は賢の犬ほど大きくない。 (Shizuka no inu wa Ken no inu hodo ookikunai. Let's do this to the first two examples used in the Comparatives section above. Toku ni means “especially” and amari means about the opposite of that. you can put hodo. is it. (with dropping intonation) 24 .) That movie is not really that interesting.) Yesterday's exam wasn't as easy as today's. Here's how they're used: 今日は特に忙しかった。 (Kyou wa toku ni isogashikatta. 賢二の成績は特に悪い。 (Kenji no seiseki wa toku ni warui.) Kenji's grades are particularly bad.timwerx.pdf これは一番おいしくない。 (Kore wa ichiban oishikunai.) Today was especially busy. which means “to the extent of.) Shizuka's dog isn't as big as Ken's dog.net/language/jpadj/jp_adjectives.

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