Thursday, 19 February 2015

Adjectives - Overview

Sometimes we need to be able to describe objects, to say things such as "this apple is delicious" or "that book is boring", to do so we need to learn about adjectives.

Adjectives in Japanese come in two groups, い-adjectives and な-adjectives.

い-adjectives are so called, and can be recognised by the fact that they end in an い symbol. It is important to remember that adjectives ending in an い sound (but not い itself), such as き、し、ち、etc. are NOT い-adjectives.

な-adjectives are so called because in their dictionary form, they end in a な.

Adjectives can appear directly before a noun, modifying it, or can appear on its own as a standalone word.

い-adjectives always remain the same, whether they appear before a noun, or on their own, such as in the following two examples.

これは美味しいりんごです (This is a delicious apple)
このりんごは美味しいです (This apple is delicious)

な-adjectives however get their な stripped off when appearing on their own, as in the following two sentences.

それはきれいなくつです (Those are pretty shoes)
そのくつはきれいです (Those shoes are pretty)

Note that although きれい (and きらい) end in the kana い they are actually な-adjectives, there are a few exceptions like this unfortunately :(

That's the basic format of adjectives!, we'll hopefully go through their conjugation in future posts.  

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