Components

Grammar detail: い and な adjectives

2
4
JLPT:
い and な adjectives
Tweet
My current mastery of this grammar:
LOG IN to view grammar mastery data
An adjective directly modifies the noun that follows it, as in English. In Japanese, adjectives take one of two forms:
  • い adjectives - end in い, and are immediately followed by the noun.
  • な adjectives - are followed by な and then the noun.

Using い adjectives

い adjectives can be conjugated to express is / is not, and was / was not by removing the い and replacing it with くない (not), かった (was), or くなかった (was not). So for example:
  • あかい red
  • あかくない not red
  • あかかった was red
  • あかくなかった was not red

Using な adjectives

な adjectives are not modified, and to express is / is not, was / was not, the verb です and its variations are used. So for example:
Plain form Polite form Meaning
しず
かな
しず
かな
です
a quiet day
しず
かな
ではない
しず
かな
ではありません
not a quiet day
しず
かな
だった
しず
かな
でした
was a quiet day
しず
かな
ではなかった・じゃなかった
しず
かな
ではありませんでした
was not a quiet day

な adjective exceptions

Some な adjectives end in い - so although they *look* like い adjectives, they behave like な adjectives. These exceptions are easy to spot when they are written in kanji, but some common ones often appear in hiragana and just have to be memorized, such as:
  • きれい attractive
  • きら
    い hated

い adjective exception - いい

いい is a little different from other い adjectives, for historical linguistic reasons - originally it was よい, and that form is still how it is read when written with its kanji (良い). As a result いい is conjugated as follows:
  • いい good
  • よくない not good
  • よかった was good
  • よくなかった was not good
LOG IN to view flashcard data

Kanji used in this grammar

セイ   ジョウ   しず quiet, still   しずまる to become still   しずめる to becalm, to quell   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
ニチ   ジツ   sun; day   ひ    -か    
ケン   ゲン   いや disagreeable   きら to dislike   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
リョウ   よ good   
Problem with this grammar? Question or comment? Please CONTACT US.
×
Change component list
By default the component builder shows the most common components (themselves joyo kanji, or used in at least 3 other joyo kanji). Select an alternative set of components below.



Full details of all components and their English names can be found here.
Help with the component builder
For detailed instructions, see the Component builder how to guide.
To find any kanji, first try to identify the components it is made up of.
For any components you recognize, if you know the English meaning or name, start typing it in the text area. Full details of all components and their English names can be found here.
Alternatively, count the strokes of the component, and scan the list to find it visually.
Example
To find the kanji :
  • Notice that it is made of several components: 氵 艹 口 夫.
  • 氵 艹 口 all have three strokes, so you could look in the list in the 3 stroke section. 夫 has four strokes.
  • Alternatively, you could start typing 'water' (氵), 'grass' (艹), 'mouth' (口) or 'husband' (夫) in the search area, and the components will be highlighted in yellow.
  • Keep adding components until you can see your kanji in the list of matches that appears near the top.