Components

Grammar detail: い and な adjectives

い and な adjectives
Tweet
289 words
My current mastery of this grammar point:
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 formPolite formMeaning
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.
Kanshudo is your AI Japanese tutor, and your constant companion on the road to mastery of the Japanese language. To get started learning Japanese, just follow the study recommendations on your Dashboard. You can use Quick search (accessible using the icon at the top of every page) to look up any Japanese word, kanji or grammar point, as well as to find anything on Kanshudo quickly. For an overview, take the tour.
×