Language Lesson

Uki Uki NihonGO! Lesson 30 - Usagi Holmes 2: Adjective Groups

Basic Fact 1:
Japanese adjectives are largely categorized into 2 groups. They are called -i adjectives that end with -i, and na adjectives that end with na. There are a lot more i adjectives than na adjectives in Japanese.

Basic Fact 2: i adjectives and na adjectives follow completely separate rules. So it’s important to know which group your adjective belongs to, so you can conjugate it correctly.

Present Tense:
i adjective: It is hot - atsui desu. (simply add desu)
na adjective: It is convenient - benri desu. (drop na and add desu)

i adjective: It is not hot - atsukunai desu. (focus on ku!)
na adjective: It is not convenient - hima ja nai desu. (focus on ja!)

Past Tense:
i adjective: It was hot - atsukkata desu (note katta!)
na adjective: It was convenient - benri deshita. (drop na and add deshita!)

Past Negative:
i adjective: It was not hot - atsukunakatta desu. (focus on ku!)
na adjective: It was not convenient - hima ja na katta desu. (focus on ja!)

Note: Some na adjectives, after you drop the na, look like an i adjective.
kirei (na)
teinei (na)
kirai (na)
shinpai (na)

Note 2: Some English adjectives have been incorporated into Japanese, as na adjectives.
hotto na (hot)
shai na
hansamu na
sekushi na

Note 3: You can add adverbs to go along with adjectives to express varying degrees.
sugoku extremely, totally
totemo very
chotto a little bit
amari (+ negative ending) not very…
zenzen (+ negative ending) not at all…

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