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For example, if I said...

きれいで静かな町

Does that mean there's a relationship between きれい and 静か (like the relationship that happens when you combine two verbs with the て-form)? Or do the two adjectives work totally separately like in english (a tall, serious man)?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Yes, the two work separately. There is no relationship between them. When you combine adjectives with the て-form, you are just linking them, so the meaning is "beautiful and quiet town".

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I'm not sure it can be called a relationship, but you cannot mix positive and negative adjectives this way, can you ? –  user1310749 Feb 12 '13 at 17:17
    
@user1310749: That would be an excellent question to ask by itself. –  jkerian Feb 12 '13 at 17:53
    
@user1310749: why you can't ? look at this example : "東京は静かじゃなくて過密だ" - Tokyo is not quiet and/but crowded –  Homura Rin Feb 12 '13 at 18:04
    
@Homura Rin I was not clear enough : I did not mean adjective in the negative form but conveying a negative value. In your example, both "not quiet" and "crowded" would convey a negative value. I have been taught one would not say "the flat is calm and small" アパートは静かで狭い but アパートは静かだけど狭い –  user1310749 Feb 12 '13 at 19:52
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@user1310749: It is depending on the meaning of the sentence that you want to say. the first you can use it when you think small and calm is good together, the second you say when you want to say the good thing is "it is calm" but the bad thing is"it is small" , that mean the first phrase is not -wrong- if you just want to listing the adjectives so it doesn't matter what is the adj . –  Homura Rin Feb 12 '13 at 20:03
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