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This is an example from an iPhone app called Tae Kim's learning Japanese:

子供だったアリスが立派な大人になった。 - The Alice that was a child became a fine adult.

The part "fine adult" or "立派な大人" confuses me. The "な" between 立派 and 大人, what is it? A particle, part of the word 立派 or what?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

立派 is a 形容動詞 or adjectival noun. As 立派 alone, it is a noun essentially meaning "fineness". It needs the な after it to let it modify other nouns such as 大人 to turn it into "fine adult".

If you're using Tae Kim's guide, I would suggest you go back a couple sections and check out this page: http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar/adjectives

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Ah yes, I figured I forgot something...na adjectives. – P.Brian.Mackey Dec 8 '13 at 16:52

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