Take the 2-minute tour ×
Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Quick question about some so called "adverbs". I've seen some people claim that noun + に particle (本当に) isn't really an adverb. If it isn't an adverb, then does anyone know what the function of the に particle is here ?

I've seen monolingual dictionaries say that these are adverbs, but then there are people claiming that they are only called adverbs in textbooks to simplify things for English speakers, both seem plausible - which is true?

Thanks in advance.

share|improve this question
1  
Is your question specifically about 本当に? –  snailboat Dec 14 '13 at 22:24
    
Nope. More about the function of に after nouns (like 本当) –  user4096 Dec 15 '13 at 8:55
    
Like...実際に、即座に、とっさに, maybe? (We don't say 本当な、実際な、即座な、とっさな but 本当の、実際の、即座の、とっさの) –  Choko Dec 19 '13 at 15:22
    
What about 元気? At least what I learned is that 元気な and 元気の are both possibly used by native speakers as is 元気に. –  virmaior Dec 20 '13 at 7:29

2 Answers 2

If you wish to know what part of speech 本当に is according to "school grammar" in Japan, then it is a [副詞]{ふくし}. Every kid in Japan is being taught that it is a 副詞 as I type this. I want to stress that using English grammar terms such as "adverb" and "adjective" will only slow down your Japanese study in the long run, trust me.

There are a handful of people who claim otherwise regarding 本当に, I admit. So the choice is yours. You could either join the main school of thought or go independent. After all, words never come with tags telling what parts of speech they belong to. You will need to decide which theory makes more sense or seems more persuasive.

I learned English in Japan by using whatever books that happened to be around me (and there were only a few). Years later, do I look like I know nothing about English grammar? Do you have difficulty in reading my English?

You will surely need to know what types of words 本当に can modify in order to use it correctly, but whether you believe the word is a 副詞 or not will not make a cool topic at the party. Cheers!

share|improve this answer

Well it certainly functions the same as an adverb. Just as in English, it tell the extent or how much of something.

share|improve this answer
3  
That definition doesn't work for English adverbs, either--consider adverbs like also or wrong, for example. No semantic definition will work for any part of speech, I'm afraid. –  snailboat Dec 15 '13 at 4:44
    
Of course that's a definition of an adverb. It doesn't represent ALL the definitions. Adverbs are probably the most complex part of speech because adverbs can modify verbs, adjectives and other adverbs. In this case "honto" represents the adjective "true" while "hontoni" represents the adverb "truly." –  泣き虫 Dec 16 '13 at 2:32
    
@泣き虫 本当 is not a Japanese adjective. Per dictionary.goo.ne.jp/leaf/jn2/206289/m0u/%E6%9C%AC%E5%BD%93, it is 名詞・形用動詞. Putting な after it makes it function adjectivally. に makes it function adverbally... Japanese for foreigners teaches these 名詞/ナ形容詞 but Japanese people don't use the latter term. Adverbs are definitely the most complex part of English speech; not sure if that's true of Japanese. –  virmaior Dec 19 '13 at 13:32
    
でも「本当な」って言わないんですよね・・・「本当に」は、ちょっと難しいみたいです。home.alc.co.jp/db/owa/jpn_npa?sn=73 –  Choko Dec 19 '13 at 15:01
    
Thank you for agreeing with me that 本当に is an adverb. The questions of 本当な was only brought up by you. –  泣き虫 Dec 22 '13 at 18:24

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.