https://guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar/verbparticles lead me to believe that the に particle should be used with a verb. However I have been reading some sentences that have noun + に + adjective.

For example 彼は動物に優しい would this sentence be grammatically correct even though it has no verbs?

Can all adjectives be used with the に particle in this way?


1 Answer 1


Adjectives are like verbs, in that they 'inflect', that is, have endings that indicate tense (or aspect), just like verbs. So 優しい should be thought of as '[to be] kind', 優しかった, 'was kind'.

に would only be used where an adjective requires it, and this information can only be found in a dictionary, e.g., 動物に優しい, 'kind to animals'; 詐欺に等しい, 'equivalent to fraud'. Other adjectives might take different particles, with 反対 one can find なになにと反対, alongside なになにに反対, both meaning 'the opposite of something'.

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