A subset of Japanese nouns is the サ変名詞{へんめいし} nouns such as:


A subset of 形容動詞 words can be appended with "にする" such as:


What is the English, and Japanese, technical grammar term for this class of 形容動詞 words?

  • I've been trying to think of one, but as far as I can tell, all 形容動詞 work with 「〜にする」. Do you have one in mind that doesn't work? Commented Oct 17, 2014 at 23:12
  • @DariusJahandarie I was thinking that these do not make sense (to me at least): "素直にする", "便利にする", "下手にする". Each could take "~になる", but not "~にする"?? I don't know. I am just guessing... I am realizing I need to stop making assumptions and guessing so much on stackexchange. :-)
    – user312440
    Commented Oct 18, 2014 at 0:54
  • 静かにする(behave quietly = be quite) and 無理をする (excessively do = overwork) are the the Japanese way to change an adjective to a verb. It works for 形容詞 too, e.g., 早くしろ(quickly do = be quick/hurry up). 大切にする may be consider as 連語 (may be translated as phrasal verbs?). Other examples are 楽しみにする, 大事にする, etc. する can often be replaced by 思う or 扱う.
    – Yang Muye
    Commented Oct 18, 2014 at 6:38
  • I made a mistake, I typed 無理にする but I actually meant 無理をする. 無理に just means 無理やり, is a normal adverb.
    – Yang Muye
    Commented Oct 18, 2014 at 6:49

1 Answer 1


From the point of view of Japanese as 国語 (a national language), it's 連用形 of 形容動詞 + する. But from the point of view of "Japanese as a second/foreign language", I think it's mostly considered to be 辞書形 of な形容詞 + にする.

形容動詞 are very controversial. Most Japanese as a second/foreign language textbooks call them な形容詞 (na-adjectives), but Japanese: The Spoken Language for example calls them な名詞 (na nominals). There are many theories but the strongest one I've heard is that 綺麗な or those words called 形容動詞 in 国語 have originated from noun + verbal auxiliary なり. なり meant (1) assertion and (2) existence.


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