I came across the following example:


a big, heavy book

I am not sure this sentence is correct to begin with, (part of me feels like it should be した) but assuming that it is, what would be the difference between the above and the following?


Both appear to me to mean "a big, heavy book".

I would also like to confirm that chaining adjectives unconjugated as follows is ungrammatical.

大きい重い本 ×

  • 3
    大きい重い本 is correct too.
    – user4092
    Commented Nov 22, 2015 at 21:16
  • @user4092 Oh? Is there a difference between 「大きくて重い本」 and 「大きい重い本」?
    – seafood258
    Commented Nov 22, 2015 at 22:53
  • @seafood258 Maybe you could ask that as a separate question.
    – user1478
    Commented Nov 23, 2015 at 2:30

2 Answers 2


大きかったり重かったりする本 could be plural: some books being big, some heavy, some both. It does not make that much sense on a single book (unless the book is sometimes being heavy, and sometimes being big).

  • 2
    Thanks! For those interested, a clearer example of this can be found here: gogakuru.com/faq/help1206.html 「タグの文字サイズが、大きかったり小さかったりするのはなぜですか? 文字が大きく表示されているタグは、たくさんの人が使っているキーワードです。そうでないタグの場合、文字が小さく表示されます。」
    – seafood258
    Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 5:10

When multiple adjectives are equally applied to one noun, in most cases only the last one needs to be marked for tense, and all the previous ones can be left as plain adverbials.


If you do it with both, it will sound like that the two adjectives refer to two separate instances.

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