I know how to say something when both adjectives are the same tense, such as:

あの 人 は かわいくて ちいさい です。 That person is cute and small.

However, how would you say something like, "That person is cute and not small"? Would it be:

あの 人 は かわいくて ちいさくない です。

Is this even possible, or would you have to split the sentence up so that the tenses match?

Please write answers in hiragana or romaji, please! I am still an elementary Japanese learner.

  • Typically, using spaces, the sentence would look like this: あの人は かわいくて ちいさいです. – Angelos Feb 19 '16 at 21:57
  • I think your 2nd sentence could be confusing, just as saying "That person is not short and cute." Is s/he cute or not? I'd think that ちいさくなくてかわいい would be clearer. Just as "cute but not short" makes it clearer what's being negated. – A.Ellett Feb 19 '16 at 22:04
  • 4
    Just for the sake of clarity, you're not asking about tenses, you're asking about positives vs. negatives. – Kurausukun Feb 19 '16 at 23:06

あの人は かわいくて ちいさくない です。

As far as grammar goes, this sentence is already fine. It literally means "That person is cute and not small."

However, this sentence looks a bit odd to me, because people don't often associate cute things with large things. On the other hand, "ちいさくて かわいい (cute little)" is used almost as a set phrase, far more often than "おおきくて かわいい".

So I would say this sentence would look more natural and clear if you say:

  • あの人は かわいいけれど ちいさくない です。 That person is cute but is not small.
  • あの人は ちいさくないけれど かわいい です。 That person is not small but is cute.


  • あの人は かわいくも ちいさくも ない です。 That person is neither cute nor small.
  • あの人は かわいかったり ちいさかったり しません。 That person is neither cute nor small.

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