Some adjectives are used like this:

  • "tsugi no sekai" (next world)
  • "kiiro no kuruma" (yellow car)

and others are used liked this: "Kawaī kuruma".

Though kiiro can also be used thus: "kiiroi kuruma".

When can I use an adjective with "no"? is it always or only in some special cases?


Grammatically, you can never use an adjective with の. You can only use の with nouns. You're confusion is arising because the parts of speech do not always correspond between English and Japanese: 次 is a noun, but "next" is an adjective.

Similarly, all colors in English are adjectives, but all colors in Japanese are nouns (except for six that have adjective counterparts, namely 赤い, 青い, 白い, 黒い, 黄色い, and 茶色い). You can't say 灰色い because it only exists as a noun, not an adjective (a fact you just have to memorize).

You can use nouns to modify other nouns in English, too (and probably most other languages). Health Department (or Department of Health) is an example in English: "health" is modifying "department" to describe what kind of department.

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  • I guess I have to ask what's the definition of noun in japanese then? Next doesnt seem to fit any english definition of noun I know. May be we are calling "nouns" to some japanese words that arent exactly nouns? (since noun is an english word?) – Pablo Apr 9 '17 at 17:59
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    Parts of speech do not always match across languages ("like" and 好き is another example). You're right that "next" isn't a noun in English, but that doesn't mean it can't be in Japanese. I believe 次 itself refers to an actual instance of something, which "next" only describes an object. – Blavius Apr 9 '17 at 18:14

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