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I meet various sentences with adjectives, which version is correct?

この猫{ねこ}は黒{くろ}です。 (...kuro desu)

この猫は黒いです。

この猫は黒い。

Thanks a lot!

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2 Answers 2

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which version is correct?
この猫は黒です.
この猫は黒いです.
この猫は黒い.

All three are grammatically correct.
The 黒 in the 1st sentence is a noun, and the 2nd and 3rd are using an i-adjective 黒い. The です in the 2nd sentence is a polite suffix.

I meet various sentences with adjectives,

We have two kinds of adjectives, i-adjectives and na-adjectives, which basically function as a predicate this way:

この猫はかわいい。-- plain form
この猫はかわいいです。-- polite form
(かわいい = i-adjective)
この花はきれいだ。-- plain form
この花はきれいです。-- polite form
(きれい = na-adjective)


Note that Japanese words for colors, such as 黒, 赤, 緑, 紫, 黄色 etc. are nouns and can be followed by the copula だ / です, like this:

この猫は黒です。-- polite form
この猫は黒だ。-- plain form

The 6 colors 黒, 白, 赤, 青, 茶色, 黄色 have i-adjective alternatives 黒い, 白い, 赤い, 青い, 茶色い, 黄色い, which can be used this way:

この猫は黒いです。-- polite form
この猫は黒い。-- plain form

incorrect: ×「緑い(です)」 ×「灰色い(です)」


As a side note: Only a few words can fit in both 「~~だ/です」 and 「~~い(です)」:

やわらかだ/やわらかい
あたたかだ/あたたかい
[真]{ま}っ[白]{しろ}だ/真っ白い
[真]{ま}っ[黒]{くろ}だ/真っ黒い
四角だ/四角い
丸だ*/丸い (*丸 is a noun, not a na-adjective, so you can't say 丸な~~.)

For example, you can say:

このパンはやわらかいです。このパンはやわらかい。(やわらかい = i-adjective)
このパンはやわらかです。このパンはやわらかだ。(やわらか = na-adjective)

For more on this topic, see: i-adjectives used as na-adjectives: is there a difference? (e.g. 大きい versus 大きな)

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  1. この猫は黒です。
  2. この猫は黒いです。
  3. この猫は黒い。

If you want to say "this is a black cat", sentence 2 and 3 are possible answers, and the sentence 2 sounds polite.

By the way, the sentence 1 also makes sense, but it has another interpretation that "the name of this cat is kuro".
If you want to avoid this kind of mis-interpretation, you could say like この猫は黒色です, but this expression sounds a little bit academic or high-flown, so I would not recommend you to use it in daily conversations.

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