What does the な in the center means.Is it a particle.

  • 1
    I have heard that な is a copula; a variation on だ / です (more closely related to the archaic なり). Which technically would make な adjectives that modify a noun into an actual relative clause. Don't quote me on this, though.
    – Arthur
    May 23, 2019 at 12:06

2 Answers 2


The word 便利 is a so-called な-adjective. When な-adjectives directly modify a noun, な has to be added between it and the noun it's modifying (hence the name).

So, "便利な工具" means "a handy/useful tool".

As for your second question: You can call it a particle in the sense that it's a small word which serves a grammatical function, but I don't know if a linguist or grammarian would actually classify it as such.


便利{べんり} is a な-adjective, which is used to modify a noun, in this case, 工具{こうぐ}. When modifying a noun, な must be placed after な-adjectives (便利{べんり}) and before the noun it modifies(工具{こうぐ}).

The phrase 便利な工具 would translate then, to "convenient/useful tool(s)"

I am not sure if most would consider the な a particle, or simply a suffix used with な-adjectives.

Another name for this type of words is "adjectival nouns" since they behave similarly to nouns in many conjugation patterns. These are contrasted with い-adjectives or "adjectival verbs" which all end with い in the non-past, positive sense and substitute other endings in place of the い when conjugating.

  • Thanks for the help
    – Woo Zhi
    Jun 6, 2019 at 22:26

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