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Questions tagged [adjectives]

形容詞・形容動詞. Japanese doesn't technically have adjectives, but special types of nouns and verbs called na-adjectives and i-adjectives respectively have the same function.

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Why does Japanese have two kinds of adjectives? (-i adjectives and -na adjectives)

Japanese has two kinds of adjectives known by several terms but the ones I know are i-adjectives and na-adjectives - why? I recall that Japanese adjectives are much more like verbs than in English ...
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i-adjectives used as na-adjectives: is there a difference? (e.g. 大きい versus 大きな)

There are at the very least several i-adjectives can be used as na-adjectives by dropping the final い and adding な in its place. The most common examples of this, as far as I am aware, are 大きい and 小さい,...
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What is the difference between -さ and -み suffixes to make a noun out of an adjective?

For example, both 悲しさ and 悲しみ are glossed as “sadness” in JMdict. What's the difference? According to A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar, 〜み “is more emotive and concrete characterization of some ...
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~うございます - keigo い-adjectives

I'm not sure if this is actual keigo, or just a polite form of adjectives. Anyway, there are several that we're all familiar with that are still used today. はやい → おはようございます ありがたい → ありがとうございます ...
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What exactly is a "taru adjective"

On the talk page of the Wikipedia article on "Japanese adjectives", user Dougalg suggested nearly two years ago: I know these are falling out of use, but still exist. If anyone can give an ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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30 votes
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Adjectives functioning both as イ- and ナ-adjective

This question has made me think about the class of adjectives, which can function both as イ- and as ナ-adjective, e.g. 大きい 大きな 小さい 小さな 真っ白い 真っ白な (etc.) 細かい 細かな 暖かい 暖かな 四角い 四角な (etc.) 柔らかい ...
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When would you use 新{あら}たな and 新{あたら}しい

To say new, the first way that I learned is to use the i-adjective 新しい. But I noticed that the na-adjective 新たな is used a lot in written texts. Is there any difference in when either is used?
Nap's user avatar
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Usage of ~じゃん (~じゃない)

I'd like to know if I can put ~じゃん at the end of every adjective, if there are any exceptions to that usage, and if it's different from ~じゃない. Adj (na) + じゃん 便利じゃん 便利だったじゃん 便利じゃないじゃん ...
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When would you use 低い【ひくい】 vs 短い【みじかい】

Are 低い and 短い interchangable or do they have specific uses?
elasticrat's user avatar
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What is the difference between "〜がる" and "〜がっている"

I want to know the difference between 〜がる and 〜がっている, and in what situations I can use them. My friend said 〜がる is used for a regular activity that someone does every day or every week, and the ...
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Is there an order of adjectives in Japanese?

In English, if we have multiple adjectives modifying a noun, there is a preferred order for those adjectives, for example: nice long red car *nice red long car *long red nice car I was wondering if ...
Lou's user avatar
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Relative clauses distinguishing whom/with which/that

I love in Japanese, how adjectival clauses are just added in front of nouns like adjectives. The pizza that I ate = 私が食べたピザ But last night I became confused... In english we have words to link the ...
rewolf's user avatar
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What exactly does an adjective stem + そう mean?

The other day I posted a picture of some food on Facebook, and I noticed that all of my Japanese friends were saying 「おいしそう」. I made a good guess to what it meant, but I wasn't certain what exactly ...
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What is ~げに suffix actually?

Today, while looking up random words in WWWJDIC, I stumbled upon an example sentence for the word いとしい as below: 少女は人形をいとしげに抱き締めた。 The girl squeezed her doll affectionately. The sentence uses ~げに ...
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いAdjective. difference between くて and く

Is it 太陽光線は暖かいけどまぶしく、肌に刺すようです or 太陽光線は暖かいけどまぶしくて、肌に刺すようです What's the difference between くて and く?
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How does adding 手 to the beginning of an adjective change its meaning?

There are several adjectives that are formed by attaching 「手」 to more common adjectives: 手厳しい 手堅い 手早い 手広い 手短い But most of the time this does not seem to change the meaning of the adjective very much....
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How did やわらかい gain its い?

As we know, there is a class of adjectives that end in 〜らか: 滑【なめ】らか, 明【あき】らか, 清【きよ】らか, 安【やす】らか, etc. やわらか (柔らか or 軟らか) is also in this class of adjectives. However, it can also be written as the イ-...
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How do you join たる-adjectives?

When joining い-adjectives and な-adjectives, you simply put them in 連用形 + て: この料理は美味しくて安いです。 田中さんは綺麗で親切です。 However, I have a bit of trouble with たる-adjectives. I couldn't find any resources on it. ...
LittleWhole's user avatar
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Are foreign adjectives always な adjectives?

Sitting in a restaurant yesterday I saw a sign advertising a mango flavoured bagel. It was described as トロピカルな味. That just got me wondering... whenever a 外来語【がいらいご】(word taken from a foreign language ...
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い-Adjective Conjugation: かったです vs でした

When we first studied adjective conjugation in my Japanese class, I kept making the same mistake habitually; I would conjugate the past tense of い-adjectives with でした at the end instead of dropping ...
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How to choose between a na- and a no-adjective form of a word that takes both?

I came across the expression あいにくの天気. According to the dictionary あいにく can be a na-adjective, an adverb, a noun and a no-adjective. So, why is の used in the above expression (instead of な)? In ...
user18849's user avatar
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Using に with adjectives

I want to know if there is a rule or way of thinking that makes it easier to understand which adjectives can be used in the following pattern. 体にいいです。 健康にわるいです。 酒によわいです。 電車に詳しいです。 その場にふさわしかった。 I ...
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11 votes
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Why does 悪く(は)ない give a condescending feeling?

I thought it just meant "It's not bad" but I read some comments from Japanese people who said that it can sound too condescending or like the speaker feels superior to the listener. Why is that? In ...
YTKN's user avatar
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-的 adjectives modifying nouns without な

Am I correct in thinking that these are ok without a na: 1) 印象的な事実 2) 印象的事実 3) 客観的な事実 4) 客観的事実 But these need a na?: 5) 明らかな事実 6) *?明らか事実 7) 簡単な事実 8) *?簡単事実 (From a quick look, ...
melissa_boiko's user avatar
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2 answers
3k views

Can a noun + suru have an adjective modify the noun as well?

”I did some difficult studying last night." Could I say, "昨夜、難しい勉強しました。”? Basically, my question is: can an adjective, relative clause, or adjectival phrase modify a noun that has する attached, for ...
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How do you say "You have gotten better at X"?

I was just reminded on another site that "being good at something" is expressed as [上手]{じょうず}/[上手]{うま}い, not いい. How do you tell someone they "have gotten better at something"? Xさん, 料理することがもっと上手いですね。 ...
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Usage of noun-modifying である

I'm pretty sure I understand the usage of「である」 here: ピアニストである私{わたし}の姉{あね}は、いつも手{て}に怪我{けが}をしないように気{き}をつけています My sister, a pianist, is always careful not to injure her hands. (My translation) But I'...
Shane's user avatar
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ない in つまらない and similar adjectives and their conjugation with すぎる

The usual path for conjugation would be: 高い → 高すぎる  (drop い, append すぎる) ない → なさすぎる (drop い, append さ, append すぎる) Is ない in つまらない treated as the negative ない which conjugates as 2.? Or is つまらない a ...
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2 answers
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Is た形 required when using 自動詞 as an adjective?

From the grammar book I learned that when 自動詞 is being used as an adjective, it should change its form to the た形, for example: 優れ{すぐれ}た学生 拗れ{こじれ}た話し But can I say 優れる学生 or 拗れる話し? Why?
Den's user avatar
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Using 嫌い and 嫌う

In elementary Japanese, you are taught to say you dislike something with が嫌いです. For example: 国の状態が嫌いです。 I've also seen 嫌う used to express dislike, like: 昨日を嫌った。 Are they both interchangeable? ...
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2 answers
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Why is 高いです acceptable but 高いではあります not acceptable?

This interesting thread got me thinking about the various forms of the copula and how です is a contraction of で(は)あります. I am wondering why the standard X は Y で(は)あります does not seem to work for certain ...
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What is the correct "healthy" adjective for healthy foods?

The situation is that I've expressed that I like Sushi, and then want to proceed and explain why that is, describing sushi as delicious and healthy. Something along the lines of: すしはおいしくてヘルシーですから。 ...
manonthemat's user avatar
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2 answers
3k views

Is the word ムキムキ a deliberate visual pun?

I recently learned the word ムキムキ and what instantly struck me was how it appears to be some kind of a visual pun. ム representing a flexed arm 💪 キ representing a classic barbell Together they ...
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1 answer
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Aozora versus Aoi sora

Can we use 青空 and 青い空 interchangeably? Is there any difference between the two? Which is the most natural? Thank you!
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Producing なる adjectives

I found this adjective from 7!!'s song 「ラヴァーズ」(Lovers): 無邪気なる Dictionary entries categorises 無邪気 as a noun and な-adjective. For reference, I shall extract parts from two different stanzas in the ...
Flaw's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
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Order of multiple nouns and adjectives modifying the same noun

I'm wondering if you guys have any in-depth answers/links regarding: -multiple adjectives modifying one noun (I'll go into the specifics below, I don't mean just the て form conjugations) -order of ...
user19355's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
578 views

Is there a pattern to the usage of 〜的 on the end of words?

Sometimes I think it's more obvious when to use 〜的 as a suffix for example 国家 "nation/state" vs 国家的 "national", but in a lot of other cases I think the distinction might be more blurred, and they ...
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8 votes
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What is the dictionary form of sukunai?

I've been learning adjective conjugations and I've understood that to conjugate an adjective into its negative form you drop the last syllable (~い syllable) and add くない. However, I've run into the ...
giraffesyo's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
563 views

How else can you use 「だい」as in 大好き or 大嫌い?

I understand that you can use だい in the sense of "very", to emphasise すき and きらい. So だいすき is "very loved" and だいきらい is "very hated". Can だい be used for the same meaning in any other words? Can you use ...
Lou's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
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How can I express that X is as big/small/fast/... as Y?

I would like to know how to express that something is equal in some aspect to another thing (or person, if that makes a difference), as you would express in English by saying: X is as (adjective) as Y ...
uli's user avatar
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1 answer
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Why does 微妙 become "sucky" in slang usage?

Technically the word 微妙 means as per WWWJDIC: (adj-na,n) (1) delicate; subtle; sensitive; (2) difficult; delicate (situation); complicated; (3) doubtful; questionable; dicey; However, last time I ...
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8 votes
1 answer
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How to construct potential form for adjectives

I could not help but notice that adjectives cannot directly conjugate to have a potential form: E.g. 赤い does not become 赤られる for (can be red) (Question) Which of the below are acceptable forms to ...
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1 answer
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Using 「に」, 「にとって」 and 「に対して」 with adjectives

I read these two questions but I still don't understand the relation between the use of the 「に」 particle with adjectives and other structures such as 「にとって」 and 「に対して」. On the first link, Axioplaseさん ...
E. Matsunaga's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is the difference between 適切、適当 and 適宜?

As the title says, I've been having some trouble with recognizing the difference between 適切、適当 and 適宜 as in dictionaries they are all translated to "appropriate, suitable". According to this site 適当{...
do32910's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
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How to say "To start liking something"

As far as I know, one can say "I started doing X" by adding X-はじめました。 However, I don't think this applies to "to like", which is an adjective. So how to say for example "I started liking science"
miikaelf's user avatar
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2 answers
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What does らん in 「強からん事を祈る」 mean?

I came across this sentence while reading Osamu Dazai's Ningen Shikkaku. The sentence is pretty long, so I have only included the relevant part. あまりに人間を恐怖している人たちは、かえって、もっともっと、...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Is the use of 真面目な a modern way to refer to sentimental relationships as "serious" or has it always been standard?

If someone can think of a better title, please edit or suggest a better one. Recently, I have started noticing some Japanese people using the adjective 真面目な paired to words such as 出会い, 関係, etc, when ...
Tommy's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
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Why is 温かい used instead of 熱い when ordering a hot drink?

In English, "warm" and "hot" are usually interchangeable when ordering a hot drink. In my experience, "hot" is more frequently used. I was corrected with 温かいコーヒー when asking for an 熱いコーヒー so I ...
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2 answers
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Use of Adjective + のも

さらに冬になれば雪が積もって交通の便が悪いし、暮らすにはいささか苦労が多いのも難点だ I'm familiar with Vのは → Vのも for multiple nominalized items, but this use of it has me stumped. "Because of the transportation issues after the snow piles ...
charu's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
304 views

Difference between 粗い and 荒い

I would like to know when 粗い is used. According to the dictionary, it means "rough", but I'm not able to see the difference between 粗い and 荒い. Is 粗い used only when a picture has bad quality? Or in ...
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