There are two types of adjectives in modern Japanese: な- and い-adjectives. Both are descriptive and modify nouns. They describe nouns and form predicates differently.
The な-adjectives (形容動詞, けいようどうし) conjugate with nouns by appending "〜な" before the following noun.
Watch and Listen
|Adjective||Noun||Adjective and noun|
|授業||class (session, not group of people), lecture||じゅぎょう|
|奇麗||beautiful; clean, tidy||きれい|
When used as predicates, な-adjectives behave just like nouns:
|(She) is pretty. (formal)|
|(It) is famous. (formal)|
|(This) is simple. (formal)|
|(I'm) well. (informal)|
|ハンサムだ。||(He) is handsome. (informal)|
|(They) are bright. (informal)|
|(That) is important. (informal)|
Note that the pronouns are usually dropped when they can be inferred from context. The pronouns in the English version are examples only to make better formed English sentences. For example, "
な-Adjectives noun modifiers
When preceding a modified noun, な-adjectives take a "な" before the noun:
|<な-adjective> な <noun>||です|
|a healthy person|
|a famous doctor|
|an important class|
Try writing and speaking out the following sentences in Japanese:
Other ideas for practice include:
- Write な-adjectives on pieces of paper along with nouns and keep these in separate stacks. Pick one of each and say the sentence.
- Now write the English on the other side and repeat, this time translating as well.
- Make pictures to represent the sentences and drill with those.
- Write a short story or describe something that happened to you.