No matter what ever languages you use, you definitely need some word to praise, blame, envy, etc, Some of the examples are Cute, Stupid, Smart, etc. Hence, like every other language, Japanese also has its own set of adjectives with appropriate rules and exceptions. We will be discussing about it in our today’s lesson.
What is an Adjective?
You all must already be knowing but still for the ones that are yet to know, Wiki says
In grammar, an adjective is a word whose main syntactic role is to modify a noun or pronoun, giving more information about the noun or pronoun's referent.In simple words, an adjective is a word which modifies the nouns and pronouns.
English - “That is a book”
Hindi – Wo ek kithab hai (वो एक किताब है)
Tamil – Adhu oru puthagam (அது ஒரு புத்தகம்)
Japanese – Sore wa hon desu (それ は ほん です )
This is a normal sentence. Here book (kithab/puthagam/hon) is a noun. Let us add “something” that can modify this noun.
Using adjective before the noun
English - That is a good bookUsing adjective after the noun
Hindi – Wo ek achha kithab hai (वो एक अच्छा किताब है)
Tamil – Adhu oru nalla puthagam (அது ஒரு நல்ல புத்தகம்)
Japanese – Sore wa ii hon desu (それ は いい ほん です)
English - That book is goodHere “good” (achha/nalla/ii) changes the noun and it acts as an Adjective.
Hindi – Wo kithab achha hai (वो किताब अच्छा है)
Tamil – Andha puthagam nandraga ulladhu (அந்த புத்தகம் நன்றாக உள்ள்து)
Japanese – Sore wa hon ii desu (それ は ほん いい です)
So, you must be clear by now that – "In Japanese, adjectives are placed either before a noun or at the end of a sentence which is the same case as in English”
Types of Adjectives
In Japanese, they have two different types of Adjectives. They call it as
- I – adjective (called as the 'true' adjectives) - Adjectives that end with an “I” sound
- Na – adjective (called as the 'quasi' adjectives) -Adjectives that end with an “NA” sound
Why two types of adjectives?
Well, the answer to your question is, “Why two types of Kana exist in Japanese?”.
Yes, it is for the same reason. I-adjective have Japanese Origin while the NA-adjectives are mostly Chinese origin words.
Now, guess what type of adjective the below belong to…
TAKAI - たかい (meaning Expensive) – I adjective
SHIZUKANA - しずかな (meaning Quiet) – NA adjective.
That was really simple, wasn’t it? :)
Well, there are some exceptions too where not all i-adjectives have to end with I sound and not all na-adjectives have to end with a NA sound. Don’t worry about the exceptions now, we have just started, Let us take it slowly :)