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TYJ Adjectives

By Takasugi, May 22, 2017 | |
  1. Takasugi
    7.5. Adjectives

    7.5.1. Nonpast forms

    English adjectives are more similar to nouns than to verbs, and they require the copula be to become predicators. On the other hand, Japanese adjectives are more similar to verbs, and they don't need a copula. They have inflection like verbs.

    All Japanese adjectives end with the hiragana い "i" if they are in the nonpast form. An adjective consists of a stem and a suffix as verbs do, and the stem never changes while suffixes can change. The final /i/ in the nonpast form of an adjective is the suffix, and the rest is the stem. Please note that the suffix for the nonpast form of verbs is /u/, and that of adjectives is /i/.

    Here are some adjectives:

    AdjectiveStemSuffixMeaning
    よい
    yo i
    yo-iis good
    あつい
    a tu i
    atu-iis hot
    うれしい
    u re si i
    uresi-iis glad
    おいしい
    o i si i
    oisi-iis tasty
    Since adjectives always end with the hiragana い, the stem of an adjective always ends with a vowel. Japanese adjectives are similar to verbs, so you can consider them to be a combination of the copula be and an adjective in English.

    These are examples of adjectives:

    Kana:すしはおいしい。
    Romanization:Su si wa o i si i .
    Structure:(noun, sushi) (topic marker) (adjective, is tasty)
    Meaning:Sushi is tasty.
    Kana:きものはうつくしい。
    Romanization:Ki mo no wa u tu ku si i .
    Structure:(noun, kimono) (topic marker) (adjective, is beautiful)
    Meaning:Kimonos are beautiful.
    7.5.2. Past forms

    Add the suffix かっ "-katta" to the stem of an adjective to create its past form.

    Nonpast formMeaningPast formMeaning
    よい
    yo i
    is goodよかった
    yo ka t ta
    was good
    あつい
    a tu i
    is hotあつかった
    a tu ka t ta
    was hot
    うれしい
    u re si i
    is gladうれしかった
    u re si ka t ta
    was glad
    おいしい
    o i si i
    is tastyおいしかった
    o i si ka t ta
    was tasty
    This is an example of the past form of adjectives:

    Kana:すしはおいしかった。
    Romanization:Su si wa o i si ka t ta .
    Structure:(noun, sushi) (topic marker) (adjective, was tasty)
    Meaning:The sushi was tasty.
    7.5.3. Polite forms

    Adjectives don't have a politeness suffix like verbs' politeness suffix ます "masu", so you have to add the polite copula です "desu" to the end of an adjective in order to make it polite. Make the past form of an adjective first, then add です "desu" to it to make its polite past form.

    Examples:

    Kana:すしはおいしいです。
    Romanization:Su si wa o i si i de su .
    Structure:(noun, sushi) (topic marker) (adjective, is tasty) (suffix, polite mode)
    Kana:すしはおいしかったです。
    Romanization:Su si wa o i si ka t ta de su.
    Structure:(noun, sushi) (topic marker) (adjective, was tasty) (suffix, polite mode)
    The polite past-form adjectives don't end with た "ta" because of the politeness suffix. Making the polite form before making the past form is not allowed for adjectives, which would produce おいしいでした "oisiidesita" in the case of the second example shown above.


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    About Author

    Takasugi
    My name is TAKASUGI Shinji. TAKASUGI is my family name, and Shinji is my given name; a family name is placed before a given name in Japan, as in other Asian nations. My family name is capitalized to avoid misunderstanding.

    I have been living in Yokohama since I was born. Yokohama is the second largest city in Japan, which is just 30 kilometers away from the biggest city Tôkyô. It takes 30 minutes to go by train from home to Shibuya, which is the hottest town now in Tôkyô.

    I work as a display engineer.

    One of my hobbies is creating things with computers; creating programs, computer graphics and web pages is the thing I spent a lot of time doing. I am also interested in a wide range of sciences, and linguistics is my favorite. I like English and I like using it, but my focus is mainly on Japanese, which is my native language. I'm proud of knowing the language, and the difference between English and Japanese has been fascinating me. I have been thinking whether I can introduce it to people outside of Japan. My attempt of introducing Japanese with some Java applets has had more than 1 million visitors.


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