Grammar Info
N5 Lesson 4: 10/13

Dislike, Not fond of

Despite ending in い, きらい is a な-Adjective

Noun + + 嫌い
嫌い + + Noun
Part of Speech Noun
Word Type Adjectival Noun
Register Standard
品詞 名詞
単語の種類 形容動詞
使用域 一般
嫌(きら)い, meaning ‘to dislike’, is one of the very common な-Adjectives in Japanese that is used in many different expressions. All な-Adjectives behave similarly to verbs, in that their form changes depending on what comes after them.
For 嫌(きら)い, it will be followed by either , when acting as an adjective, , or the more polite です, when acting as a noun. This distinction is made depending on whether it is linked to another noun, or is independent.
  • それ嫌(きら)い
    I don't like that. (That is dislikable)
  • 私(わたし)スポーツ嫌(きら)いです
    I don't like sports. (They are dislikable, to me)
  • 彼(かれ)嫌(きら)い食(た)べ物(もの)ピザです
    The food he doesn't like is pizza. (The food that is disliked, by him)
In the example with , 嫌(きら)い is expressing that the thing is ‘dislikable’ (assertion). However, in the example with , 嫌(きら)い is expressing ‘being disliked’ as a quality of the noun it is attached to.
In the same way that 好(す)き can often be partnered with 大(だい) to mean ‘love’, 嫌(きら)い can often be partnered with 大(だい) to mean ‘hate’.
  • 大(だい)嫌(きら)い先輩(せんぱい)来(く)る
    The senpai I hate is coming.
Despite ending in い, 嫌(きら)い is one of the few words that is actually a な-Adjective, and needs to be memorized.
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Do you dislike pineapple?
Yeah, I hate it.
嫌(きら)い 食(た)べ物(もの)があります
Is there a food that you dislike?
Genki I 2nd Edition
Page 134
みんなの日本語 I
Page 62 [CH 9]
[DBJG] A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar
Page 190