Grammar Info

N5 Lesson 1: 1/12

To be, Is

だ cannot be used with い-Adjectives


Noun +
[な]Adjective +


  • Part of Speech

    Auxiliary Verb

  • Part of Speech

    Dependent Word

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About だ

For the most part, is the equivalent of 'is' in English. Its role is to strongly express determination or assertion. It is a casual grammar structure, which means that you won't see it in polite sentences.

Technically, is an auxiliary verb, a group of words that attach themselves to other words to give them meaning. です has the same role as , but です is the one that will be used in polite sentences, and is also one of the first Japanese grammar patterns many people are exposed to.

will always follow nouns, or words that behave like nouns, such as な-Adjectives.


should never be attached to the end of い-Adjectives. In these cases, it is considered more correct to attach a polite equivalent, like です.

  • (おお)きい。(Unnatural Japanese)
    It is big.
  • (おお)きいです。(Natural Japanese)
    It is big.


While is often thought of as the 'casual form' of です, that is actually not entirely true. です is a polite speech word. The official 'formal version' of is である. We will learn this grammar point a bit later. である can often be seen in articles, and formal writing, while です is more common in polite speech.




    It is me.


    It is a book.


    (It) is a cat.


    (I) am a student.


    It is beautiful.

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