Grammar Info

N5 Lesson 1: 1/12

To be, Is

だ cannot be used with い-Adjectives

Structure

Noun +
[な]Adjective +

Details

  • Part of Speech

    Auxiliary Verb

  • Word Type

    Dependent Word

  • Register

    Standard

  • 品詞

    助動詞

  • 単語の種類

    付属語

  • 使用域

    一般

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.

Caution

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.

Caution

While is often thought of as the casual 'form' of です, that is actually not correct. 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.


Examples

--:--

    (わたし)

    It is me.

    (ほん)

    It is a book.

    (ねこ)

    (It) is a cat.

    学生(がくせい)

    (I) am a student.

    綺麗(きれい)

    It is beautiful.

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