Grammar Info

N5 Lesson 1: 2/12


To be, Is

Unlike だ, です is often used with both い-Adjectives and な-Adjectives


Noun + です
Adjective + です


  • Part of Speech

    Auxiliary Verb

  • Word Type

    Dependent Word

  • Register


  • 品詞


  • 単語の種類


  • 使用域


About です

Similarly to , です is an auxiliary verb that is an expression of determination or assertion. It states that something 'is' a certain way. です is considered to be the polite variation of .

です connects to words in exactly the same way as , but is also regularly seen attached to the end of い-Adjectives.


Although です is regularly attached to the end of い-Adjectives, some may actually consider this incorrect Japanese, and it should not be used in formal writing. In daily 'spoken' language/texting, however, it is completely normal.

  • (あつ)です
    It is hot.

The above example should not be used in formal writing.


  • あなたです

    It is you.

  • ペンです

    It is a pen.

  • さくらです

    (I) am Sakura.

  • 友達(ともだち)です

    (He/she) is a friend.

  • (あつ)です

    It is hot.

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です – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (4 in total)

  • nekoyama


    I think there are several problems with this article.

    Most importantly, “incorrect according to the rules of traditional grammar” is technically correct, but how traditional is that grammar if even the National Diet was ok with it 70 years ago? To put this in perspective, if we apply the same principle to English:

    • We can’t use “they” as a gender-neutral singular pronoun
    • We can’t split infinitives as in “to boldly go”
    • We can’t start sentences with a conjunction (this rule is still taught, but professional style guides accept it)
    • We can’t use stative verbs in continuous form such as in “I’m loving it”
    • We’d say “I like to eat” much more often than “I like eating”
    • We’d say “I’m serious” but never “I’m being serious”
    • We’d primarily use the ‘s genitive with animates (paralleling “whose” etc.) and use “of” with inanimates
    • The “get passive” would be uncommon (as in “I got robbed”)

    I also feel li...

  • Talos


    I appreciate the detailed analysis, and I agree that we shouldn’t let what’s “traditional” grammar too strongly affect our judgements on how language can/should be used today.

    It seems though, like you read the article as having a little more of a prescriptivist tone than I did? I read it more as a timeline of the acceptance of い-adjective + です, plus some additional context around how people tend to feel about its usage today, rather than any sort of damnation of its use.

    It’s possible the quotes I chose above did a poor job of conveying my point - but my intended reading was really more like this:

    Foreign writers of Japanese may sometimes wish to eschew the adjective+です construction to avoid sounding foreign or childish, [despite the fact that] it is widely accepted as proper Japanese.

    In fact, I linked the article specifically because I wasn’t a fan of how strongly ...

  • nekoyama


    I just read it as half-baked I think, just throwing around a few random quotes from dictionaries.

    I agree on bunpro’s wording being a bit too strict, in particular the claim that it doesn’t appear in literature is just incorrect. And people use it in other writing too, in particular informal channels that are close to spoken language anyway like Twitter.

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