N5 Lesson 6: 3/13
なAdjective (predicate) なAdjective (predicate) なAdjective (predicate)
[な]Adjective + ()

静か +
元気 +
[な]Adjective + です

静か + です
元気 + です
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使用域 タメ語
A predicate is a word that describes the topic/subject of a sentence. The Japanese word for this is 述語(じゅつご), which literally means ‘statement word’. As a predicate, な-Adjectives can appear by themselves (when the word they are describing does not need to be stated), or they can be used at the end of a sentence. It is important to remember that all な-Adjectives are also nouns, and therefore sound more like a noun than an adjective when used as a predicate.
  • 素敵(すてき)
    It's wonderful.
  • 彼氏(かれし)素敵(すてき)です
    My boyfriend is lovely.
When there are no other words apart from the adjective itself, it comes across similarly to ‘It’s pretty’, or ‘It’s hated’, and similar expressions in English. We just have to guess what the ‘it’ is from context.
Caution: Unlike い-Adjectives, な-Adjectives change form depending on where they are in the sentence. At the end of a sentence, they will always be followed by , or です (except in casual conversation where is omitted). However, when used before the word they are describing, they will always be followed by . Hence the name な-Adjectives.
In many sentences, either or could be used to mark the word/words that the predicate is describing. Which one sounds more natural will depend on many factors. In general, if you are specifically pointing out something as being different from other things in the same category, will be used.
  • 有名(ゆうめい)駅(えき)汚(きたな)です
    Popular stations are dirty.
  • 有名(ゆうめい)駅(えき)汚(きたな)です
    (This) popular station is dirty.
In this example, is distinguishing a specific station as having a unique level of dirtiness compared to others. would sound unnatural in this type of sentence.
Fun Fact: Most な-Adjectives are words of foreign (Chinese/English) origin.
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