Grammar Info

N5 Lesson 1: 11/12


Adjectives that are also nouns

Some な-Adjectives can end in い


[な]Adjective +
[な]Adjective + + Noun


  • Part of Speech


  • Word Type

    Adjectival Noun

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About な-Adjectives

In Japanese, the vast majority of な-Adjectives are originally nouns, and differ from nouns only in that they have their own set of conjugation rules. The dictionary form of a な-Adjective will always be followed by . な is only attached when describing another noun.

As we can see from these examples, or です is required at the end of a sentence, but な will be required when using a な-Adjective to describe a noun.

な-Adjectives are mostly words of foreign (Chinese/English) origin. This is why they have evolved to require unique conjugation rules.

Fun Fact

As a learner, it can be very difficult to identify what a な-Adjective is, compared to a regular noun. Nouns conjugate with , while な-Adjectives conjugate with な. A very simple trick that Japanese children learn is using the adverb とても. If とても sounds natural with a word, then it is probably a な-Adjective, if it sounds unnatural, then the word is likely to be a regular noun.

  • とても綺麗(きれい)。 (Natural Japanese)
    Very pretty.
  • とても(そと)。 (Unnatural Japanese)
    Very outside.

From this example, we can see that とても can be used to help identify な-Adjectives. Basically, this is due to adjectives being measurable 'very big', 'very small', while nouns are not measurable 'very dog', 'very boat'.



  • 綺麗(きれい)()

    A pretty painting.

    • 綺麗(きれい)(おんな)(ひと)

      A pretty woman.

      • (ひま)一日(いちにち)

        A free day.

        • (しず)部屋(へや)

          A quiet room.

          • あれ綺麗(きれい)です

            That over there is beautiful.

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            な-Adjectives – Grammar Discussion

            Most Recent Replies (11 in total)

            • gyroninja


              Andulien’s perspective of there always being a な is a nonstandard way of analyzing things. You could similarly say there is always a だ after な adjectives except in cases where there isn’t and that would be just as valid as his view.

              The standard way to look at it is that you just have the な adjective and then you add stuff based off how you use it.

            • Superpnut


              But he didn’t say there is always a な except when there isn’t…
              All he said is that there isn’t a な when the adjective is next to a verb.
              And I was showing appreciation because I was trying to figure out why there wasn’t a な
              Anyways it doesn’t matter I have some more basic grammar points to struggle to understand

            • gyroninja


              If you read his posts you can see he used words like “left off” and “omit.” And in the way he compares な adjectives to い adjectives, he makes me think that he believed that な adjectives have a な at the end of them.

              As mentioned earlier in the thread if you want to use a な adjective on a verb you need to use に after the な adjective instead of な.

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