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Japanese Lesson 58: Adjectives Part 1

Alright guys. Moving on into Adjectives. It's been a while since we've had anything grammar related to talk about. ... and I'm going to try and take this slow throughout this section... because if I dump all the adjective stuff on you at once... it's going to come out as a cluster and sound really scary and difficult... which it isn't.

So let's start with the basics. Japanese has 3 main types of Adjectives
い - i adjectives
な - na adjectives の - no adjectives
And then, of course, the occasional exception to throw us off. So far in my learning... sort of like "Ru" "-U" and "Hiragana U" verb endings... there's no real reason they have different endings.

The vast majority of these words will have the "i" "na" and "no" endings when coming before the noun they're describing: Blue book.
Aoi hon.
あおい ほん。

But lose those endings when placed elsewhere in the sentence:
The book is blue.
Hon wa ao desu.
ほん は あお です。

While most adjectives do this, some of them don't. So this will have to be learned on a word-by-word basis. But that's what EXAMPLE SENTENCES are for!! :D

Remember, there's absolutely no shame in example sentences. That's actually the basis by which we learn our NATIVE languages! We constantly hear grammatically correct sentences and compile these example sentences in our heads and just switch out words for ones we need in that instance. That's why we can speak PERFECT English... but not know what a "pre-nominal adjective" is...

... because I don't... and you don't have to either. We've GOT this!


Little: Chiisai: ちいさい: 小さい
Little: Chiisana: ちいさな: 小さな
This one's a little sneaky. As "Chiisai" is both an "i" and "na" adjective. The key difference between these two is while "Chiisai" can be used before or after a noun (eg: little bird VS the bird is little) (chiisai tori VS ano tori wa chiisai desu) "chiisana" can ONLY be used before the noun it's describing. (EG: Chiisana tori) NEVER "ano tori wa chiisana desu" ... you can however say "Ano tori wa chiisana tori desu" (that bird is a small bird)

Tired: Tsukareta: つかれた: 疲れた
rikaichan tells me this is an "f-adjective" ... x_x it doesn't come with one of our "i" "na" "no" endings

Tired: Tsukareru: つかれる: 疲れる
..... it's also a verb...

Bilingual: Bairingaru: バイリンガル
This is not only a noun, but a borrowed word! ... and has no "i" "na" or "no" ending

Same: Onaji: おなじ: 同じ
no "i", "na", or "no" ending

Next: Tsugi (-no): つぎ (-の): 次 (-の)

General: Taitei (-na): たいてい (-な)

Real: Hontou (-no/-na): ほんとう (-の/-な): 本当 (-の/-な)


This is going to be the most handy

In General
Taitei wa.

That is the topic-marker は. Which means the rest of the sentence is most likely dropped off the end. Think of it like this.

In a conversation where you might use "in general": Person 1: Why is life so hard?
Person 2: ... what part?
Person 1: In general.

We see that "in general" as a full sentence... but it isn't... it's a fragment, the rest of that sentence is implied:

"In general, why is life so hard."

Japanese is pretty famous for dropping off entire chunks of sentences if the context is clear... this is just one of those times.

Who is next?
Tsugi wa dare desu ka?
つぎ は だれ です か。

Though the adjective technically comes before the thing it's describing... "next" is the topic. If we re-arrange the sentence as "The next person is who?" it becomes a little more clear that "next" is not acting on the word "who"

as opposed to:
That is the next person.
Sore wa tsugi no hito desu.
それ は つぎの ひと です。
Where "tsugi" is acting on the word "hito" and so gets it's "-no" ending

My little book.
Watashi no chiisana hon.
わたし の ちいさな ほん。

You are bilingual.
Anata wa bairingaru desu.
あなた は バイリンガル です。

She is tired.
Kanojo wa tsukareta.
かのじょ は つかれた。

She is tired.
Kanojo wa tsukareteimasu.
かのじょ は つかれています。
Because, remember, "Tired" is also a verb (tsukareru) and in this case you'd most likely want to use present continuous form (-teimasu)

It is the same.
Sore wa onaji desu.
それ は おなじ です。

She and I, in the same year, came to America Kanojo to watashi wa onajitoshi ni amerika ni kimashita. かのじょ と わたし は おなじとし に アメリカ に きました。
彼女と私 は同じ年にアメリカに来ました。

She is the same age as me.
Kanojo wa watashi to Onaidoshi desu.
かのじょ は わたし と おないどし です。

NOTE: 同じ (onaji) only changes to 同い (onai-) when talking about age. Otherwise it will remain as (onaji)

No, it is real.
iie, hontou desu.
いいえ、ほんとう です。

.... it came out as sort of a cluster after all.... Well. Like I said. I'll try to take it slow... but duo is sort of doing a trial by fire with this word selection... if I could make a suggestion for the actual course, whenever it's made, it would be to pace out this section better. Teach the main adjective types. When they have their endings, when they don't.... and THEN tackle the weird ones.

I hope this wasn't too much for anybody. PLEASE if you're lost leave a question and me, or anyone else passing through with the knowledge will be more than happy to give more in depth explanations!!

Thank you!

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November 29, 2016



I found a typo それ は すぎ←つぎの ひと です。

小さな と小さい は日本語では品詞が違います。

小さい→形容詞 小さな→連体詞 です。



That bird is small.→That little bird.

連体詞"小さな"は名詞の前につきます。 あの小さな鳥○




"あの鳥は小さい" は " 大きさ"を他の鳥などと比べて小さいと言っています。

単に"鳥は小さい"だけだと限定している"あの" がないので、 一般的に鳥は小さな生物になってしまいます。



大きい と大きな の違いも同じです。


ありがとうございます!It's fixed now!

For the English speakers: Chiisai - adjective Chiisana - pre-noun adjectival

"Chiisai" is an adjective and can go behind a noun.
Ano tori wa chiisai → Ano chiisai tori
あの鳥は小さい → あの小さい鳥

That bird is small → That little bird.

The adnominal "Chiisana" comes before a noun.
Ano chiisana tori ✔
あの小さな鳥 ✔

Ano tori wa chiisana X
あの鳥は小さな X
"Chiisana" is not placed before the noun.

Ano tori wa chiisana tori da ✔
あの鳥は小さな鳥だ ✔ Chiisana comes after the noun ✔

In the sentence "Chiisai tori" (small bird) "Tori" (bird) is the main focus of the sentence.

In the sentence "Ano tori wa chiisai" (the bird is little) The SIZE of the bird is the main focus of the sentence. In this case... the bird's size in comparison to other birds is small.

In general, birds are small creatures, that being the case in the sentence "Tori wa chiisai" there is no "Ano" (that) to restrict the size of the bird. (Birds are small VS That bird is small [comparatively to other birds])

Tori wa chiisai (birds are small) = Birds are small creatures (EG: Ari wa chiisai (ants are small) = ants are small creatures)

"Chiisana" is subjective... it more reflects your personal feelings on the matter. It's also used for abstract or uninformed things, such as success or failure.

This difference between "Chiisai" and "Chiisana" is the same for "Ookii" and "Ookina"


... my computer was acting weird... it didn't save the whole thing... :/ I'll re-write it in a second.


大きいや小さいは主に物理的、相対的な大きさに主に使われます 大きなや小さなは主に抽象的な感覚的大きさに主に使われます






Translated to English (which I want to do with all of akira0eigo's comments when I get the chance)

Ookii and Chiisai are mainly used for physical, relative size. Ookina and Chiisana are mainly used for abstract, sensory size.

For example Whales are large creatures to begin with.

[kujira wa ookii] (whales are big) = Compared to other creatures whales are big.

[Ookii kujira] (big whale) = The whale is big compared to other whales.

[Okiina kujira] (large whale) = Not specially large compared to anything else. But a subjectively large whale. ("I feel the need to say it's a big whale because it's there in front of me and it's big... however it might actually be like Ash's Charizard and be the smallest one in the herd.")


Tired: Tsukareta: つかれた: 疲れた rikaichan tells me this is an "f-adjective" ... x_x it doesn't come with one of our "i" "na" "no" endings

I looked up f-adjective because I'd never heard of it before. It seems like it's when a verb or noun acts as an adjective, but then would this be was tired because of the ~た ending? Like I would expect "a person who is tired" (or equivalently "a tired person") to be 疲れる人 but "a person who was tired" to be 疲れた人... IDK...


With the "ta" ending it is both an f adjective and the past-informal verb form. ... so really it all has to do with context. I hear "tsukareta" often as a present description of someone's state, so there's something there.

That being said, I'd think that both of the above 疲れる人 and 疲れた人 are probably both correct as well. :3

That really is one of the trickiest words they could have thrown out in the first section. x_x







疲れた人 だとその人が疲れている状態


He is tired.→He=tired

しかし、疲れる人 だと →原因やその属性(疲れる)を持った人 つまり "彼"が 疲れるという属性を持っている人or私を疲れさせる原因になる人 か分からないので

1彼は疲れる人だ=彼は私を疲れさせる原因、属性を持った人 He makes me tired.→He≠tired

2彼は疲れる人だ→ 疲れた状態になる人(誰でも疲れるのは当たり前なのでこれだけだと1の意味の方が強い)→ 彼はすぐ疲れる人だ=彼は疲れやすい人だ

He get tired easily.



Yes, it is difficult huh.

(watashi wa) hanashi tsukareta → Hanasu koto ni tsukareta
(I) am tired of talking → (I'm) particularly tired of talking.

Hanashi tsukareta hito = Watashi The person who's tired of talking = Me

Watashi ga tsukareru hanashi→kiita dakede tsukareru hanashi.
I'm tired of this conversation → Listening to a tired story Tired of the story ≠ Me
(The conversation is the tired thing, not you yourself. Kind of a weird way to think about that sentence as an English speaker. ... sincerely hoping I translated the meaning right.)

In the case of "tsukareta hito", that person is in a state of tiredness.

Kare wa tsukareta → tsukareta kare → tsukareta hito = him
He is tired → tired guy → tired person = him He is tired → He = tired (if I understand correctly all of the above are grammatically correct to use)((and tsukareta kare would literally translate to "tired him" but English doesn't work that way and it's not exactly like "tired guy" but that's as close as I can get without screwing up the English))

However, in the case of "tsukareru hito" "I" can be the tired out person = origin/source (something is causing THIS tiredness)

Kare wa tsukareru hito da = Kare wa watashi o tsukaresaseru.
He is a tiring person = He makes me tired. He makes me tired → He ≠ tired

Kare wa sugu tsukareru hito da = Tsukare yasui hito da.
He gets tired easily. =He's an easily tired person.

Basically I think "tsukareru hito" doesn't have a very good meaning.

((I hope this cleared something up... I feel like I kind of understand better... but I'll have to read this at length again when I have more time))



1疲れる+名詞=疲れる原因になるもの→ 名詞≠疲れる

例:疲れる靴←サイズが合わないなど 疲れる仕事←肉体的、精神的に疲れる仕事 疲れる話し 疲れる人


疲れる人:どんな人でも疲れるのは、わざわざ言わなくても当たり前なので、限定(すぐに_~すると_、~で_ など)する言葉がないと、疲れる原因となる(一緒にいると疲れる)人という意味にとられてしまいます。

2疲れた+名詞=疲れた状態になっているもの 例:疲れた顔、体、声、足、心 など

似たような言葉に 困った人 があります。これも限定されていない時は、困った状態になった人 ではなくその人のせいで周りの人間が困る→トラブルメーカーという意味になります。




TRANSLATION: Perhaps in the case of "Tsukare(ru/ta)"

1 tsukareru + noun = the thing that caused the tiredness → Noun ≠ tired

Example: (tsukareru kutsu) tired shoes ← The size doesn't fit, or something
(tsukareru shigoto) Tiring work ← Physically, mentally/emotionally tiring work, tiring conversation, tiring person.

The shoes, the writing, the story etc. Aren't living things, that being the case they aren't tired. → Shoes are not tired, because they're shoes, the person who is wearing them are tired.

Tiring person: Every person gets tired, It's a natural thing so saying it explicitly isn't necessary, If there are no limiting words (sugu ni _ ~suru to_, ~De ___ nato) then the meaning is taken to be [that person] becomes the source of the tiredness (being together is tiring).

2 Tsukareta + noun = the status of becoming tired.
Example: (tsukareta kao) Tired expression, body, voice, legs, heart etc.

It looks similar to the word (komatta hito)((lit: troubled person)). When this is not limited, it's not that person that is troubled... but the people around that person. → it means trouble maker. ((Komatta hito means "difficult person" or a "good-for-nothing" ... or "trouble maker"))

When limited → kaigairyoukou de eigo ga wakaranakute komattahito. ((on vacation abroad, can't understand english, troubled person)) Person who is troubled because they're on vacation abroad and can't speak English.

When not limited → (aitsu wa itsumo kaigi ni chikoku shitekite, hontou ni komatta yakko da.)That guy is always late to the meetings, he's really a pain in the ass.

((When not limited the "troubled person" becomes the "troublesome person" see?!))



同じ は同じ年齢の時だけ同い年になります。



そういえば英語ではnext room とかnext doorとか言いますけど日本語だと隣の部屋で次の部屋じゃないんですよね。


TRANSLATION: Really we mostly generally don't use the particle "no" after the word "generally". ((I will remove that then))

When "onaji" is used in "same age" it becomes "Onaitoshi" ((I'll fix that too))

Watashi to kanojo wa onaidoshi de onajitoshi ni amerika ni kimashita. She and I at the same age, in the same year came to America.

((Onaitoshi = Same age, Onajitoshi = same year))

↑Except for age, it will be "Onaji"

Which reminds me... In English you say "Next room" or "Next door" but in Japanese the neighbor's room is not "tsugi no heya"


同い年の読み方はおないどし_onaidoshi です。年_とし の前に何かがくっついて熟語になる場合は "どし" と濁ることが多いです。例:厄年_やくどし 閏年_うるうどし あたり年 各干支→例:酉年_とりどし 申年_さるどし など


ああ失敗して。;A; TRANSLATION: The reading of 同い年 is "onaidoshi". In 年(toshi) 's past something stuck and when in compounds "toshi" would become kind of a muddy "Doshi" often.

For example: 厄年 (yakudoshi), 閏年 (uruudoshi), 当たり年(atari doshi)
Zodiac signs → Example: 酉年 (toridoshi), 申年(sarudoshi) etc.




I’m happy to help. いえいえ、お役に立てたのなら幸いです(^_^)

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