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  5. "I live in a small village."

"I live in a small village."


July 11, 2017



むかしむかし あの小さい村にお爺さんとお婆さんに住んでいます.

桃太郎の物語 The tale of Momotaro, the opening sentence.


Can somebody explain why 小さな is used and not 小さい?


Using "chiisana" is just another way of describing a noun. Unlike how "chiisai" is a regular adjective where it can be used either before or after its noun and is conjugable, "chiisana" can ONLY be used before its noun and is not conjugable.

Chiisana: 彼女の小さな手 "her small hands"

Chiisai: 彼女の小さい手 "Her small hands" / 彼女の手が小さいです "Her hands are small" / 彼女の手が小さかった "Her hands were small" / 彼女の手が小さくてかわいいです "Her hands are small and cute"


For the adjectives that can be い or な, can either form be used when it's before the noun or are certain forms only used with certain nouns?


Adjectives are either い-adjectives or な-adjectives. A majority of the time い-adjectives end with い and な-adjectives don't. But please do not depend on this "rule" as there are a handful of irregular adjectives. In these special cases, an adjective ending in い might seem like an い-adjective but in actuality be a な-adjective. Example: the word for famous: "ゆうめい" ends in い but is actually an irregular な-adjective. You just have to memorize these special exceptions.

Now that that is out of the way, lets continue.

い-adjectives are placed directly in front of a noun and need not addition or modification. Example: たかい人 or "A tall person" (たかい + person).

な-adjectives must have a な placed after them when used before a noun. Example: べんりなスーパー or "A convenient supermarket" (べんり + な + supermarket)

I hope this helps.


Except 小さな is neither a na nor an i adjective. It's an oddity. It is a pre-noun adjectival.


I don't see any reason why both can't be used.


Same question, why use we here に with むら and not で. Is the sentence "小さなむらですんでいます。" also correct?


You use に rather than で to explain where something exists. In this case you are existing/living in a small village, so you need to use に.


Chiisana mura ni sunde imasu.

I live in a small village.


Chiisana mura de hatarakimasu.

I work in a small village.

In the second example, you are doing an action in the village, so you use で.


When you indicate the place where something/someone exists, you use に. Living is not an action. It's a state of being. で is used for actions, where something is happening.


"小さな村にすんでいます" should be accepted as well.



I think I'm finally starting to get it !!!


で didn't appear as something I could select.


Can I use 里(さと) at here as well?


I think 里 carries more of a feeling of "the countryside" rather than a specific village (HiNative answer 1), and that it's not really used in modern usage (HiNative answer 2).


Kind of resent that it gives you Hiragana Only questions as punishment for missing a particle




Can someone please help me identify what words are actually bigger and how duo uses them? A "village" is not really a thing in the US, IME. When someone says "village", I think of a very rural city and town is just a small city. In reality, we just call everything cities. But the vernacular for "town" or "village" certainly implies, "smaller than a city", and a village might be just underdeveloped.

I'm guessing 里 < 村 < 町


From HiNative:

These words are units of Japanese local government. According to the size of population in the region, the name of local goverments are different. 市 "shi" mens city.  町 "machi” means town. machi is smaller than city.

村 "mura" means village and this is the smallest unit of local government.

From Lang-8:

Both「村」and「町」are terms for districts, and the former is smaller and less populated than the latter. There is another term「市(し)」"city" for larger districts. The word「里」 just vaguely refers to some rural place with rice fields, mountains etc. This word sometimes mentions one's hometown, in which case another character「郷」might also be used.

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