2 types of Adjectives
There are two types of adjectives in Japanese to describe people and things; the adjectives end in い and な. Both of them modify the nouns that follow.
Adjective + Noun = Modified Noun
い Adj, あかい: あかい + りんご = あかいりんご (red apple)
(i) Adj, akai: akai + ringo = akai ringo
な Adj, しずか: しずかな + うみ = しずかなうみ (quiet ocean)
(na) Adj, shizuka: shizukana + umi = shizukana umi
Adjective + Noun
い adjective can describe nouns as a plain form (a dictionary form).
|い Adjective||Adjective + Noun||English|
⁺ かみ (kami) can be 髪 (hair) or 紙 (paper) depending on the context.
な adjectives need な(na) added to the plain form of adjective before you combine with the nouns.
|な Adjective||Adjective + Noun||English|
【Practice】Use any of the adjective on the table (or come up with new one) and make the adjective + noun combination of your choice in Japanese. Please share with other users in the comment.
Post finder: Language guides to help with learning Japanese
So, if い is pronounced i as in き or the prolonged きい, then we don't add な? For other adjectives, just add な?
おいしい + いか (delicious squid)?
おいしい + いか (delicious squid) = おいしい いか is correct!
い-Adjective and な-Adjective are just the category names to call the group of Adjectives. They change forms (conjugate) in the different patterns. な-Adjectives end with ～だ (da) in the direct affirmative sentences, such as げんきだ (genki da)。きれいだ (kirei da)。But there're always exceptions as well.
In Japan, な-Adjective has a totally different name called 形容動詞 (けいようどうし): literally means "adjective verb", but it really works as "adjectival noun." Grammatical naming can be confusing, so it's best to stick with actual words and phrases and try to make sense in your mind what they mean. Practice, practice!
Hi, Helpful Duo,
Would there be a better word than "adjective verb" to call it?
I don't know how but "adjective verb" can be quite misleading, because they are adjectives after all! "verb adjectives" perhaps? or "conjugating adjectives"? I usually stick with na-type adjectives as they are taught to foreign learners.
I agree with you. In fact, some scholars are rejecting the term 形容動詞 (けいようどうし), because the meaning of the word is not reflecting the actual part of speech. The best description would be "nominal adjective"（名詞的形容詞 めいしてき けいようし）. However, unless the government decide to change the naming, that's how the school children learn the Japanese grammar. :(
Good to know! Also thank @Karmagith. (don't know why I can't see your comment, only by email notification)
I think it's helpful to understand that な-Adjectives are merely nouns used to modify other nouns. Since they aren't verbs, they cannot be conjugated (they need the particle -だ, like other nouns).
On the other hand, い-Adjectives are actual verbs used to modify nouns (similar to the english word ''spoken'' in ''spoken words'' - here, the verb ''spoken'' is being used as an adjective), therefore they can be conjugated.