UCL WIKI

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There are two sorts of Japanese adjectives. We will start with the native Japanese adjectives, whose Dictionary Forms end in -i, and which we shall call “I Adjectives”. These adjectives may end in -ai, -ii, -ui or -oi, but, strangely, not in -ei.

いい天気ですね。 Ii tenki desu ne. 'Nice weather, isn't it?'

正しい答えはAです。 Tadashii kotae wa ee desu. 'The correct answer is A.'

最近、暗いニュースが多いですね。 Saikin, kurai nyuusu ga ooi desu ne. 'There is a lot of gloomy news recently.'

髪の長い女性が先生です。 'The woman with long hair is the teacher.'

谷川さんは頭がいいです。 Tanigawa-san wa atama ga ii desu. 'Mr Tanigawa is smart.'

丸山さんは背が低いです。 Maruyama-san wa se ga hikui desu. 'Ms Maruyama is short.'

森さん、遅いですね。 Mori-san, osoi desu ne. 'Mr Mori is late.'

ベルリンは遠いですけど、とてもおもしろいです。 Berurin wa tooi desu kedo, totemo omoshiroi desu. 'Berlin is far, but it is very interesting.'

うるさいですから、ラジオを止めてください。 Urusai desu kara, rajio o tomete kudasai. 'Please turn off the radio, because it is noisy.'

この服がいいです。あの服もいいです。 Kono fuku ga ii desu. Ano fuku mo ii desu.

Vocab

いい ii 'good'

天気 tenki 'weather'

正しい tadashii 'correct'

答え kotae 'answer'. Cf. 答える kotaeru 'to answer'.

最近 saikin 'recently'

暗い kurai 'dark, gloomy'. Cf. 黒い kuroi 'black'.

髪の長い kami no nagai 'with long hair'

女性 josei 'woman'. C.f. 男性 dansei 'man'.

頭のいい atama no ii 'smart'

背が低い se ga hikui 'short'. C.f. 背が高い se ga takai 'tall (of people)'

遅い osoi 'late'

きれい kirei 'pretty, beautiful'. Ends in -ei and so is not an I Adjective, but behaves like one in this pattern.

から 'so (indicating a reason)'

ラジオ rajio 'radio'

象 zou 'elephant'

鼻 hana 'nose'

人口 jinkou 'population'

服 fuku 'clothing'

Notes

ね Ne is a sentence-final particle meaning “isn't it, doesn't he”, etc. It seeks the agreement of the hearer.

天気 Tenki can only be good (いい ii) or not good/bad (よくない yoku nai), not hot (暑い astui) or cold (寒い samui). If the weather is hot or cold just say 暑いですね Atsui desu ne or 寒いですね Samui desu ne.

多い ooi 'many'. This is one of the handful of words where the long o vowel is spelled oo, rather than the usual ou. Other common words are: 大きい ookii 'big' and 遠い tooi 'far', also I Adjectives. It's opposite is 少ない sukunai 'few'. Strangely, neither 多い ooi nor 少ない sukunai may come before a noun, so you may say, for example, 人が多い/少ない hito ga ooi/sukunai “the people are many/few” but not “many/few people”.

うるさい urusai 'noisy' (often with the implication that someone is being antisocial); a milder alternative would be 音が大きい oto ga ookii (lit. “big noise”).

 

Several examples above have both Topics with は wa and Subjects with が ga. Note also these famous examples:

象は鼻が長いです。 Zou wa hana ga nagai desu. 'Elephants have long noses.'

東京は人口が多いです。 Toukyou wa jinkou ga ooi desu. 'Tokyo has a large population.'

 

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