Japanese Qualitatives, Adjectives


Adjectives describe the quality of a noun: the expensive book and so forth

Almost all adjectives end on い -I (pronounced "ee"):

  1. 高い TAKA-I: expensive
  2. YASU-I: cheap
  3. UMA-I: delicious
  4. I-I: good
  5. WARU-I: bad
The second class of adjectives ends on しい -SHII
  1. 新 しい ATARA-SHII: new
  2. UTSUKU-SHII: beautiful
  3. KANA-SHII: sad
Only the "endings" い -I and しい -SHII are written in Hiragana (Syllables Characters) but the word is "assigned" to a Kanji (Word Characters) And only the "I"-ending changes:
  1. 高 い TAKA-I: expensive-to-be, he/she/it is expensive
  2. 高 かった TAKA-KATTA: expensive-was, it was expensive
  3. 高 くない TAKA-KU-NAI: expensive-to-be-not, it is not expensive
  4. 高 くなる TAKA-KU-NARU: expensive-to-become, it becomes more expensive (as before → verb flections!)
  5. 高 くならない TAKA-KU-NARA-NAI: expensive-to-become-not, it becomes not more expensive (as before → verb flections!)
  6. 高 くなかった TAKA-KU-NAKATTA: expensive-was-not, it was not expensive
  7. 高 ければ TAKA-KERE-BA: expensive-to-be-if , if it is expensive (or would be)
  8. 高 かったら TAKA-KATTARA: expensive-was-if , if it was expensive (or would have been)
So changes the second class on しい -SHII:
  1. 新 しい ATARA-SHI-I: new-to-be, he/she/it is new
  2. 新 しかった ATARA-SHI-KATTA: new-was, it was new
  3. 新 しくない ATARA-SHI-KU-NAI: new-to-be-not, it is not new
  4. 新 しくなる ATARA-SHI-KU-NARU: new-to-become, it becomes new (→ verb flections!)
  5. 新 しくならない ATARA-SHI-KU-NARANAI: new-to-become-not, it becomes not new (→ verb flections!)
  6. 新 しくなかった ATARA-SHI-KU-NAKATTA: new-was-not, it was not new
  7. 新 しければ ATARA-SHI-KERE-BA: new-to-be-if , if it is new (or would be)
  8. 新 しかったら ATARA-SHI-KATTARA: new-was-if , if it was new (or would have been)

A third class of "classic" adjectives comes directly from Chinese. Of course, they are Kanji, with ON reading So these are Nouns made to adjectives using the particles の NO or な NA:

  • SO-BOKU: (raw+simple) → SO-BOKU NA: raw+simple

    Sometimes they end with the original Chinese suffix 的, Japanese "TEKI", in Chinese "DÈ":

  • HI-KAKU: comparison → HI-KAKU-TEKI NI: relatively

    Offtopic :) the Chinese original (Mandarin):

  • BI-JIAO: comparison → BI-JIAO-DÈ: relatively