About -na Adjectives in Japanese
|BEFORE THE LESSON YOU NEED TO KNOW…
Adjectives are split into 2 groups, -i adjectives and -na adjectives. For -i adjectives click here
2) -na ADJECTIVES – the easy kind! They don’t change much!
An example of an -na adjective is げんき genki (healthy, vigorous, energetic…) or きれい kirei (pretty, beautiful) or しずか shizuka (quiet) [notice the endings are all different & may include an -i ending!]
Someone [Ken Suzuki] mentioned that NA adjectives are usually made of 2 kanji. For example [きれい is 綺麗 || すてき is 素敵] whereas -i adjectives are usually made of one kanji plus at least one hiragana and ends in a hiragana i . This is good only if you know the kanji! If you don’t, don’t worry, you will be able to tell the difference between -na and -i adjectives in time.
When a -na adjective is placed before a noun, a –na is added: genki (energetic) >>> genki na ko – a energetic (healthy) child
Very often -na adjectives actually act like nouns!
LET’S TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT THIS…
SENTENCE #1: non-past lone adjective!
|あなたは きれい です。
anata wa kirei desu.
You are beautiful.
|Here the adjective kirei (beautiful) is used by itself (not modifying a noun or anything). It doesn’t change at all!|
- Easy enough! But let’s add a noun…
SENTENCE #2: non-past modifying adjective!
|あなたは きれい な 人 です。
anata wa kirei na hito desu.
You are a beautiful person.
|Now the adjective kirei is modifying a noun hito (person). Therefore the –na is added.|
- for -na adjectives there the only change is in adding or taking away the na . Let’s go negative…
SENTENCE #3: non-past negative!
|あなたは きれい では ありません。
anata wa kirei dewa arimasen.
You are NOT beautiful.
|Notice the -na adjective doesn’t change. Whereas with -i adjectives , the adjective changes and not the verb [ anata wa kawakunai desu. You are not cute.]Note you can also use the more familiar form of ja nai instead of dewa arimasen . & the wa in dewa is actually a particle and is written with the hiragana ha but pronounced wa.|
SENTENCE #4: past!
|あなたは きれい でした。
anata wa kirei deshita.
You were beautiful.
|Again nothing changes but the verb. –na adjectives act very much like nouns.|
- Easy! Just remember the -na is added before nouns >>> kirei na neko – beautiful cat
SENTENCE #5: past negative!
|あなたは きれい では ありません でした。
anata wa kirei dewa arimasen deshita.
You were not beautiful.
|Once again we simply treat the -na adjective as a noun and only the verb changes. The familiar form would be anata wa kirei ja nakatta.|
*** I SUGGEST MEMORIZING A FEW GOOD ONE-WORD EXAMPLES. THE FOLLOWING ARE USED JUST AS THEY ARE VERY OFTEN IN JAPANESE:
|– by itself||
|– modifying a noun; add -na||しずか な (ところ)
shizuka na (tokoro)
A quiet (place.)
|べんり な (ところ)
benri na (tokoro )
a convenient (place!)
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