How To Use Na Adjectives In Japanese – Japanese Grammar Quick Tip
In Japanese, there are two types of adjectives, (i, い) and (na, な). In this quick tip lesson, you are going to learn how to use na adjectives.
In case you’re wondering what an adjective is in general. Adjectives are words used to modify a noun. Such as to say, “this ball is (large, small, heavy, light)”.
HOW TO USE NA (な) ADJECTIVES
Na adjectives can either be placed before or after a noun. Compared to i (い) adjectives, when placed before a noun you will need to add na (な) to connect the two. (adjective + な + noun). This is perhaps the most important reason to learn the difference between i (い) and na (な) adjectives. See below for examples of each placement.
1. AFTER A NOUN, [noun] + [adjective] + [desu]
When placing a na (な) adjective after a noun such as to say, “this (noun) is (adjective)”. All you need to do is simply state the noun and follow it with an adjective.
- kono hon wa taisetsu desu – this book is important.
- kare wa yuumei desu – he is famous.
- kono machi wa benri desu – this town is convenient.
2. BEFORE A NOUN, [adjective] + [な] + [noun] + [desu]
When placing a na (な) adjective before a noun such as to say, “this is a (adjective + な + noun)”. Always connect the two by placing な between the adjective and the noun.
- kore wa taisetsu (na) hon desu – this is an important book.
- kare wa yuumei (na) hito desu – he is a famous person.
- kore wa benri (na) machi desu – this is a convenient town.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
See below to help clarify the difference in meaning between placing a na (な) adjective before or after a noun.
|…taisetsu(na) hon desu||this is an important book||…hon wa taisetsu desu||this book is important|
|…benri(na) machi desu||this is a convenient town||…machi wa benri desu||this town is convenient|
|…yuumei(na) hito desu||he is a famous person||…hito wa yuumei desu||this person is famous|
3. ENDING THE PHRASE WITH DESU (です)
When ending statements using na (な) adjectives, the desu (です) sentence ender is also used just as when ending with a noun. You can learn more on the desu sentence ender in our dedicated quick tip article. For now, see the chart below for a quick reference.
|POSITIVE, PRESENT||POSITIVE, PAST|
|…benri(na) machi desu|
this is a convenient town
|…benri(na) machi deshita|
this was a convenient town
|…machi wa benri desu|
this town is convenient
|…machi wa benri deshita|
this town was convenient
|NEGATIVE, PRESENT||NEGATIVE, PAST|
|…benri(na) machi janai desu|
this is not a convenient town
|…benri(na) machi ja nakatta desu|
this was not a convenient town
|…machi wa benri janai desu|
this town is not convenient
|…machi wa benri ja nakatta desu|
this was not a convenient town
COMMON NA (な) ADJECTIVES LIST
|Skillful, Good At||jouzu||じょうず||上手|
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