Select Page

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 (largesmallheavylight)”.


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.

  1. kono hon wa taisetsu desu – this book is important.
  2. kare wa yuumei desu – he is famous.
  3. 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.

  1. kore wa taisetsu (na) hon desu – this is an important book.
  2. kare wa yuumei (na) hito desu – he is a famous person.
  3. 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.

BeforeMeaningAfterMeaning
taisetsu(na) hon desuthis is an important book…hon wa taisetsu desuthis book is important
benri(na) machi desuthis is a convenient town…machi wa benri desuthis town is convenient
yuumei(na) hito desuhe is a famous person…hito wa yuumei desuthis 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, PRESENTPOSITIVE, 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, PRESENTNEGATIVE, 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

EnglishRomajiKanaKanji
To Likesukiすき好き
Healthy, Wellgenkiげんき元気
Famousyuumeiゆうめい有名
Silent, Quietshizukaしずか静か
Beautiful, Cleankireiきれい綺麗
Skillful, Good Atjouzuじょうず上手
Unskilled, Clumsyhetaへた下手
Importanttaisetsuたいせつ大切
Busy, Bustlingnigiyakaにぎやか賑やか
Convenientbenriべんり便利
Simple, Easykantanかんたん簡単

Arigatou Gozaimasu!

Thanks for reading this article. Before you leave, I recommend subscribing to our YouTube Channel and signing up for our email list so you won’t miss any future lessons. If you have any specific questions, please comment on the video attached to this article so we can happily help you out even further.

Share This