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The difference between i- and na- adjectives

aestasgurlie

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How can one tell if an adjective is i- or na-? Ive noticed that many na- adjectives end in "i". This makes things very difficult and confusing! Are you just supposed to memorize which is which or is their a way that you can figure out without looking at whether it has something that goes with it?:confused:
 

thomas

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Hi aestasgurlie, I'm the last person whose nihongo advice you should accept here at the forum, but my Japanese teacher always told us to memorize na-adjectives with the "na", because there is no general rule.

:)
 

tasuki

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Truer words were never spoken. It's just as irregular verbs in English. You learn by using them. There's just no other way.
 

aestasgurlie

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AAAHHHHH!!!!! So much memorization (hahahahaha I sound so lazy!). Is there some website where it has a list of all the i- and na- adjectives?:confused:
 

mdchachi

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There's really not that many -- at least not that many that you use all the time.
kirei and kirai are all I can think of offhand. There's also ookii but that one can be used both ways. Have you learned any others?
 

tasuki

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Well, the more you learn, the more adjectives you begin to use on a daily basis. Because there are tons of Japanese adjectives. I didn't know that I was going to be using "yayakoshii" or "uttoshii" 5 years ago. But I use them daily now. If I venture a guess, there are as many (but probably more) adjectives in Japanese than in English. Check out the link I posted above. There's pages full of adjectives and I'm sure it's not an exhaustive list.
 

thomas

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Here's a nice introduction to Japanese adjectives

=> timwerx.net/language/jpadj/index.htm
 

Elizabeth

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Originally posted by aestasgurlie
How can one tell if an adjective is i- or na-? Ive noticed that many na- adjectives end in "i". This makes things very difficult and confusing! Are you just supposed to memorize which is which or is their a way that you can figure out without looking at whether it has something that goes with it?:confused:
If you know the kanji, maybe it's a little easier because most "na" adjectives are compounds and all take the ON (Chinese) reading, except chiisai and ookii, which can be used either way. Which explains why they aren't inflected like their "i" counterparts and Japanese verbs.

And learning is hard, but very much worth it. Good luck ! 😄
 

tasuki

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Funny, I never reasoned it that way... I think it would make them harder to remember to me, though...
 

mdchachi

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Originally posted by tasuki
Well, the more you learn, the more adjectives you begin to use on a daily basis. Because there are tons of Japanese adjectives.


When I said there weren't many, I meant that they weren't many na-adjectives which end in -i. Of course I realize there are more than a couple of adjectives in the Japanese language.
 

aestasgurlie

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See, what i need is like a list of all the i-adjectives.....then a seperate list of all the na-adjectives. If i could find something like that then i bet i could prolly get some where....or maybe Im just doomed to have to wait till I can start classes at the community college (if they'll even let me....Im 15, but they dont offer Japanese at my school!)
🙂
 

aestasgurlie

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Ya ya ya...so Im a ditz....that list that was on that page was gave me was seperated i- and na- adjectives. The only problem is that i cant read some of the ones with kanji. Do you know of any others that have the pronunciation in romanji?
;)
 

mdchachi

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Can you read hiragana? If so, just cut & paste the words you don't understand into either the Translate or the Dictionary search functions at WWWJDIC: Word Search
 

aestasgurlie

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What I ended up doing was just printing out the list and then finding the pronuncaition in my Japanese<-->English Dictionary.
:)
 

Elizabeth

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Originally posted by thomas
Here's a nice introduction to Japanese adjectives

=> timwerx.net/language/jpadj/index.htm
There was a pretty comprehensive list in romaji already posted, is that what you were looking for?
 

halx

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What about imported adjectives like the
following:
reddo
guri-n
iero-
ero
tekunikaru

According to Jim Breen's dictionary they are all na adjectives. Does this automatically apply to words borrowed from English (other languages)?
 

Elizabeth

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Originally posted by halx
What about imported adjectives like the
following:
reddo
guri-n
iero-
ero
tekunikaru

According to Jim Breen's dictionary they are all na adjectives. Does this automatically apply to words borrowed from English (other languages)?
Yes, as far as I'm aware. There must be some of an origin other than Chinese and English as well. Anyone know? I also wonder why "chiisai" and "ookii" have taken on na forms as well. According to my dictionary, "chiisaina" and "ookiina" come across as slightly more impressionistic or subjective, but not sure if this is really the case or not.
 

tasuki

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Imported adjectives are, as my Japanese teacher told me here, all na adjectives for simplicity's sake.

As far as chiisana and ookina, from my daily experience, they are used in more formal situations than chiisai and ookii, which sound more casual for some reason. I find chiisana easier to use myself, but it's a matter of taste.
 

Mae

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A dictionary could've help u, coz the only way is memorizing...in my opinion :O}
 
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