There are two types of adjectives in Japanese, い-adjectives and な-adjectives. These adjectives behave in a different way.
In this lesson you will learn two adjectives, 大きい(ookii), which means big, and きれい, which means pretty. 大きい is an い-adjective, and きれい is a な-adjective.
Using adjectives after a noun
When used after a noun, there is no difference between these two kinds of adjectives, as you can see below.
|The car is big.||車 は 大きい です。kuruma ha ookii desu.|
|Am I pretty?||私 は きれい です か？watasi ha kirei desu ka?|
When used in front of a noun, な-adjectives end in な. This is why な-adjectives are called な-adjectives.
Using adjectives in front of a noun
|That is a big tree!||それ は 大きい 木 です！sore ha ookii ki desu!|
|Japan is a beautiful country.||日本 は きれいな 国 です。nihon ha kireina kuni desu.|
い-adjectives don't change when used in front of a noun. All い-adjectives end in い, but not all adjectives ending in い are い-adjectives. Otherwise きれい would also be an い-adjective, which it is not.
You don't have to worry about remembering whether each adjective you learn is an い-adjective or a な-adjective. We will make sure to use each adjective we teach in a sentence in such a way that you will know and remember.
The nationality suffix
As you can see in the table below, we can refer to a person from a specific country by placing the kanji 人 after the country name.
|Are (you) Japanese?||日本人 です か？nihonzin desu ka?|
|(I) am not Japanese.||日本人 じゃ ない です。nihonzin zya nai desu.|