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Lesson 172: い-adjectives with multiple personality disorder

In Japanese, there are exactly three い-adjectives which sometimes think they are a な-adjective when appearing in front of a noun. These adjecives are おおきい and ちいさい, which mean big and small respectively, and おかしい, which means funny or strange.

When we write these adjectives in front of a noun, we can write them in two ways, as shown in the table below.

English い-form な-form
A big car おおきい くるま おおきな くるま
A small car ちいさい くるま ちいさな くるま
A strange car おかしい くるま おかしな くるま

This behavior can only occur in front of a noun. In all other cases, these adjectives are treated as い-adjectives only.