日本語131 L4 Adjectives

Review: Ko/So/A/Do

Using ここ、そこ、あそこ、どこ?

Where is the library?

It is there.

It is over there.

It is here.

Where is the Post Office?

It is over there. etc.

My bookbag is there.

 

 

ADJECTIVES are words that DESCRIBE something or someone, e.g., large, small, new, old, etc. In Japanese, as in English, the Adjective can come BEFORE the Noun such as,

--the large house   大きい うち

--the small school

--the new hospital

--the old supermarket

Or, they can comed AFTER the Noun, probably at the end of the sentence:

--the house is large うちは 大きい です

--the school is small

--the hospital is new

--the supermarket is old

In Japanese, there are two main types of Adjectives:

 

I. い-Adjectives end in い combined with "a, i, u, and "o" sounds BUT, notice, NOT with the "e" + い sound combination, so words like

きれい、and ゆうめい are not い-Adjectives.

 

There are two identifying characteristics of い-Adjectives:

 

1. い-Adjectives are inflecting words, that is, they can change. They are "malleable." When they appear before nouns, nothing is required in between い-Adjectives and the Noun such as a の when we join two nouns.

Therefore, い-Adjectives can be directly attached or "affixed" to the Noun:

大きい 大学、

ちいさい 学校、

ふるい かばん、

あたらしい ペン

たかい たてもの

とても いい 先生

When we have one Noun linked to another like 先生and ペン, we must have something in between these two nouns, because Nouns are "hard," uninflecting words. e.g., 先生 and ペン. You cannot change a Noun or a na (な) adjective; they are NOT malleable. 

So, what is that something that goes between two Nouns? You know it, it is a の. See Ch. 2, Note III, pp. 53-54.

But with い-Adjectives we do not need ANYTHING between the final い and the Noun. They are flexible and "soft."

That makes い-Adjectives cool!

 

2. い-Adjectives can also inflect or change into the negative form. How?

The rule is, drop the final い replace it with a く, and then + add the NEGATIVE FORM ありません or

ない です:

 

大きいーーー>大きく ありません/ないです = Not large 

ふるいーーー>ふるく ありません/ないです = Not old

あたらしいーーー>あたらしく ありません/ないです 

たかい ーーー>たかく ありません/ないです

 

Note a Variation: いい--->よいーーーよく ありません

Please remember! Just inflecting the Adjective into the く form is NOT the negative yet. You need to add the ありません or ないです to complete the negation.

 

II. な-Adjectives are the second type of Adjective. They are Nominal Adjectivals or Nound Adjectives which means that they adjectival in their meaning and function: they describe a situation or a noun.

But, unlike い-Adjectives, they DO NOT inflect. So grammatically, they are not "pure" adjectives. Think of them as Hybrids, a Noun-Adjective Combo!

1. But, because they do not inflect, between な-Adjectives and a noun we DO need to have something.

Between Noun 1 + Noun 2 = we use の

わたし の うち= my house

大学 の 先生 = the professor of the university

先生 の ペン = Sensei's pen

うえださん の じゅぎょう = Ueda-san's class

 

But with な-Adjectives since we are not linking 2 Nouns, we use な instead of の. Think of it as maybe a "compromise": we can't use の and we can't have nothing there, so it's な by default.

So, we have:

きれい な 大学 = a pretty university

りっぱ な 学校 = a splendid or magnificent school 

しずか な りょう (a quiet dorm)

ゆうめい な 先生 = a famous professor

Possibly you could think of な as a special form, a variant of の reserved for these Hybrid Nominal Adjectivals.

Which is why we call them な-Adjectives.

 

2.When な-Adjectives go into the negative form, we cannot use く+ありません Negative form because we cannot inflect these Nominal Adjectivals with a くlike we do with い-Adjectives because they are "hard" or rigid, inflexible words; they are, in fact, Nouns; so we must go with

きれい じゃ ありません

We learned hosw to say that something is NOT SO by saying そう じゃ ありません; but in this case the そう, though an Adverb, is just like Nound so we are negating the そう whuch means in that way or manner by adding + じゃ ありません to it just as we would to negate any Noun = which by definition is an uninflecting word.

Students sometimes think that the whole phrase is the way to negate something so they want to add そう じゃ ありません to an Adjective in the い or く-form、but that does not work either. You can't say

ふるく そう じゃ ありません.

The point is, you don't have to because you just inflect the い-Adjectives to its く-form and add the negation.

But な-Adjectives being Nounds, you cannot do anything to them as words. Nouns are nouns; they are what they are. No modifications accepted, thank you very much! We negage Nouns by simply adding + じゃ ありません or ないです. e.g. ,

学生 じゃ ありません = Not a student 

先生 じゃない です = Not a professor

うち じゃ ありません = It'ds not a House

それは うち じゃ ないです = That (thing) is not a House.

アパート です = It's an Apartment

それは ペン じゃない です = That (thing) is not a pen.

えんぴつ です = It's a pencil.

 

So, we would negate a な-Adjective teh Same Way:

しずか じゃ ない です = It's Not Quiet

りっぱ じゃ ありません = It's Not Splendid

ゆうめい じゃ ありません = It's Not Famous

きれい な うち じゃないです = It's not a pretty house

 

We can remember that な-Adjectives are Nominal

Adjectivals hence "Na" becomes a mnemonic device.

とても is an "intensifying word" so it means "very"

so とてもいい = very good

とても 大きい = very big

 

あまり means "Not Very"--as we saw with the last two Adverbs of Frequency, あまり and ぜんぜん--so it must be used with a negative construction:

あまり ふるく ありません = It is not very old.

あまり よく ありません = It is not very good.

 

If we want to know the qualities of something, to know what kind of _____ it is, we ask the

どんな? question = What Kind of?

どんな たてもの ですか。たかい/きれいな 

どんな 大学 ですか。いい/ちいさい/たかい 

どんな ペン ですか。あかい/あおい/くろい

 

BTW, どんな comes from another Ko, So, A, Do "set"

こんな = this kind of...

そんな = that kind of....

あんな = that kind of ____over there

どんな = what kind of___? 

 

And, also, the そう of

そう じゃ ありません also comes from a Ko, So, A, Do pattern:

こう = In this way or manner 

そう = In that way 

ああ = In that way (over there)

どう = In what way/manner or HOW?

どう ですか = How is it?

どう でしたか = How was it? To answer this question correctly, we would need to know the past form of Adjectives which is another characteristic feature of い-Adjectives:

Wwe can inflect them into the Past by removing the final い and adding + かった e.g.

ふる + かった です = It was old.

But this does not come up until the very end of Spring Semester in Ch. 11.