Japanese adjectival Predicates



i-adjectives, when used as predicates, behave like verbs. For example, when okii (big) or Kuroi (black) is used as a predicate, it means “is big” or “is black”, not just “big” or “black”.

Tanaka san no ie wa okii.

田中さんの家は大きい。

Mr. Tanaka’s house is big.

Watashi no kuruma wa kuroi.

私の車は黒い。

My car is black.

na-adjectives, when used as predicates, behave like nouns. That is the stem form (the form without na) must be followed by the copula (be-verb) da, as must an ordinary noun. For this reason, na-adjectives are sometimes called “nominal (nounlike) adjectives” or “adjectival nouns.”

Kono hana wa kirei da.

This flower is pretty.

Yamada-san wa genki da. この花はきれいだ。

Miss Yamada is healthy. 山田さんは元気だ。

Some na-adjectives can be used as nouns when functioning as the subject or object of a sentence.

Some na-adjectives can be used as nouns when functioning as the subject or object of a sense.

Anzenna asobiba————–> Kodomo ni totte anzen ga taisetsu da.

安全な遊び場——————>子供にとって安全が大切だ。

a safe playground————->Safety is important for children

zeitakuna kurashi————-> Sonna zeitaku wa dekinai.

ぜいたくな暮らしーーーーー>そんなぜいたくは出来ない。

Luxurious living—————-> I can’t afford such a luxury.

Exceptions: The i-adjectives okii (big), chiisai (small) and okashii (funny) may be used as na-adjectives when modifying certain nouns such as those given in the examples below.

okina koen         大きな公園    a big park

chiisana ike        小さな家                       a small house

okashina hanashi     おかしな話                    a funny story

a safe play ground

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