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第12課: Adjectives II: 形容動詞 Keiyōdōshi

This is the second class of adjectives in Japanese. You will soon realize that you use familiar grammar with this class of adjectives. 

Vocabulary List


・バカ Baka – Idiot 

・人 Hito – Person 

・病院 Byōin – Hospital

・中国語 Chūgokugo – Chinese 


・彼 Kare – He 

Adjectival Nouns 

・静かだ Shizuka da – Quiet 

・バカだ Baka da – Stupid 

・モダンだ Modan da – Modern 

・ユニークだ Yuniiku da – Unique 

・簡単だ Kantan da – Easy 

・安全だ Anzen da – Safe 

・大切だ Taisetsu da – Important/Special to

・綺麗だ Kirei da – Pretty 

・だめだ Dame da – Useless/No good 

・健康だ Kenkō da – Healthy 

・真面目だ Majime da – Serious 

Adjectival Nouns

Adjectival nouns come from abstract nouns + the copula. However, not all may be used as regular nouns. Whether or not an adjectival noun can be alternatively used as a regular or not will be based on the individual semantics of the word in question. For instance, the word baka バカ happens to function as both "stupid" and "idiot."
Putting that aside, nothing really changes as far as using adjectival nouns go. They all still have the copula verb, da だ or desu です, follow them, and all the conjugating goes on with the copula and not the adjectival noun since no kind of noun in Japanese can conjugate. 

In the chart below, you will  find the basic conjugations for adjectival nouns using the phrase meaning "quiet," shizuka da  (しず)かだ.
  だ です
 Non-Past 静かだ 静かです
 Past 静かだった 静かでした
 Negative 静か{じゃ・では}ない 静か{じゃ・では}ないです
 Negative 2  静か{じゃ・では}ありません
 Negative Past 静か{じゃ・では}なかった 静か{じゃ・では}なかったです
 Negative Past 2  静か{じゃ・では}ありませんでした

Common Adjectival Nouns

When an adjectival noun precedes a noun, da だ intervenes and becomes na な. Below are some common examples of adjectival nouns demonstrating this form change. 

 Meaning Spelling Rōmaji Meaning Spelling Rōmaji Meaning Spelling Rōmaji
 Modern モダンな Modan na Unique ユニークな Yuniiku na Easy 簡単な Kantan na
 Safe 安全な Anzen na Important 大切な Taisetsu na Pretty 綺麗な Kirei na
 Useless だめな Dame na Healthy 健康な Kenkō na Serious 真面目な Majime na

1. 彼はまじめな人です。
  Kare wa majime na hito desu.
  He's a serious person.

2. 彼は大切な人です。
  Kare wa taisetsu na hito desu.
  He is an important person.  

3. この部屋(へや)(しず)かではありません。
     Kono heya wa shizuka de wa arimasen.
   This room is not quiet.

4. 病院びょういん安全あんぜんです。
  Byōin wa anzen desu.
  The hospital is safe./Hospitals are safe.

5. 中国語ちゅうごくご簡単かんたんじゃありません。
   Chūgokugo wa kantan ja arimasen.
   Chinese is not easy. 

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