Japanese Language and Culture

Japanese Adjectives

Conjugation of Japanese (True) Adjectives


Forms which are grayed out are rarely used.

Note that gozaimasu forms are quite formal, and would not be used in casual conversation.


Stem Formation

To form the stem of a Japanese true adjective (-i adjective), drop the "i" from the end. In the rules below, the stem is indicated by [stem].

For example, the stem for "akai" is "aka". The stem for "omoshiroi" is "omoshiro".

To form the stem used before "gozaimasu" make the following changes:


Ending Becomes Examples
ai ou hayai > hayou akai > akou
ii yuu ookii > ookyuu kawaii > kawayuu
shiishuu utsukushii > utsukushuu tadashii > tadashuu
ui uu samui > samuu karui > karuu
oi ou tsuyoi > tsuyou hiroi > hirou

In the rules below, this form is indicated by [g-stem].

Where the adjective is left intact (including final "i") within an inflection, it is indicated by [adj].




Adverbial

Form [stem] + ku
Meaning "X -ly"


Example

Form hayaku
Meaning quickly



Indicative

Plain Affirmative Polite Affirmative Plain Negative Polite Negative
Forms [adj] [adj] desu
[g-stem] gozaimasu
[stem] + ku nai [stem] + ku nai desu
[stem] + ku arimasen
[g-stem] gozaimasen
Meaning "It is X" "It is not X"


Example

Plain Affirmative Polite Affirmative Plain Negative Polite Negative
Forms samui samui desu
samuu gozaimasu
samuku nai samuku nai desu
samuku arimasen
samuu gozaimasen
Meaning "It is cold" "It is not cold"



Past Indicative

Plain Affirmative Polite Affirmative Plain Negative Polite Negative
Forms [stem] + katta [stem] + katta desu
[stem] + ku arimashita
[g-stem] gozaimashita
[stem] + ku nakatta [stem] + ku nakatta desu
[stem] + ku arimasen deshita
[g-stem] gozaimasen deshita
Meaning "It was X" "It was not X"


Example

Plain Affirmative Polite Affirmative Plain Negative Polite Negative
Forms samukatta samukatta desu
samuku arimashita
samuu gozaimashita
samuku nakatta samuku nakatta desu
samuku arimasen deshita
samuu gozaimasen deshita
Meaning "It was cold" "It was not cold"



Presumptive I

Plain Affirmative Polite Affirmative Plain Negative Polite Negative
Forms [stem] + karou [stem] + ku arimashou
[g-stem] gozaimashou
[stem] + ku arumai (lit) [stem] + ku arimasumai (lit)
[g-stem] gozaimasumai
Meaning "It is probably X" "It is probably not X"


Example

Plain Affirmative Polite Affirmative Plain Negative Polite Negative
Forms oishikarou oishiku arimashou
oishuu gozaimashou
oishiku arumai (lit) oishiku arimasumai (lit)
oishuu gozaimasumai
Meaning "It is probably delicious" "It is probably not delicious"



Past Presumptive I

Plain Affirmative Polite Affirmative Plain Negative Polite Negative
Forms [stem] + kattarou [g-stem] gozaimashita deshou [stem] + ku nakattarou [stem] + ku arimasen deshitarou
Meaning "It was probably X" "It was probably not X"


Example

Plain Affirmative Polite Affirmative Plain Negative Polite Negative
Forms oishikattarou oishuu gozaimashita deshou oishiku nakattarou oishiku arimasen deshitarou
Meaning "It was probably delicious" "It was probably not delicious"



Presumptive II

Plain Affirmative Polite Affirmative Plain Negative Polite Negative
Forms [adj] darou [adj] deshou [stem] + ku nai darou [stem] + ku nai deshou
Meaning "It is probably X" "It is probably not X"


Example

Plain Affirmative Polite Affirmative Plain Negative Polite Negative
Forms oishii darou oishii deshou oishiku nai darou oishiku nai deshou
Meaning "It is probably delicious" "It is probably not delicious"



Past Presumptive II

Plain Affirmative Polite Affirmative Plain Negative Polite Negative
Forms [stem] + katta darou [stem] + katta deshou [stem] + ku nakatta darou [stem] + ku nakatta deshou
Meaning "It was probably X" "It was probably not X"


Example

Plain Affirmative Polite Affirmative Plain Negative Polite Negative
Forms oishikatta darou oishikatta deshou oishiku nakatta darou oishiku nakatta deshou
Meaning "It was probably delicious" "It was probably not delicious"



Provisional

Plain Affirmative Polite Affirmative Plain Negative Polite Negative
Forms [stem] + kereba [stem] + ku nakereba
Meaning "If it is X" "If it is not X"


Example

Plain Affirmative Polite Affirmative Plain Negative Polite Negative
Forms takakereba takaku nakereba
Meaning "If it is expensive" "If it is not expensive"



Continuative / -te Form

Plain Affirmative Polite Affirmative Plain Negative Polite Negative
Forms [stem] + kute [stem] + ku arimashite [stem] + ku nakute [stem] + ku arimasen de
Meaning


Example

Plain Affirmative Polite Affirmative Plain Negative Polite Negative
Forms kurakute kuraku arimashite kuraku nakute kuraku arimasen de
Meaning



Conditional

Plain Affirmative Polite Affirmative Plain Negative Polite Negative
Forms [stem] + kattara [g-stem] gozaimashitara [stem] + ku nakattara [stem] + ku arimasen deshitara
Meaning "When/if it is X" "When/if it is not X"


Example

Plain Affirmative Polite Affirmative Plain Negative Polite Negative
Forms kurakattara kurou gozaimashitara kuraku nakattara kuraku arimasen deshitara
Meaning "When/if it is dark" "When/if it is not dark"



Alternative

Plain Affirmative Polite Affirmative Plain Negative Polite Negative
Forms [stem] + kattari [stem] + ku gozaimashitari [stem] + ku nakattari [stem] + ku arimasen deshitari
Meaning


Example

Plain Affirmative Polite Affirmative Plain Negative Polite Negative
Forms takakattari takaku gozaimashitari takaku nakattari takaku arimasen deshitari
Meaning



The more, the better

Forms [stem] + kereba, [adj] hodo ii
Meaning The more X the better


Example

Forms atsukereba, atsui hodo ii
Meaning The hotter the better



It would be better if it were / I wish it were

Forms [stem] + kereba yokatta [desu]
Meaning It would be better if it were X / I wish it were X


Example

Forms atsukereba yokatta [desu]
Meaning It would be better if it were hot / I wish it were hot



It must be / It must not be

Affirmative Negative
Forms [stem] + ku nakute wa
ikenai / ikemasen / dame da / dame desu
[stem] + ku wa
ikenai / ikemasen / dame da / dame desu
Meaning It must be X It must not be X


Example

Affirmative Negative
Forms hiroku nakute wa ikemasen takakute wa ikemasen
Meaning It has to be spacious It must not be expensive



Become

Forms [stem] + ku naru
Meaning Become X


Example

Forms atsuku naru
Meaning Become hot



Make

Forms [stem] + ku suru
Meaning Make (something) X


Example

Forms yasuku suru
Meaning Make cheap



Even if it is

Forms [stem] + kute mo
Meaning Even if it is X


Example

Forms chiisakute mo
Meaning Even if it is small



Unbearably

Forms [stem] + kute tamaranai / tamarimasen
Meaning Unbearably X


Example

Forms atsukute tamarimasen
Meaning Unbearably hot



Noun Form

Forms [stem] + sa
Meaning X -ness


Example

Forms nagasa
Meaning Length



Looks / Appears to be

Forms [stem] + sou da / desu
Meaning Looks X


Example

Forms oishisou desu
Meaning Looks delicious



To be too much

Forms [stem] + sugiru
Meaning Too X


Example

Forms ookisugimasu
Meaning Too big

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