Japanese adjective conjugation

Japanese adjective conjugation: Their application with examples

Adjectives are like spices that give color and taste to the conversation. Are you confused regarding the use of Japanese adjective conjugation? We are here to minimize this ambiguity. Stick to this guide till the end and you will learn about Japanese adjective conjugation with examples.

The importance of adjectives is undeniable. They play a very important role in giving the required meaning to the conversation. Some people find Japanese adjective conjugation quite confusing. To eradicate such confusion we have designed this post such that you will easily learn how to conjugate adjectives in Japanese with the examples used on daily basis.

No one can deny the benefits of knowing these adjectives. Knowledge of these adjectives gives you the confidence to speak Japanese without any hesitation or fear of being judged for not speaking it right. Learn about these adjectives and you are all set to initiate the conversation with native speakers. Let’s start exploring what these adjectives actually are.

Japanese Adjectives: Introduction and use

Adjectives normally come before the particular noun they are explaining. In English. For instance, bright day, the word bright is an adjective explaining the nature of the noun (day). Adjectives are often overlooked. But no one can deny their importance as they play a major role in conveying the right meaning with the right sentence structure.

Types of Japanese adjectives: In Japanese, there are broadly two types of adjectives: い-adjectives and な-adjectives. Except for only one rule, both of these adjectives have the same set of rules and regulations.

In some of the textbooks, there is a third type of adjective known as non-adjective. But they are not purely adjectives. They are more like nouns used as adjectives. Noun-adjectives use the unit の to adapt another noun.

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Japanese adjectives that you need to learn at first

There are some Japanese adjectives that you must know. The majority of them are very frequently used and are highly relevant to daily conversations.

Learn most used Japanese adjectives

Adjectives are essential as they give meaning to the things, people, and situations around us. They play a major role in conveying your idea or meaning. But the task becomes a little difficult when you are learning a new language.

Normally, there are elementary adjectives such as dark or light, etc. These adjectives are essential because they are frequently used in our day-to-day conversations but they often fail to convey your original meaning.

Learn adjectives that are applicable

In case you are asking for directions or telling someone their desired direction, in this case, you must know the adjectives like near or far. If you know these adjectives in Japanese only then, you will be able to convey the right meaning.

The same is the case if you are going for groceries. You must be familiar with the adjectives such as cheap and expensive in Japanese. Only then you will be able to buy the right grocery.

Following is the list of some of the most used adjectives in Japanese:

蒸し暑い (むしあつい) — hot and moist

香ばしい (こうばしい) — sharp smelling

無一文 (むいちもん) — broke, without any money

Most common adjectives

There are a few adjectives that you will need to know because they are in almost every conversation that you have on a daily basis. For instance, if you are planning to take a language proficiency test these adjectives are more likely to appear as questions in your paper.

The good news is that these adjectives are not hard to learn. All you are required to do is to understand their formation. Some of the most common adjectives in Japanese are:

高い (たかい) — high, tall, luxurious

短い (みじかい) — little

遅い (おそい) — late, inactive

While seeing all these adjectives you must now be thinking is Japanese easy to learn? Well, the right answer is that it is not that hard either. If you keenly look at its formation and application used by native speakers.

Most used adjectives at a personal level

There are some adjectives that are most used at a personal level. They are used on a frequent basis and no conversation can convey its true meaning without these adjectives. Following are some of the adjectives used frequently at a personal level.

まずい — stubborn, premature, unpleasant

キモい (きもい) — gross, disgusting

粋 (いき) — stylish, fashionable

We are sure now you are pretty much familiar with the drill. It is about mixing the most useful, vital, and widely used adjectives into your lessons. You can learn Japanese numbers and Japanese adjectives by successfully incorporating the right ones and those that are widely used in your training. Now let’s move to adjectives specifically in Japanese so that you can get the feel of Japanese adjective conjugation.


In Japanese, most of the adjectives that have kana character い, in the end, are called “True Adjectives (い-Adjectives). Some adjectives are true adjectives but do not have kana character い in the end. Confused? Let us make it simple for you. Let’s understand it through examples:

Some examples of い-adjectives are:

速い (はやい) — fast

寒い (さむい) — cold

甘い (あまい) — sweet

い-adjectives come directly before the noun they are unfolding.

彼女は速い走者だ。 (かのじょは はやい そうしゃだ。) — she is a fast runner.

They can also be used alone, without a noun proceeding them:

今日は少し寒いね。(きょうは すこし さむいね。) — today is a bit cold.

How to conjugate true adjectives (adjectives)

The conjugation of い-adjectives makes them interesting. Conjugating an adjective means changing its tense form. Japanese adjective conjugation is very easy if you are familiar with the Japanese words.

There is one basic rule to conjugate いadjectives, the character い is dropped and replaced with another ending. For instance,

To say something “was cheap,” drop the last い in the word and add the suffix かった. This way, you’ll get 安かった (やすかった) — was cheap.

Look at this complete sentence: カメラは安かった (かめらはやすかった) — the camera was cheap.


な-adjectives are known as “Quasi Adjectives” or “Adjectival-Nouns”. These adjectives end in different types of characters including い. Some main examples of な-adjectives are:

きれい — attractive, clean

元気 (げんき) — healthy, energetic

 The character な is always placed between な-adjectives and nouns.

好きな料理 (すきな りょうり) — A favorite dish

The character な can be dropped if no noun proceeds the adjective.

浴室はきれいですか? (よくしつは きれいですか?) — Is the bath clean?

How to conjugate -Adjectives

な-adjectives can’t be conjugated unaccompanied. In fact, their tenses are specified by conjugating です. For instance, if you are required to say something was convenient, you would take the adjective convenient, 便利 (べんり), and use the past form of です to generate 便利でした (べんりでした)—was convenient.

One other easy example:

きれいでした — it was clean

Japanese adjective endings

A suffix is normally added to an adjective to change its meaning. For instance, by adding the suffix -くてたまりません (unbearably) to the adjective hot, 暑い (あつい) it will become 暑くてたまりません (あつくて たまりません) — unbearably hot.

Major rule:

For い-adjectives, drop the final い.

For な-adjectives, overlook です.


There are many other adjectives as well that play a major role to get the command over the Japanese language. For Japanese adjective conjugation, you can get enrolled with italki. Here you will find the best online Japanese teachers who will help you learn how to conjugate adjectives in Japanese in the minimum possible time.