- Paperback: 326 pages
- Publisher: Kodansha USA; Bilingual edition (November 15, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 4770028792
- ISBN-13: 978-4770028792
- Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 0.9 x 5.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 19 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,154,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Handbook of Japanese Adjectives and Adverbs (A Kodansha Dictionary) Bilingual Edition
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From the Publisher
[The first pages of the opening chapter; without the bold type setting relevant words and with Japanese script represented by X's.]
This section deals with some of the main features of Japanese adjectives as well as their similarities to and differences from English adjectives. You are advised to read it carefully before moving on to the main text.
Types of Adjectives
Japanese adjectives may be divided into two types: (a) i-adjectives, which end with i, and (b) na-adjectives, which end with na. I-adjectives are Japanese in origin while na-adjectives are mostly Chinese-origin words.
atarashii XXX new
isogashii XXX busy
omoshiroi XXX interesting
shizukana XXX quiet
sukina XXX favorite
benrina XXX convenient
When used as noun modifiers, Japanese adjectives, like their English counterparts, precede the nouns they modify. Foreign words used as adjectives in Japanese become na-adjectives.
(a) okii ie
a big house
a black car
a pretty flower
a healthy person
a modern building
a unique idea
I-adjectives, when used as predicates, behave like verbs. For example, when okii XXX (big) or kuroi XXX (black) is used as a predicate, it means "is big" or "is black," not just "big" or "black."
Tanaka-san no ie wa okii.
Mr. Tanaka's house is big.
Watashi no kuruma wa kuroi.
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.
Miss Yamada is healthy.
Some na-adjectives can be used as nouns when functioning as the subject or object of a sentence.
a safe playground
Kodomo ni totte anzen ga taisetsu da.
Safety is important for children.
Sonna zeitaku wa dekinai.
I can't afford such a luxury.
Exceptions: The i-adjectives okii XXX (big), chiisai XXX (small) and okashii XXX (funny) may be used as na-adjectives when modifying certain nouns such as those given in the examples below.
okina koen XXX a big park
chiisana ike XXX a small pond
okashina hanashi XXX a funny story
Auxiliary adjectives are adjectives that are attached to other adjectives or verbs. Some are i-adjectives (Examples 1, 2, 3, 4), while others are na-adjectives (Examples 5, 6).
1. Ano resutoran wa takai rashii.
That restaurant seems to be expensive.
2. Kono mondai wa judai kamoshirenai.
This problem might be serious.
3. Fuji-san ni noboritai.
I want to climb Mt. Fuji.
4. Kono kigu wa tsukaiyasui.
This utensil is easy to use.
5. Kono pai wa oishiso da.
This pie looks delicious.
6. Sumisu-san wa sumo ga sukina yo da.
Mr. Smith appears to like sumo.
In addition to auxiliary adjectives, there are also auxiliary verbs. These, too, can attach to adjectives.
(a) Kono heya wa semasugiru.
This room is too small.
(b) Kare wa majime sugiru.
He is too serious.
Tenses of Adjectives Japanese adjectives conjugate and have two tenses: present and past. The same adjectival form is used to express both present and future tenses.
(a) Shiken wa yasashii.
The exam is/will be easy.
Shiken wa yasashikatta.
The exam was easy.
(b)Tetsuzuki wa kantan da.
The procedure is/will be simple.
Tetsuzuki wa kantan datta.
The procedure was simple.
Levels of Speech
Japanese adjectives have plain, polite and superpolite forms or levels of speech. The plain form is used among family and friends, as well as in publications. The polite form is used among adults who are not close friends. The super-polite form is seldom used by younger speakers except in such greetings as o-hayo gozaimasu XXXXXXX (Good morning) or o-medeto gozaimasu XXXXXXX (Congratulations).
"It is interesting."
(a) Plain for i-adjectives
Polite form for i-adjectives
Superpolite form for i-adjectives
(b) Plain form for na-adjectives
Polite form for na-adjectives
Superpolite form for na-adjectives
Kantan de gozaimasu.
From the Author
Preface[minus the original macrons and with Japanese represented by X's]
The Japanese language is said to be rich in modifiers -- adjectives and adverbs. If you pick up a book or magazine and read a page or two, you will see how adjectives go with nouns, and adverbs with verbs, to convey accurate, vivid descriptions. In fact, these modifiers add indispensable nuance and flavor to the language.
The purpose of this book is to help students obtain a basic knowledge of Japanese adjectives and adverbs so that they may use them effectively in sentences.
Adjectives are presented in two parts. Part I deals with the conjugations of the two types of adjectives -- i-adjectives and na-adjectives -- and of some of the basic auxiliary adjectives. A conjugation practice follows the description of each adjective or group of adjectives. Part II deals with the usage of various adjectival forms. Each usage is illustrated with example sentences, and practices are provided every few lessons to allow you to test your understanding. Adverbs are presented by grouping them according to what they express -- time, quantity, degree, circumstance and so forth. Each adverb is illustrated with examples sentences, and practices are provided every few lessons.
It is my wish that this book will prove useful, that you will come to better understand the meanings of Japanese adjectives and adverbs and be able to express yourself in "true Japanese."
I thank my editors, Shigeyoshi Suzuki and Michael Staley at Kodansha International, for making the publication of this book possible.
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Top customer reviews
When first starting to learn Japanese on my own, I had tried grammar texts and dictionaries from two other publishers. I found out after a couple of months, that they only cause the reader great confusion, lack a lot of important concepts, the print is often ineligible, and the sentences are in Romaji and not in the native alphabet (Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji), which is so necessary in order to learn the language properly. Other Kodansha publications which I found useful for learning Japanese are Kodanshas Essential Kanji Dictionary (Japanese for Busy People)The Kodansha Kanji Learners Dictionary (Japanese for Busy People)Kodansha's Furigana Japanese Dictionary: Japanese-English English-JapaneseAll About Particles: A Handbook of Japanese Function Words (Power Japanese Series) (Kodansha's Children's Classics)Japanese Verbs at a Glance (Power Japanese Series) (Kodansha's Children's Classics)
Part 1 is the backbone of the Japanese adjectives, which is presented in table format, for the i adjectives and na adjectives. Part 2 discusses different modifiers which conjugate with adjectives. For example, "daro" (probably) added to "tsumetai" (cold), means "it is probably cold". Each case is presented in a block in English and Japanese, and its meaning is given to the right. Then it follows with an example of the conjugate for each type of adjective, explanation of that conjugate, and three sentences each in Romaji, Japanese, and English, where that conjugate is used. The conjugate is highlighted in bold, in the Romaji and Japanese sentence, which makes it easier to pinpoint. Part 3 introduces a long list of adverbs and the way they modify verbs, adjectives, other adverbs, and nouns. Each section ends with 8 or 9 exercises for which answers are given at the back.
The index has to be praised in particular, because each subject includes its own index. Each of i adjectives and na adjectives are organized in two different lists in Romaji (together with Japanese to the right), and another list is given in English for both types, with Japanese to the right). The adverbs are divided into sections in Romaji, for example, those expressing time, those expressing quantity, etc. Again a comprehensive list of adverbs is given in English.
In short, I recommend it for every English speaking Japanese student learning on his or her own, or even as supplementary material at college.
For every case, two or three sentences are given, which demonstrate the various ways which the adjective or adverb is employed in sentence in Japanese. A Romaji sentence, which a transliteration in English of the Japanese one, is followed by one in Kana, that is original Japanese version, and then a complete English translation. Each case starts with a heading, of the item, in bold characters, enclosed in a box, easily found, especially when one looks for a particular adjective in the text. The index is very helpful, too. It comes in a few different flavors, covering every possible catagory that one might ascribe an adjective or an adverb, to. So, it is easy to spot quickly the item you are looking for, including the Table of Contents, itself. The depository is well beyond the ordinary ones that one might come across, in daily use of the language. Many are never encountered, depending on the field of specialization. But they are there, if you might one day need it.
I also learned about a new conjugation for adjectives, and that section was a good review.