There are two types of adjectives in modern Japanese: な- and い-adjectives. Both are descriptive and modify nouns. They describe nouns and form predicates differently.

The い-adjectives (形容詞, けいようし) are fairly simple creatures. Any い-adjective will end on an "い" in it's basic form and they behave very regularly. The only problem in differentiating between い- and な-adjectives comes from the fact that some な-adjectives also end on "い" (e.g. きれい and ゆうめい) or a syllable in the い-row (e.g. げんき).

Watch and Listen edit

Listen to the teacher read the following phrases, or click here (needs soundbite) to listen on your computer.

Adjective Noun Adjective and noun
(たの)しい。 ゲームだ。 (たの)しいゲームだ。
(あつ)い。 天気(てんき)だ。 (あつ)天気(てんき)だ。
(さむ)い。 (よる)だ。 (さむ)(よる)だ。
(たか)い。 (やま)だ。 (たか)(やま)だ。
(ひく)い。 トンネルだ。 (ひく)いトンネルだ。
(やす)い。 (ほん)だ。 (やす)(ほん)だ。
(かる)い。 かばんだ。 (かる)いかばんだ。
(おも)い。 荷物(にもつ)だ。 (おも)荷物(にもつ)だ。

Vocabulary edit

Japanese English Reading Notes
ゲームa game, a videogame
天気the weatherてんき
a mountainやま
トンネルa tunnel
a bookほん
かばんだa bag
荷物baggage, luggageにもつ
Japanese English Reading Notes
楽しいfun, enjoyableたのしい
暑いhot (weather)あつい
寒いcold (weather)さむい
高いhigh, tall, expensiveたかい
低いlow, shortひくい
軽いlight (weight)かるい

Grammar edit

When they stand alone, い-adjectives don't take the copula, but when modifying nouns, they do. Otherwise they don't change.

<い-adjective> <noun> です