い and な adjective conjugation

い Adjectives

い Adjectives have their い character replaced with something else.

  1. FIRST Apply a negative conjugation if the adjective is to be negated.
  2. THEN Apply past conjugation if it was a past descriptive adjective.

Negative Uses: くな Which actually brings in a new to use for the replacement character.

Past Conjugation: replaces with かった

Adjective Conjugation Example:
Dictionary Form: ねむ

  • Present Affirmative: ねむです。
  • Present Negative: ねむくなです。
  • Past Affirmative: ねむかったです。
  • Past Negative: ねむくなかったです。

な Adjectives

な Adjectives work similarly to い adjective conjugation IFF it’s in negative form, except we “introduce” a helper to give us that that we need to conjugate with as if it were an adjective in this case.

The result is that for something like げんき we add じゃない to make it negative. Then we modify the い in じゃない to make it じゃなかった. Similar to how it’s performed with い adjectives.

If it’s not a negative な adjective, the です is modified from ですー>でした。

Similar to how a verb is conjugated to past tense.

な Adjective Conjugation Example:

Dictionary Form: げんき

  • Present Affirmative: げんきです。
  • Present Negative: げんきじゃなです。
  • Past Affirmative: げんきでした
  • Past Negative: げんきじゃなかったです

Irregular Adjectives

Irregular Adjectives have their own very special rules, unique to the adjective.

The most notable is the いい irregular adjective.
A few other adjectives that share the ending of いい have this conjugation as well (such as かっこいい if I’m not mistaken…)

Irregular Adjective Conjugation Example:

Dictionary Form: いい

  • Present Affirmative: いいです。
  • Present Negative: よくなです。
  • Past Affirmative: よかったです。
  • Past Negative: よくなかったです。


に and へ particle Review

Today I reviewed two topics that I felt I was pretty fuzzy on and wanted to blog about for the sake of notekeeping.

The first is the: General Japanese Sentence Arrangement

Topic Frequency Time Goal Verb
私は よく 七時ごろ うちへ 帰ります。

(Page 93 of Genki 1: Second Edition Textbook)

The second is the use of へ particle and how it can be used where に has been used by myself as a default.

Review: に is used to refer to a goal of movement (location, time).
に is used for days, and time 時 but not for RELATIVE time like ごろ for example.

へ pronounced “e” (not “he”) is used to indicate the goal of movement similar to に.
However, へ can only replace に in use of ACTUAL goal of movement. So it CANNOT be used to indicate time like に can be used.

When in doubt, use に of course, but using へ can help improve fluency with the language.

(Pages 90-92 of Genki 1: Second Edition Textbook)

Japanese Grammar: Potential Verbs

Whenever you wish to imply that a verb “is possible”, that it “can” or “has the ability” to do something, you take the verb and modify it using some rules based on the type of verb (ie: u-verbs, ru-verbs, irr. verbs)

Most conversions are pretty straight forward, some are a bit more complicated.

For ru verbs: Drop the final ーる and add られる.
Example: 見る→見られる

For u-verbs: Drop the final ーう and add ーえる.
Example: 行く→行ける
Notice how the く reverts to to け. The “-u” in く (ku) is replaced with “-e” making it け (ke)

Likewise, 話す→話せる
す(su) has it’s “-u” replaced with “-e” making it せ(se).

Also note that る is added to the end as well. This る changes the verb into a ru-verb essentially, and allows you to conjugate them as ru-verbs.

So for example, if you wanted to write using -masu form, you could conjugate 行く as:
行けます and 行けません
You can even apply the ーんです。 to add an implication as though the potential verb were a ru-verb.

Example: 私は買えないんです。
(In debt with student loans, therefore…) I cannot buy it.

An important note is that the verbs that take the particle を can actually take either を or が when they have been turned into potential verbs. Verbs that take particles other than を remain the same however.

Another important note is that する is a bit special.

It usually takes が almost all of the time, and when it’s transformed into a a potential verb is: できる.

くる is also a bit special. It ends up becoming こられる — irregular verbs usually have these kinds of special cases though.

Below are some great charts to study and familiarize oneself with the potential verb transformations.




One last note, is that because the ru-verb variation of the potential ends up usually being longer than the original, many people in Japan don’t really bother saying the ら in the ーられる of the potential verb.

It’s not considered standard speech though, so  maybe among friends or people you feel you could talk very casually to would work best for not needing the ーられる and can instead opt to use ーれる for ru-verbs to potential verbs — but otherwise if you’re not sure, then perhaps using  in it’s entirety (ーられる) would be better.


Images (Tables) Source: Genki II: Elementary Japanese [Second Edition]

Guide: How To Type In Japanese for Ubuntu 14

  1. Install The Japanese Language Input
    1. Open your “System Settings”
    2. From there, select and open “Language Support”
    3. Click the “Install/Remove Languages…” button found within Language Support.
    4. Then, select “Japanese”, and ensure the proper checkboxes are checked.
  2. Next, logout (or reboot, whichever you prefer).
  3. After logging in, open “System Settings” and then open “Text Input” from there.

    1. A Quick Side-Note: If you’re familiar with the Windows shortcut for switching languages, I would suggest changing it to the Alt+Shift L (left shift) as displayed in the screenshot below.
      As for the shortcut for switching between Hiragana and Katakana, my advice is to simply type in Hiragana, then press the F7 Key.
      This will convert the Hiragana you entered into Katakana easily (for Windows or Linux).Actual Step: The next step however, is to simply click the + symbol to add a new language input.
    2. A list of languages will appear, select the option “Japanese (Anthy)” and click the Add button.
    3. From there you should be ready to go! lesson 1

Today I spoke with Tomoko.

She was really friendly, and taught me a lot.

Whenever I had trouble understanding what she was saying, or had trouble thinking of what word it was I wanted to use, she wrote the word out on Skype and that really helped me out a lot.

It also works double, as being a great source for future study material.

The Skype messages received are listed below.

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