Japanese Language Blog

Useful Japanese Adjectives – Part 1(い Adjectives) Posted by on Apr 29, 2014 in Grammar

In Japanese, adjectives are called Keiyoushi (形容詞、けいようし). In any language, I believe that the more adjectives you know, the easier you can communicate.  In Japanese, this is also true. Even though you might not know how to describe things in a complete sentence, if you know one key adjective, you can easily let the other person know how you are feeling or what you are trying to describe. Below, I have collected some of the most useful Japanese adjectives. The important thing to note here is that in Japanese, we have two main types of adjectives: the ones that end with “I(い)” & also the ones that end with “NA(な)”. Part 1 of the adjective lesson is based on the い Adjectives.


大きい(おおきい、OOKII) – BIG

大きい 体(おおきい からだ)-Ookii karada, Big Body

小さい(ちいさい、CHIISAI) – SMALL

小さい 体(ちいさい からだ)-Chiisai karada, Small Body

暑い(あつい、ATSUI) -HOT

暑い夏 (あつい なつ)-Atsui natsu. Hot Summer

寒い(さむい、SAMUI) -COLD

寒い冬 (さむい ふゆ)-Samui fuyu. Cold Winter


高い宝石 (たかい ほうせき)-Takai houseki. Expensive jewelry

安い(やすい、YASUI) -CHEAP

安い服 (やすい ふく)-Yasui fuku. Cheap Clothes

新しい(あたらしい、ATARASHII) -NEW

新しい机 (あたらしい つくえ)-Atarashii tsukue. New Desk

古い(ふるい、FURUI) -OLD

古い家 (ふるい いえ)-Furui ie. Old House

甘い(あまい、AMAI) -SWEET

甘いデザート (あまい デザート)-Amai Dezart, Sweet Dessert

辛い(からい、KARAI) -SPICY

辛いラーメン (からい ラーメン)-Karai Ramen, Spicy Noodle


強いチーム (つよい チーム) -Tsuyoi Chi-mu、Strong Team

弱い(よわい、YOWAI) -WEAK

弱いチーム (よわい ちーむ) -Yowai Chi-mu, Week Team

柔らかい(やわらかい、YAWARAKAI) -SOFT

柔らかい毛布 (やわらかい もうふ)-Yawarakai Mo-fu, Soft Blanket

固い(かたい、KATAI) -HARD

固いケーキ (かたい ケーキ)-Katai Ke-ki, Hard Cake

The above adjectives are very useful ones to remember. 🙂 It will be a good exercise to create your own short sentence with these adjectives.  For example, you can create a sentence, such as ” I like ~” 私は、辛いうどんが好きです。(わたしは、からいうどんが すきです。Watashiwa karai udon ga suki desu)-I like spicy noodles. You can make variety of sentences, using “I like + the adjectives + noun.” Enjoy learning! and remember if you have any questions at all, please feel free to let me know anytime.

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About the Author: keiko

Born and raised in Japan. She currently lives in U.S. with her husband and two kids.