Question: -na endings on -i adjectives (日本語)

I'm really confused here. If you are describing a noun with an -i adjective, do you keep the -i ending or change it to -na?

For example, if I wanted to say, "a cute kitten," would it be correct to say "可愛い子猫" or "可愛な子猫," or both, since 可愛い is an -i adjective?

Please help me understand... :D

Apr 22, 2018 3:15 PM
Comments · 15
An opinion from a native speaker.

The phrase "乙女な女ギツネ Otome na megitsune" is CORRECT and INCORRECT.

*** Why incorrect.
As others put it, "乙女 Otome"  is a noun meaning a girl / a virgin.  As ”日本な歌”, "女な一生”, "男性な服" don't make sense , "乙女なメギツネ" is incorrect.

*** Why correct.

Noun describing status or nature can have "な"  following, such as "静かだ/静かな", "キレイだ/キレイな", or "急激だ/急激な". Then "乙女だ/乙女な" is also possible (correct).

Now a question is raised. Is "乙女" , a noun describing nature?  Originally, it is not. Recently, however, "乙女な" is getting used commonly to describe "someone who likes girly things".  


- 乙女な人の13個の特徴 

- 「おっさん女子」ではなく『乙女なおっさん』

- 彼氏ができて初めて知った自分の「乙女な一面」9パターン

- 結婚するなら「乙女男子」がおすすめな理由

- 乙女なアタシ イケメンの俺 

※ For details, seach google with "乙女な".

Some people deny this word "乙女な" as incorrect Japanese, but I don't.
It is an expression, in my opinion, really to the point.

May 15, 2018

Wow....a lot of explanations!  Annie, Kit and Starry!  you are very keen learners! Impressive!


Talking about otommena megitsune(乙女なメギツネ)、is it a song from Babymetal? This expression, ~な has been used among young people lately. It's not correct Japanese. The writer made it. probably it's popular song and the lyrics sound slangs and casual. 

It means like Kit said that is the lady fox. And probably it means she looks a lady but attractive sexy. Female fox メギツネ is used for describing a hot woman. On the other hand, 乙女otome means a virgin in old Japanese expression.

the song says:

 あ〜 そうよ いつでも 女は女優よ

キツネじゃない キツネじゃない
乙女な メギツネ 

It's very poetic. Interesting! 

April 23, 2018
Okay, I get it! Thank you very much!! :D
April 23, 2018
I looked up 小さな on and it has it listed as a "pre-noun adjectival." And it appears to be a conjugation of 小さい.

This appears to be different from actual na-adjectives because they don't get listed in the dictionary with the な. They just need them if you're gonna attach them to nouns.

Here's the entry for 大切 (たいせつ):

It's listed as na-adjective and noun. I think na-adjectives are basically just nouns that need な instead of の when attaching them to nouns.

Regular nouns take の when joining up with another noun (or nothing, if the word is a compound word.)

Anyway, as for how 小さな differs from 小さい, I found it in my textbook and it says the one in the な conjugation makes it feel like you find the thing you're describing endearing and that it makes you seem cute.
April 23, 2018

Na-adjectives and i-adjectives are two completely different types and the way they behave is really different.

Na-adjectives are simple. If you want to join them to a noun, you slap a な in between them and the noun and you're golden. Let's use 大切 (たいせつ, important) as an example. If I want to say "important day" I do 大切な日 (たいせつ な ひ) The な joins 大切 with 日.

More Examples:
便利なもの(べんり な もの, convenient thing)
大切な人 (たいせつ な ひと, important person)
好きな科目 (すき な かもく, favorite subject)

i-adjectives are more complicated because they can swap out their い ending for either く or くて and they behave differently depending on which ending it is. To keep this simple, I'll just talk about when they're in their い form.

When they're like this, they attach directly to nouns like in your かわいい子猫 example.

More Examples:
長い時間 (ながい じかん, long time)
黒い犬 (くろい いぬ, black dog)
いい人 (いい ひと, good person)

April 22, 2018
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