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Japanese Words for Describing

Posted by on September 3, 2009 in Common Japanese Words, Japanese words | 34 comments

Without description words (aka adjectives) it is very difficult to carry on a conversation or make any kind of point in Japanese. Adjectives (形容詞- けいようし) allow you to explain your feelings, your mood, size, shape, light, dark, temperature, and a lot more. The more Japanese adjectives you are comfortable with, the easier it will be to convey your thoughts, making your conversations in Japanese much easier.

We have put together a list of nearly 100 Japanese adjectives, including both “i” adjectives and “na” adjectives. Please study these words and get to know them well, as you will hear them very often in everyday speech.

Since it is important to learn words in context, we will also be posting sample sentences using the listed adjectives. You may want to sign up to our RSS feed to make sure you don’t miss them.

The list is also available for download for members. If you aren’t already a member, you can become one now by signing up for the free newsletter here.

Update: After reading through this list, you can find the first 10 words used in sentences here: Japanese Adjectives in Sentences Part 1.

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  1. Absolutely fantastic!!!Very Helpful.One Question. If shoujikina-honest then honestly-?

  2. Thanks BJ. Honestly would be shoujiki ni (しょうじきに)。

  3. my vocabulary addeds,i can reply whom i can talk to

  4. hontoni kono saito wa totemo ii desu.
    tokuni nihongo manabu to shiteiru kata tachi,sugoku yakuni tachimasu.
    arigato gozaimasu.

  5. Hi Simon,
    コメント有難うございます。Thank you for your comment. I am glad that you are finding the site helpful.

  6. My family is from Okinawa and our dialect is a bit different but I have been trying to find the meaning to the words (hogaina) and (kabina). I don’t speak the language anymore but I have been going through some letters trying to decipher between Ryukyuan and Japanese. If you could help it would be appreciated.

  7. Hi Tyler!. Going Through some old letters sounds like a fun project. Unfortunately, I don’t know either of those words. I have lived in Miyakojima, a small island of Okinawa for the last year or so, but even the language here is different than that of the main island. It barely even sounds like Japanese. Wish you the best of luck!

  8. hi this site was very, very useful thank-you very much for making this site up, it has really helped me understand it a whole lot better. This site is amazing

  9. Jaasmin, Thanks for the comments. I am glad the site is helping you learn Japanese.

  10. this is pretty easy ….or should I say rakuna:] thanks

  11. No problem, glad they were helpful.

  12. I want to know how to say unforgiven in Japanese and what the symbols are please?

  13. Probably a bit late for you Danny boy, but:
    許す (yurusu) is to forgive, so yurusanai is not forgive. to say unable to forgive it’s yurusenai (potential).
    Maybe someone can confirm this?

    Hey Nick, you have quite instead of quiet for shizuka.

    Good list, thanks!

  14. Thank you for posting these adjectives!

    For the English translation of yasashii, did you mean kind/considerate and not considerable?

  15. Hi, Megan. I am glad you found the list helpful Yasashii is kind/considerate. No kind/not considerate would be yasashikunai.

  16. Hey Nick, thanks for the tips and information.
    I hope your post stays up just as long as our support towards you!
    You sound like you could be a great teacher!

  17. Thanks, Edgar. I don’t have any plans to take it down anytime soon!

  18. really helpful site..arrigatto!!!

  19. Munira, I am glad you found the site helpful.

  20. arigatogozaimasu 😀

  21. great list!

    question: I’ve heard people use 大きい as 大きな. would you care to elaborate on why this occurs? are there other adjectives that behave like this?

    also, you should add a conjugation chart! thanks!!!!

  22. 静かなの意味は「quiet」だね

  23. 大きい = something is big. 大きな=big something.

    車は大きい。  大きなくるま。

    the car is big. The big car.

  24. Thanks for this list..i learned a lot and it help me to my assignment..

  25. konnichiwa,, konbanwa, watashi eva aliviado from firipin.. i have boyfriend japanese in tokyo japan. he told me that, i have to be running in nihungo. but i want to interesting some japanese words, but now i have more lot of japanese….. so,, this kanji words is very difficult.. ganbarimasou… to learn more japanese language…. sayunara and arigatougosaimazou…..

  26. i have try always this studying japanese lesson, so that, after few months i can do in japanese.. soon i wish………

  27. arigatougosaimazou,,,, you give and help from us to have an japanese words.. u are very kind…. this lesson can be help from us…. hope more helps……

  28. im doing a project in japanese class and we have to draw a spirt or ghost and write ten adjectives about it, so i chose ame-onna and i have no idea which to choose because i need adjectives in hirangana, please help!

  29. Hey thanks a heap trying to complete a Japanese cultural project nad needed some words to describe how Kyoto looks. ended up going with beautiful and old. im visiting japan next year and your very lucky to live near Okinawa.

  30. arigato guzaimasu (^^^)

  31. hi i just am thinkng if you want to go to mcdolnolds and chill

  32. thank’s a lot, but how can i save it ? if you don’t mind please tell me how to safe it. 🙂

  33. どもありがと!
    This website is so much help when trying to finish Japanese assignments!
    I was just wondering how to say: “My little brother is energetic” in hiragana when I already have a few sentences about him. Any help would be great! Thanks so much for this website and your time!

  34. Finished a Japanese Assinment due tomorrow!!