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Postby Knicolle » Fri 06.06.2008 9:19 pm


I started Rosetta Stone Japanese (Homeschool version) about a month ago, and I am on disc 1, unit 1, lesson 3.

On that particular lesson they teach the colors. They are a little selective when they use the "i" at the end of a color (e.g: aka, akai; shiro, shiroi, and so on...), so I wondered... when is putting an "i" at the end of something like that necessary? Is that turning it into an adjective (I haven't studied adjectives much, but I realized that many of the adjectives have "i"s at the end... such as sugoi, kawaii, and such...)?

I hope I don't sound like an idiot, I just want to make sure I understand. :D

Thanks in advance for any answer!
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Re: Colors...

Postby richvh » Fri 06.06.2008 9:46 pm

You can't just add -i to random words to turn them into adjectives. There are two classes of adjectives, -na adjectives and -i adjectives. The latter are (essentially) all native words; the former include (essentially) all foreign words used as adjectives, whether they are ancient words from Chinese, or modern borrowings from English.

Even among the colors, there are only a handful that can be used as -i adjectives, the rest are treated as nouns (or, as they are sometimes termed, -no adjectives.)
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Re: Colors...

Postby Knicolle » Fri 06.06.2008 10:49 pm

Ok, thank you for your answer! :)
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Re: Colors...

Postby OitaFish » Sat 06.07.2008 6:03 am

I'm not sure if it was clear from richvh's post but you are right to be thinking あか (aka) is a noun and あかい (akai) is an adjective and the same thing with しろ and しろい (shiro and shiroi). Just don't make the assumption that adding i to make an adjective is a rule that can be followed for everything.

For example, みどり (midori) is the noun green. You can't add i to it to make it an adjective.
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Re: Colors...

Postby coco » Sun 06.08.2008 11:40 am

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