Adjective Tenses

Adjective Tenses


The grammar of different languages can be quite different indeed! The title of this article is ‘Adjective Tenses’ not ‘Verb Tenses.’ The reason why is that in Japanese, not just the verbs have tenses!




In Japanese, there aren’t as many verb tenses as in English. However, adjectives can also have tenses.



(Approximate pronunciation) Taw no shee


This means: Fun



(Approximate pronunciation) Taw no she cot taw


This means: Was fun


The sentence then becomes quite an interesting one for an English speaker. After the past tense  adjective comes です (dess) which is the present tense of the Japanese version of

“to be.” Here is what a sentence looks like.



(Approximate pronunciation) tan no shee cot taw dess


This means: It was fun.

Literally though it means, “It was fun is.”


In Japanese, there are two different kinds of adjectives. The above adjective, fun, is what is called an い (ee) adjective. Which means that it ends with the syllable い.




The other is a な (naw) adjective. It ends in な



(Approximate pronunciation) she zoo caw naw


This means: Quiet


The な adjectives do not have a special ending, so they are followed by the past tense ending of the “be” verb, だった. (Dot taw)



(Approximate pronunciation) she zoo caw dawt ta



This means: It was quiet.

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