November 30, 2013
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.