形容動詞

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Japanese[edit]

Kanji in this term
けい
Grade: 2
よう
Grade: 5
どう
Grade: 3

Grade: 6
on'yomi

Etymology[edit]

Compound of 形容 (keiyō, description; form) +‎ 動詞 (dōshi, verb).

Noun[edit]

形容動詞 (hiragana けいようどうし, romaji keiyō dōshi)

  1. (grammar) specific to Japanese grammar, an adjective with an attributive form that ends in (​-na)

Usage notes[edit]

English-language labels for this part of speech are various, and include adjective, adjectival noun, the literal translation of adjectival verb, copular noun, "-na" adjective, and quasi-adjective.

Although this term contains the word 動詞 (dōshi, verb), there is nothing intrinsically verb-like about these words. Historically, this appellation probably arose due to certain inflectionary endings that functioned as verbs, such as なる (naru, homophonic with naru "to become", but actually derived as a contraction of ni aru "to be (in a certain state)").

Japanese has three classes of words that correspond to adjectives in English: 形容動詞 (keiyō dōshi), 形容詞 (​keiyōshi), and 連体詞 (​rentaishi). There are no generally accepted English translations for these parts of speech, and varying texts adopt different translations. Note that some western texts call 形容詞 (​keiyōshi) "adjectival verbs", so take caution when using the literal translation of 形容動詞 (keiyō dōshi).

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