Japanese basic grammar topic Adverbs and Sentence-ending particles

Adverbs and Sentence-ending particles


Properties of Adverbs


1.    早い はや・い (i-adj) - fast; early

2.    きれい (na-adj) - pretty; clean

3.    朝ご飯 あさ・ご・はん - breakfast

4.    食べる た・べる(ru-verb) - to eat

5.    自分 じ・ぶん - oneself

6.    部屋 へ・や - room

7.    映画 えい・が - movie

8.    たくさん - a lot (amount)

9.    見る み・る - to see; to watch

10.  最近 さい・きん - recent; lately

11.  全然 ぜん・ぜん - not at all (when used with negative)

12.  こえ - voice

13.  結構 けっ・こう - fairly, reasonably

14.  大きい おお・きい(i-adj) - big

15.  この - this abbr. of これの

16.  まち - town

17.  変わる か・わる(u-verb) - to change

18.  図書館 と・しょ・かん - library

19.  なか - inside

20.  静か しず・か(na-adj) - quiet

Unlike English, changing adjectives to adverbs is a very simple and straightforward process. In addition, since the system of particles make sentence ordering flexible, adverbs can be placed anywhere in the clause that it applies to as long as it comes before the verb that it refers to. As usual, we have two separate rules: one for i-adjectives, and one for na-adjectives.

How to change an adjective to an adverb

·     For i-adjectives: Substitute the 「い」 with 「く」.

·     For na-adjectives: Attach the target particle 「に」.
きれい → きれい

·         ボブは朝ご飯を早く食べた
Bob quickly ate breakfast.

The adverb 早く is a little different from the English word 'fast' in that it can mean quickly in terms of speedor time. In other words, Bob may have eaten his breakfast early or he may have eaten it quickly depending on the context. In other types of sentences such as 早く走った, it is quite obvious that it probably means quickly and not early. (Of course this also depends on the context.)

·         アリスは自分の部屋をきれいにした
Alice did her own room toward clean.

The literal translation kind of gives you a sense of why the target particle is used. There is some argument against calling this an adverb at all but it is convenient for us to do so because of the grouping of i-adjectives and na-adjectives. Thinking of it as an adverb, we can interpret the sentence to mean: "Alice did her room cleanly." or less literally: "Alice cleaned her room." (「きれい literally means "pretty" but if it helps, you can think of it as, "Alice prettied up her own room."

Note: Not all adverbs are derived from adjectives. Some words like 全然 and たくさん are adverbs in themselves without any conjugation. These words can be used without particles just like regular adverbs.

1.    映画をたくさん見た
Saw a lot of movies.

2.    最近、全然食べない
Lately, don't eat at all.


Here are some more examples of using adverbs.

1.    ボブの声は、結構大きい
Bob's voice is 
fairly large.

2.    この町は、最近大きく変わった
This town had changed 
greatly lately.

3.    図書館の中では、静かにする
Within the library, [we] do things 

Sentence-ending particles


1.    いい (i-adj) - good

2.    天気 てん・き - weather

3.    そう - (things are) that way

4.    面白い おも・しろ・い(i-adj) - interesting

5.    映画 えい・が - movie

6.    全然 ぜん・ぜん - not at all (when used with negative)

7.    時間 じ・かん - time

8.    ある (u-verb) - to exist (inanimate)

9.    大丈夫 だい・じょう・ぶ (na-adj) - ok

10.  今日 きょう - today

11.  うん - yes (casual)

12.  でも - but

13.  明日 あした - tomorrow

14.  あめ - rain

15.  降る ふ・る(u-verb) - to precipitate

16.  さかな - fish

17.  好き す・き (na-adj) - likable

Sentence-ending particles are particles that always come at the end of sentences to change the "tone" or "feel" of a sentence. In this section, we will cover the two most commonly used sentence-ending particles.

「ね」 sentence ending

People usually add 「ね」 to the end of their sentence when they are looking for (and expecting) agreement to what they are saying. This is equivalent to saying, "right?" or "isn't it?" in English.

Example 1

Bob: Good weather, 

Alice: That is so, 
isn't it?

The literal translation of そうね sounds a bit odd but it basically means something like, "Sure is". Males would probably say, そうだね.

Example 2

Alice: That was interesting movie, 
wasn't it?

Bob: Huh? No, it wasn't interesting at all.

Since Alice is expecting agreement that the movie was interesting Bob is surprised because he didn't find the movie interesting at all. (「え」 is a
sound of surprise and confusion.)

「よ」 sentence ending

When 「よ」 is attached to the end of a sentence, it means that the speaker is informing the listener of something new. In English, we might say this with a, "You know..." such as the sentence, "You know, I'm actually a genius."

Example 1

Alice: You know, there is no time.

Bob: It's ok, 
you know.

Example 2

Alice: Good weather today, huh?

Bob: Yeah. But it will rain tomorrow, 
you know.

Combining both to get よね

You can also combine the two particles we just learned to create よね. This is essentially used when you want to inform the listener of some new point you're trying to make and when you're seeking agreement on it at the same time. When combining the two, the order must always be よね. You cannot reverse the order.


You know, you like fish, dontcha?

Bob: That is so, 


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Basic grammar

  • 1 :Addressing People
  • 2 :Adjective Practice Exercises
  • 3 :Adjectives
  • 4 :Advanced proximity of actions
  • 5 :Advanced Topics
  • 6 :Advanced Volitional
  • 7 :Adverbs and Sentence-ending particles
  • 8 :Basic Grammar
  • 9 :Casual Patterns and Slang
  • 10 :Causative and Passive Verbs
  • 11 :Compound Sentences
  • 12 :Conditionals
  • 13 :Covered by something
  • 14 :Defining and Describing
  • 15 :Desire and Suggestions
  • 16 :Essential Grammar
  • 17 :Expressing amounts
  • 18 :Expressing must or have to
  • 19 :Expressing State-of-Being
  • 20 :Expressing the minimum expectation
  • 21 :Expressing time-specific actions
  • 22 :Expressing various levels of certainty
  • 23 :Formal expressions of non-feasibility
  • 24 :Formal Expressions
  • 25 :Giving and Receiving
  • 26 :Hiragana
  • 27 :Honorific and Humble Forms
  • 28 :Hypothesizing and Concluding
  • 29 :Introduction to Particles
  • 30 :Introduction
  • 31 :Kanji
  • 32 :Katakana
  • 33 :Leaving something the way it is
  • 34 :Making requests
  • 35 :More negative verbs
  • 36 :Negative Verb Practice Exercises
  • 37 :Negative Verbs
  • 38 :Noun-related Particles
  • 39 :Numbers and Counting
  • 40 :Other Grammar
  • 41 :Other uses of the te-form
  • 42 :Particles used with verbs
  • 43 :Past Tense
  • 44 :Past Verb Practice Exercises
  • 45 :Performing an action on a relative clause
  • 46 :Polite Form and Verb Stems
  • 47 :Potential Form
  • 48 :Relative Clauses and Sentence Order
  • 49 :Review and more sentence-ending particles
  • 50 :Saying something is easy or difficult to do
  • 51 :Showing signs of something
  • 52 :Special expressions with generic nouns
  • 53 :Special Expressions
  • 54 :Tendencies
  • 55 :The Question Marker
  • 56 :The Writing System
  • 57 :Things that happen unintentionally
  • 58 :Things that should be a certain way
  • 59 :Transitive and Intransitive Verbs
  • 60 :Trying something out or attempting to do something
  • 61 :Using suru and naru with the ni particle
  • 62 :Using yoru for comparisons and other functions
  • 63 :Various ways to express similarity and hearsay
  • 64 :Verb Basics
  • 65 :Verb Practice Exercises