Japanese basic grammar topic Saying something is easy or difficult to do

Actions that are easy or hard to do

Vocabulary

1.    食べる た・べる (ru-verb) - to eat

2.    しゃべる (u-verb) - to talk

3.    この - this abbr. of これの

4.    【じ】 - character; hand-writing

5.    読む よ・む (u-verb) - to read

6.    カクテル - cocktail

7.    ビール - beer

8.    飲む の・む (u-verb) - to drink

9.    部屋 へ・や - room

10.  暗い くら・い (i-adj) - dark

11.  見る み・る (ru-verb) - to see

12.  難しい むずか・しい (i-adj) - difficult

13.  易しい やさ・しい (i-adj) - easy

14.  簡単 かん・たん (na-adj) - simple

15.  容易 よう・い (na-adj) - simple

16.  その - that abbr. of それの

17.  にく - meat

This is a short easy lesson on how to transform verbs into adjectives describing whether that action is easy or difficult to do. Basically, it consists of changing the verb into the stem and adding やすい for easy and にくい for hard. The result then becomes a regular i-adjective. Pretty easy, huh?

Using 「~やすい、~にくい to describe easy and difficult actions

·     To describe an action as being easy, change the verb to the stem and add やすい. To describe an action as being difficult, attach にくい to the stem.
Examples

1.    食べ → 食べやすい

2.    しゃべ → しゃべ → しゃべりにくい

Positive

Negative

Non-Past

食べにく

食べにくくない

Past

食べにくかった

食べにくくなかった

The result becomes a regular i-adjective.

Examples

1.    この字は読みにくい
This hand-writing is hard to read.

2.    カクテルはビールより飲みやすい
Cocktails are easier to drink than beer.

3.    部屋が暗かったので、見にくかった
Since the room was dark, it was hard to see.

As an aside: Be careful with 見にくい because 醜い is a rarely used adjective meaning, "ugly". I wonder if it's just coincidence that "difficult to see" and "ugly" sound exactly the same?

Of course, you can always use some other grammatical structure that we have already learned to express the same thing using appropriate adjectives such as 難しい」、「易しい」、 簡単」、「容易」、etc. The following two sentences are essentially identical in meaning.

1.    その肉は食べにくい
That meat is hard to eat.

2.    その肉を食べるのは難しい
The thing of eating that meat is difficult.

Variations of 「~にくい with 「~がたい and 「~づらい

Vocabulary

1.    かれ - he; boyfriend

2.    忘れる わす・れる (ru-verb) - to forget

3.    思い出 おも・い・で - memories

4.    大切 たい・せつ (na-adj) - important

5.    する (exception) - to do

6.    とても - very

7.    信じる しん・じる (ru-verb) - to believe

8.    はなし - story

9.    本当 ほん・とう - real

10.  起こる おこ・る (u-verb) - to happen

11.  辛い【1) から・い; 2) つら・い (i-adj) - 1) spicy; 2) painful

12.  日本語 に・ほん・ご - Japanese (language)

13.  読む よ・む (u-verb) - to read

14.  待ち合わせ ま・ち・あわ・せ - meeting arrangement

15.  分かる わ・かる (u-verb) - to understand

16.  場所 ば・しょ - location

The kanji for にくい actually comes from 難い which can also be read as かたい. As a result, you can also add a voiced version 「~がたい as a verb suffix to express the same thing as にくい. にくい is more common for speaking while がたい is more suited for the written medium. にくい tends to be used for physical actions while がたい is usually reserved for less physical actions that don't actually require movement. However, there seems to be no hard rule on which is more appropriate for a given verb so I suggest searching for both versions in google to ascertain the popularity of a given combination. You should also always write the suffix in hiragana to prevent ambiguities in the reading.

Examples

1.    彼との忘れがたい思い出を大切にしている
I am treating importantly the hard to forget memories of and with him.

2.    とても信じがたい話だが、本当に起こったらしい
It's a very difficult to believe story but it seems (from hearsay) that it really happened.

Yet another, more coarse variation of stem + にくい is to use づらい instead which is a slightly transformed version of 辛い」(つらい. This is not to be confused with the same 辛い」(からい, which means spicy!

Examples

1.    日本語は読みづらいӗ#12394;
Man, Japanese is hard to read.

2.    待ち合わせは、分かりづらい場所にしないでね
Please don't pick a difficult to understand location for the meeting arrangement.

 

App 3.0 ↓
A p p   F o r   P h o n e
  • Android
  •   
  • iOS
A p p   F o r   P h o n e
  • Android
  •   
  • iOS
 X 
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