i-adectives: negation – kunai-form

Japanese i-adjectives also allow to express a negative meaning. It is close to adding un- to an English adjective (easy = un-easy, not easy). In order to build this form you first remove the い – I at the end of the plain form and  add くない – KUNAI to the stem of the i-adjective as described in the following examples:

  • => 高- => 高 + くない => 高くない
  • takai => taka- => taka + kunai => takakunai
Plain Form Romaji Meaning Negation Romaji Meaning
takai high くない takakunai not high
yasui cheap くない yasukunai not cheap
美味し oishii tasty 美味しくない oishikunai not tasty
hiroi spacious くない hirokunai not spacious
寂し sabishii lonely 寂しくない sabishikunai not lonely


Kanji 隣りのスーパーはあまり高くないです。
Furigana となりのスーパーはあまりたかくないです。
Romaji tonari no suupaa wa amari takakunai desu.
English The supermarket in the neighborhood is not very expensive.

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  1. Patricia Ross says:

    Thank you, this chart is clear and helpful.

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