i-adectives: past – katta-form

Japanese i-adjectives also can express situations in the past. Whereas in English you have to use “was” in front of the word, i-adjectives can build the past on its own. Remove the い (i) at the end of the plain form and add かった (katta) to the stem of the i-adjective as described in the following examples:

  • => 高- => 高 + かった => 高かった
  • takai => taka- => taka + katta => takakatta
Plain Form Romaji Meaning Negation Romaji Meaning
takai high かった takakatta it was high
yasui cheap かった yasukatta it was cheap
美味し oishii tasty 美味しかった oishikatta it was tasty
hiroi spacious かった hirokatta it was spacious
寂し sabishii lonely 寂しかった sabishikatta it was lonely


Kanji この話はあまり面白くなかったです。
Furigana このはなしはあまりおもしろくなかったです。
Romaji kono hanashi wa amari omoshirokunanakatta desu.
English This story was not very interesting.

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  1. Patricia Ross says:

    Are the adjectives in the above chart wrong when it lists them as negative, should they be listed as past tense?

  2. Patricia Ross says:

    I see they have been changed, thanks.

    • Nicolas says:

      Sorry, I realized myself shortly after publishing. I had used the past as a template and missed to change the translation.

  3. Example is a kunai one not a katta one

  4. Hi, would like to ask why the past form of hiroi is hirokattai? bec it says that drop the “i” and affix the katta, im a bit confused if there is/are words wherein the “i” is placed at the end of the word


    • Hi, this was well observed. Actually we was a typo and we immediately corrected it.
      Thanks for pointing out the mistake.

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