N5 Grammar – Using する and なる with Adjectives

 

Welcome everyone, this is Mac with another N5 Grammar Lesson from JLPT Boot Camp. Last episode, we learned about a couple of different ways we can use adjectives. Today, we are going to talk about changes with adjectives. We are going to look at a few, very short exchanges. Let’s give it a try.

Conversation 1 (0:21)

Yu is late meeting Matt to go shopping. They are friends so they will be speaking casually.

Yu:    なにを しているの。
           Naniwo, shiteiruno.
           What are you doing?

Matt: へやを きれいに している。
             Heyawo kireini shiteiru.
             (I)’m cleaning (my) place.

Yu:   そうじしているの。ほんとう。
           Soujishiteiruno. Hontou.
           (You’re) cleaning? Really?

Breaking that down, Yu says 何, what, を, the object marking particle, している, the ている form of する, which in this sentence means ‘doing’, and finally の, the casual question marking particle. All together, she is asking “what are you doing?”.

Matt responds with へや, room, を, the object marking particle, きれい, pretty, and finally にしている, making a change to something. All together, he is saying “(I) am making (my) room pretty”.

Yu responds with そうじしている, cleaning, and の, the casual question marker. Then, ほんとう, really?

Matt is using the する verb with an adjective to talk about making a change to his room. He is causing the change; it is not happening naturally, so we use する. In the sentence in the previous conversation, he is going to make his room pretty, or maybe a better translation would be that he is going to clean it. To form this with a な-adjective, just add に and then する. Let’s try it once. Can you say “Please make it quiet”? Remember, that quiet in Japanese is しずか.

しずかに して ください。
Shizukani  shite    kudasai.
Be quiet, please.

Exactly! しずか, quiet, then に, which we need because this is a な-adjective, して, the te-form of する, to make, and then ください, please. して makes this a command. We are commanding someone to be quiet.

Conversation 2 (2:39)

Now, Yu is helping Matt clean. Again, they are speaking casually.

Yu:    コンポの おとを ちいさくしてくださいね。
               Konpono    otowo     chiisakushitekudasaine.
              Turn down the stereo, please.

Matt:   ああ、すみません。
               Aa, sumimasen.
              Ah, I don’t like (it).

Breaking that down, Yu says コンポ, stereo system, の, a particle used to show possession, おと, sound, を, the object marking particle, 小さく, the adverb form of 小さい, small, して, the て-form of する, to make, ください, please, and finally ね, which makes this sound a little softer. All together, she is literally saying “please make the stereo system’s sound smaller”, or more naturally translated, “please turn down the stereo”.

Matt responds with ああ, uh, and finally すみません, sorry.

Yu was telling Matt to make a change using the て- form of する. To talk about making a change with an い-adjective, remove the final い, add くand add する to talk about making a change. Can you give it try? Can you say ‘(I) made (my) skirt short.’ politely? ‘short’ in Japanese is みじかい.

スカートを みじかく しました。
Sukaatowo    mijikaku     shimashita.
(I) made (my) skirt short.

Exactly! みじかい becomes みじかく and then しました, the polite past form of する.

Conversation 3 (4:33)

Matt and Yu have been cleaning all day and Yu is leaving Matt’s apartment. And this is casual again.

Yu:   くらくなったね。
                    Kurakunattane.
                   (It) got dark, huh?

Matt:        そうだね。もう しちじだ。
                    Soudane. Mou shichijida.
                   Yeah, it has. (It)’s already 7 o’clock. 

Breaking that down, Yu said くらく, the adverb form of くらい, dark, なった, the casual past tense of なる, to become, and finally ね, a particle that can be used to ask for confirmation of an opinion. All together, she is asking “it became dark, didn’t it?”.

Matt responds with そうだね, which is a way to agree casually. And then もう, already, しちじ, 7 o’clock, and finally だ, the casual copula. All together, he is saying “Yeah. It’s already 7 o’clock”.

Here, Yu is talking about a change that occurred naturally to something by using the verb なる. This changed happened by itself. Yu didn’t darken the sky with her magical powers, so we should use なる and not する. To form this structure with an い-adjective, we need to again cut off the final い and add く. Then, add なる to the end. Let’s try it quickly. Can you say “became big” politely? We need to use the adverb form again by cutting off the final い and adding く.

おおきく なりました。
Ookikunarimashita.
(It) became big.

Good work! Now, let’s make it longer by talking about the city. Can you say “this city became bigger”. City in Japanese is まち.

このまちは おおきく なりました。
Konomachiwa ookiku  narimashita.
This city became bigger.

Exactly! Let’s move on.

Conversation 4 (6:49)

Yu is now complimenting Matt on his skills. Again, they are speaking casually.

Yu:   日本語が 上手に なったね。
                    Nihongoga jouzuni   nattane.
                   (You) got better at Japanese, didn’t you?

Matt:        そうだね。もう しちじだ。
                    Soudane. Mou shichijida.
                   Yeah, it has. (It)’s already 7 o’clock. 

Breaking that down, Yu says 日本語, Japanese, が, the subject marking particle, 上手に, skillfully, なった, became, and finally ね, a particle used to ask for confirmation of an opinion. All together, she is saying “(your) Japanese became skillful, didn’t it?” or ‘(You) got better at Japanese, didn’t you?’.

Matt responds with いえいえ, no no and then まだ, still, へた, unskillful, and finally だ, the casual copula. All together, he says “No, no. I’m still unskillful”.

Again, Yu was talking about a change that occurred naturally. This time she used a な-adjective. For a な-adjective, we need to add に instead of く. Let’s try it now. Can you say ‘it became convenient / useful’? Remember that convenient in Japanese is べんり.

べんりに なりました。
Benrini      narimashita.
(It) became convenient.

Great! Now let’s make that a little longer by talking about a station that became useful. Can you add ‘this station’?

このえきは べんりに なりました。
Konoekiwa benrini      narimashita.
The pretty one is expensive.

Right! You can translate this literally as “this station became convenient”, but a better translation would be “this station has come in handy”.

All right let’s check your understanding with a pop quiz.

Pop Quiz (8:59)

Can you tell me the following in Japanese?

I made the room bright.

Answer:

わたしは へやを あかるく しました。
Watashiwa heyawo   akaruku     shimashita.

For “I made the room bright”, you would say “わたしは へやを あかるく しました” in Japanese. Let’s go over that quickly, わたし, I, は, the topic marking particle, へや, room, を, the object marking particle, and finally あかるくしました, made it bright in polite form.

This song makes me energetic.

And ‘song’ in Japanese is うた.

Answer:

このうたは わたしを げんきに しました。
Konoutawa   watashiwo   genkini     shimashita.

For “this song makes me energetic”, you would say “このうたは わたしを げんきに しました” in Japanese. Going over that quickly, この, this, うた, song, は, the topic marking particle, わたし, I, を, the object marking particle, and finally げんきにしました, became energetic.

(It) became bright.

Answer:

あかるく なりました。
Akaruku     narimashita.

For “(it) became bright”, you would say “あかるく なりました” in Japanese. To talk about a change that happened, we use the く form of an い-adjective plus なる.

I became famous.

Answer:

わたしは ゆうめいに なりました。
Watashiwa  yuumeini     narimashita.

For “I became famous”, you would say “わたしは ゆうめいに なりました” in Japanese. Going over that quickly, わたし, I, は, the topic marking particle, and finally ゆうめいになりました, became famous.

Review

Today, we talked about making a change to something using する. With an い-adjective, we cut off the final い and add くplus する. For な-adjectives you simply add に to it then する.

To talk about a change that has happened, we use なる instead of する.

That’s it for this episode. For notes and more practice with the grammar point, stop by the JLPT Boot Camp courses site. There you can find quizzes, study guides for this grammar point and every grammar point covered in the videos. You can also get all of your questions answered you might have. Just leave me a comment, and I’ll get back to you.

Cover of the JLPT N5 Study GuideThe JLPT Study Guide for the N5 is now available at Amazon. Packed with exercises to help you master all the grammar points needed for the test, this is a must have study guide for anyone preparing for the N5. It also has reading and listening strategies and practice exercises so you can hone those skills before the exam. Once you’ve finished the book, there are 3 practice tests to check your level and 100s of audio flashcards you can use anywhere to review what you learned.

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