what is the difference between “小さい” and “小さな”?

小さいvs小さな

What is the difference between “小さい” and “小さな” in Japanese?

Basically, the meanings of “小さい” and “小さな” are almost the same.

However, there are differences in the details.

So, I’ll explain the differences.

スポンサーリンク

1.”小さな” is prenominal adjective

“小さな” is prenominal adjective(連体詞). “小さい” is adjective.

小さい小さな
adjectiveprenominal adjective(連体詞)

2.“小さな” is only placed before nouns.

“小さな” is only placed before a noun. But “小さい” is placed before and after a noun.

小さい小さな
placed before and after a noun
〇 この家 は 小さい
only placed before a noun
× この家 は 小さな

3.“小さな” is subjective

“小さい” is an objective expression, and “小さな” is a subjective expression.

小さい小さな
objectivesubjective

Summary of the differences

小さい小さな
adjectiveprenominal adjective(連体詞)
placed before and after a nounonly placed before a noun
objectivesubjective


A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar 日本語基本文法辞典 (English Edition)

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