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.
1.”小さな” is prenominal adjective
“小さな” is prenominal adjective（連体詞）. “小さい” is adjective.
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.
|placed before and after a noun|
〇 この家 は 小さい。
|only placed before a noun|
3.“小さな” is subjective
“小さい” is an objective expression, and “小さな” is a subjective expression.
Summary of the differences
|placed before and after a noun||only placed before a noun|
A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar 日本語基本文法辞典 (English Edition)