"Common" たる adjectives

What is a たる adjective, you ask?

Why, it’s an adjective that looks like a な adjective, but requires たる instead of な when it’s an adjective, and と instead of に when it’s an adverb.

They are not common generally, but there are definitely ones that exist in the top 15000 words in Japanese.

And some are taught on WK, but usually only when the たる form isn’t the only form. Some can also be used like regular adverbs or just plain nouns.

“Common” たる adjectives

堂々 (どうどう) - magnificent, grand, impressive, majestic (#5574)
依然 (いぜん) - still, yet, as it has been (#6362) (WK36)
漠然 (ばくぜん) - obscure, vague, equivocal (#8464) (WK33)
延々 (えんえん) - forever, endlessly, on and on, meandering, zigzagging (#8528)
冠 (かん) - best, peerless, first (#9918) (noun form taught on WK54)
断然 (だんぜん) - firmly, absolutely, flatly, by far, hands down (#10831)
断固 (だんこ) - firm, determined, resolute, conclusive (#11019)
公然 (こうぜん) - open, public, official, overt (#11194)
平然 (へいぜん) - calm, composed, cool, quiet (#13542)
確固 (かっこ) - firm, unshakeable, resolute (#14992)

Other たる adjectives that aren’t common but are taught on WK

整然 (せいぜん) - orderly, regular, systematic (WK13)
躍如 (やくじょ) - vivid, lifelike, graphic (WK47)
悠々 (ゆうゆう) - quiet, calm, leisurely, easy (WK54)
敢然 (かんぜん) - boldly (WK57)

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Wow, I didn’t even know to ask! But this was very enlightening; thanks for sharing! I guess since there aren’t many common ones, beginner/intermediate texts feel ok stating there are only 2 types of adjectives… At first I was feeling annoyed at textbook writers for oversimplifying, but then if they tried to explain all of everything from the beginning it would be overwhelming - and I wouldn’t get to have so many epiphany moments.

Yeah, I guess they figure that you’ll only ever study them if you are preparing for N1, and many of the more common ones are not exclusively たる adjectives.

I also thought it was interesting that a number of them have a repetitive sound, and in the jisho example sentences many are used with と as adverbs. So they made me think of the Japanese onomatopeic words.[quote=“Leebo, post:4, topic:18095”]
many of the more common ones are not exclusively たる adjectives.

What do you mean by this?

たる adjectives take と in adverb form.

But just like how some な adjectives are also の adjectives or adverbs that can be used with no particle, some たる adjectives also have other functions.

依然 is a たる adjective, so it can use the たる functionality I described above, but it can also function as a plain adverb.

So it can be 依然として (using と like a たる adjective in adverb form does) or it can just be 依然 with nothing between it and the verb it modifies. But it cannot be 依然に.

Three people are still missing.

Three people are still missing.

haha, I’m getting in over my head :sweat_smile:

In your second example sentence are you saying that 行方不明 is a verb?[quote=“Leebo, post:6, topic:18095”]
it can just be 依然 with nothing between it and the verb it modifies

Well, I guess that’s confusing yeah. It’s not really modifying that, since there’s technically no verb there, but です is the copula. That sentence doesn’t equate to our parts of speech well.

One thing I wondered when learning this word, was if it was the same kanji/jukugo for seizen the sitting pose, since I would guess that’s an “orderly” way to sit (at least according to the Japanese)…
You do say “Some can also be used like regular adverbs or just plain nouns.”

I know of 正座 (せいざ)… is that what you’re thinking of?

Ah, that would be it. Been a long while since I’ve seen it romanized. XD

Which makes my “epiphany” thought from a few months ago totally wrong. I guess a “correct squat” is also appropriate. HAH. XD


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Yeah, that one is literally “correct sitting”

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