I like un-cheerful puppies

Hi! Trying to figure out the grammar, but I can’t seem to find it in my books (or I’m overlooking it when I do stumble upon it).

“I like cheerful puppies” is 陽気な子犬は好きます

I’d like to (in an excel spreadsheet I’m laying out of sentence structures and conjugation-like elements) nail down the format for “I like un-cheerful puppies”.

I know (I think I know) that the polite form negation of an い-adjective is to smoosh “くな” between the adjective stem and the i. I don’t know what to do with a な-adjective.

Grateful for any help. I know I can say “I don’t like cheerful puppies” which is much the same, but not quite.


The simplest way to negate a な adjective is just to put ではない or じゃない after it and use that as the modifier of the thing you’re modifying. The な wouldn’t be necessary. 陽気じゃない子犬

I don’t know that it would make the sentence you’re trying to make a natural one for a Japanese person to say though.

As a side note, 好き does technically come from a verb originally, but it’s almost always seen in な adjective form these days. so you say ~が好き, not ~好く or ~好きます


I’m putting “na-adjectives that happen to end with i” in jail with “masculine nouns in Spanish that end with a.”

Like きらい? I agree that it’s confusing to beginners, but was there something in this thread that triggered that thought?

It’s not that bad when they are written in kanji since very few な-adjectives end in い without being written in kanji.


Would 不陽気 not work?

The mention of 好きgenerally being used a like a な adjective, combined with totally misreading your conjugation examples.

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That would be an antonym, rather than a negation. Like how さむい is the antonym of あつい, but あつくない is the negation of あつい.

Of course, if such an antonym exists for a given word, using it can usually generate roughly the same intended meaning.

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Well isnt that what op is looking for in this case?

They want to use the antonym, saying I like gloomy puppies, instead of I dont like cheerful puppies.

This portion

Indicated to me that they wanted to know how to negate な adjectives. Finding an antonym wouldn’t be a grammar question.

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Oh I understand now thank you.

OP here, yes, that was my request. I just couldn’t find the rule (and fully appreciate a Japanese person is unlikely to say this.)

If I know an antonym, great, but at this early stage it’s great to be able to convey opposites, like “no, I don’t want the early train, I want the, um, not early train” etc., as I know hayai but not a word for late.

Thanks all so much!


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