Trouble remembering 美しい or 美くしい

So, obviously this isn’t an issue when typing digitally, but I tend to get confused between this. Whether it’s 新しい or 新らしい, 近い or 近かい, 行う or 行なう. Reviewing and remembering the reading is the only way I see. Does anyone have any tips regarding this?

kanji doesn’t have to be constrained to 2 syllables. not to be rude but i have no idea how you got to that conclusion

I never said it has to be constrained to 2 syllables. Maybe, the examples I gave made it seem so.

are the correct ways to read/write/ or type them

I know that. I am saying when I am writing a sentence, I’ll think whether I should write 整える or 整のえる.


It makes things take a really long time, and only applicable to things you learn on WK, but if you have handwriting recognition, you can try hand writing your vocab words into Kaniwani. It’ll ding you if you put in 美くしい instead of 美しい and such. (Or if you don’t have hand writing recognition on your device, write it out on a piece of paper and count yourself wrong if you put the okurigana down wrong).

Or brute force memorization. But where’s the fun in that?


i count hiragana characters’ lengths.
助手 じょ。しゅ。4 characters.
is it relevant?

This is a common thing to test Japanese people on in their kanji writing skills. The Kanji Kentei has a whole section on okurigana, if you want to find lots of sample problems you can search for that. That might help you with it.

Totally recommend just writing them out by hand. Just write out meaning, kanji + whatever hiragana with it, then just hiragana version. Any time you get it wrong when reviewing, force yourself to write it down as a self correction. It’s worked wonders for me so far, I have too many issues with the 交 verbs.

Can you share your foolproof methods for remembering the okurigana of everything? It sounds like you’ve got it all figured out.


For the most part, the hiragana at the end doesn’t seem to vary too much between words, e.g. most adjectives are going to have しい or い at the end of them, so if you’re writing a word ending in しい, just remember that’s the only bit you need to write. Also in the case of 美しい, no other word ends in くしい so the く must belong to the kanji.
This should save you having to remember the okurigana for each and every word you come across

There is probably a reason for which kana appear as okurigana because they should serve a grammatical function. The -い ending is the base form of i-adjectives, the -し- means that the adjective is related to human emotions, …

But not everything has just -しい attached, however the additional ending likely related to other words formed with the kanji.
Say 頼もしい, which has verb 頼む, or 甚だしい with adverb 甚だ. You can also turn kanji compounds into adjectives by appending らしい like 馬鹿らしい (is that that らしい?).

So in the end there might so many rules and reasons that it’s more effort to remember and apply the reasons compared to just remembering the words.

It’s true that adjectives that end in しい will basically always have at least the しい as okurigana, but the trick is remember when they have more than that visible, like 恥ずかしい or 汚らわしい or 騒がしい.

For verbs, I’m sure someone could cobble together a half-assed rule of thumb, but I agree that it would be more trouble than it’s worth to apply rules and remember all the exceptions to them.

I noticed this with adjectives too, if the word has しい in the end, it’s the okurigana. For verbs, also there are some patterns I guess, like verbs which end with える, mostly the える is the okurigana. Remembering seems the way to go! :smiley:

I have seen 行なうin Japanese papers before, because when you see 行って and 行なって it made it easier to read the difference.

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excuse my lack of knowledge on the subject

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