What's de difference between 新しい and 新た?

Both 新しい and 新た share the same meaning, but is there a difference?


Yes. 新しい is an い-adjective. 新た is a noun and a な-adjective. 新た is also used in more formal/literary contexts.

A stackoverflow discussion on this as well:


To expand on this, 新た has a greater sense of “there hasn’t been anything like this before.” Whereas “new” can have more mundane meanings as well.

So, while you can buy yourself some new clothes and say 新しい服, you would not say you bought yourself some 新たな服 (and let’s just say these are normal new clothes and not some kind of revolutionary means of covering oneself) . No matter what context of Japanese you were going for, 新た would sound strange there, even in literature or something.

But often the kinds of things that are appropriate to use 新た don’t come up in everyday conversation all that often, so it has a correlation with heavier contexts.


Yeah, it’s as if it’s something novel not just ‘brand new’.


Additionally, if something legitimately is completely a first for you, like you’re saying your life is taking a “new direction” or something, then 新た is okay. Even though you might not be a pioneer or anything.


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