Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 5: 15/20

()

Completely, Exactly, Right

Structure

(っ) + [い]Adjective[
(っ) + Noun

+ ま(*)・な(*):
(なか)(まえ)(まる)

+ か(*)・さ(*)・しゃ(*):
黄色(きいろ)(しろ)(さき)正直(しょうじき)

+ は(*)(**):
だか

Exceptions:
あおい →
あかい →

(*) column in the kana chart
(**) H sound becomes P sound

Details

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    Standard

  • 使用域

    一般

About 真(っ)

The prefix ま, coming from the kanji () (true), is attached to words in Japanese to express that something is 'completely', 'exactly', 'genuinely' (A). Depending on the word that follows (), several different conjugation patterns will be used. This conjugation depends on which column the first kana of the word after ()comes from. ま comes from the ま, み, む, め, も column, for example.
When linked with a ま column, or な column word, () will become ()ん.
  • この(ねこ)()(まる)ていかわい
    This cat is completely circular and cute. (This cat is so fat that it is cute)
  • ()(なか)ある(ほん)とってください
    Please take the book in the middle.
When linked with a か column, さ column, or しゃ sound word, () will become ()っ.
  • (からだ)()()になるくらい 風呂(ふろ)(あつ)かった
    The bath was so hot that my body went completely red.
  • サル()から()(さか)さまに()
    The monkey fell completely upside down from the tree.
  • (みち)(ゆき)()(しろ)になっ
    The road turned completely white with snow.
When linked with a は column, () will become ()っ, and the first kana of the following word will change to a 'P' sound.
  • ちょっと、(なん)()(ぱだか)なの
    Wait, why are you completely naked?
  • ()昼間(ぴるま)からこんな(はな)する
    You are going to talk about this in the middle of the day? (Are you seriously going to talk about something like this in the middle of the day?)
Caution
There are several exceptions to the standard changes that happen when using () as a prefix. These are as follows.
When linked with (あお)い, () will become ()っ, and (あお)い will become (さお).
  • (そら)()(さお)できれい
    The sky is completely blue and beautiful.
When linked with (あか)い, () will become ()っ, and (あか)い will become ().
  • (かお)()()になってる大丈夫(だいじょうぶ)
    Your face is completely red, are you okay?

Examples

--:--

    (みち)()(なか)鹿(しか)がいた。

    There was a deer right in the middle of the road.

    この道路(どうろ)()()()てください

    Please go (exactly) straight down this street.

    (かれ)(たけ)(かたな)()(ぷた)()った

    He cut the bamboo right in two with a sword.

    (きゅう)()ったから()(まえ)()(くら)になってしまった。

    Because I stood up suddenly, everything went completely black.

    可愛(かわ)(おんな)()(こえ)かけられたの?(かお)()()

    Did a cute girl talk to you? Your face is completely red.

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真(っ) – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (12 in total)

  • Yryrdz

    Yryrdz

    OH, I feel foolish. Thank you greatly.

  • Isurandil492

    Isurandil492

    道が雪で真っ白になた

    Shouldn’t it be なった? (No, couldn’t send a bug report, because I already sent one for the same grammar point ^^)

  • Sidgr

    Sidgr

    There’s a subtle yet important grammatical nuance that often leads to confusion, particularly when paired with なる:

    • 真っ黒になる
    • 真っ黒くなる.

    At first glance the second seems reasonable, but why it is incorrect isn’t immediately obvious. The key lies in understanding how this emphasizer interacts not with い形容詞 (i-adjectives) but with 名詞 (nouns).

    To illustrate, consider the words 赤 (red, a noun) and 赤い (red, an adjective) in Japanese. They are distinct entities. Following this logic, when we use 真っ (utterly/completely) as a modifier, it aligns with the noun form. Therefore, the correct structure is 真っ + 名詞, which leads to the use of になる, as in the pattern 名詞 + になる.

    So, in the case of 真っ黒 (pitch black), which is a noun phrase, the grammatically correct expression is 真っ黒になる, not 真っ黒くなる.

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