ao or aoi?

Asked 3 years ago

for the word "blue" I've seen it as aoi AND ao. Could either be used?

Know someone who might be able to answer this question?

3 Answers


aoi and ao are basically the same word. Some adjectives in Japanese are called i-adjectives and this is one of them.

So you could say: " a blue car" in two ways:  aoi kuruma or ao no kuruma. In the first instance you make use of it being an i-adjective and you just stick it in front of the word car. In the second instance you use a particle " no"  to connect the color to the car. 

i-adjectives have a different set of grammar rules that apply to them compared to non i-adj. 

For example i-adjectives have a special way of changing when a negative expression is used. So when something is not blue it becomes aokunai or aokuarimasen. (the i is removed and kunai or arimasen is added).

Another example of an i-adjective is the color red: aka or akai.  

it is not restricted to colors though. oishii (delicious, tasty) is also an i-adjective


Answered 3 years ago



As far as I know, in most cases (including that with a car) "ao no" and "aoi" are the same, but sometimes there is a difference.

For example, "aoi enpitsu" is a pencil painted in blue color, while "ao no enpitsu" is a pencil which writes in blue (even if it's not blue itself).

Answered 3 years ago


There's actually a lesson about this in thr beginner section! In english, blue can be a noun or an adjective.

E.g: My favourite colour is blue. - I can't find my blue shoes.

But in japanese, there's a different word for each of the cases. It's actually simple: aoi is the adjective, so we can say aoi hon (blue book), and ao is the noun. Ao no hon also means blue book but we have to use the particle no to describe a noun by another noun. 

This goes for all the other colours. 

Aka-akai,shiro-shiroi,kuro-kuroi, etc.

Answered 3 years ago