Hello everyone! Today we are going to look at a suffix for turning adjectives into nouns.
If you’re thinking we’re talking about the suffix -さ to make nouns, well, you’re, kind of, wrong! Today we’re looking at adjective + め. How are the two different? Let’s take a look!
When you add -さ to an adjective (you have to drop the ending -い for i-adjectives), that adjective simply becomes a noun as follows:
You get the idea.
Now, adding the -め suffix instead of -さ still turns the adjective into a noun, however the difference is that it gives the meaning of “just a little/slightly” as in “a little fast” or “a little cleaner” etc. Let’s look at our examples from above again, but with -め added this time.
To return home a little early (earlier than planned, etc.).
When you use an adjective with -め and want to use it to modify another noun, you need to add the possessive particle の as in 高めの山 (a slightly high mountain).
to set a little higher goal.
a (slightly) high place.
Let’s look at some more examples using -さ and -め.
The highest mountain in Japan, Mt. Fuji, has a height of 3776 meters.
Man, what heat today! (Today is so hot!)
How fast is that pitcher’s ball? (lit. how many km is the speed of the ball of that pitcher?)
The prices are set a little higher since this supermarket handles organic vegetables.
I’m gonna sleep early since I’m tired today.
The spices I put in the curry I made today are kicking in and the spiciness is making it delicious.