The difference between み and さ

The difference between み and さ
(Adjective + み and さ : A+mi and A+sa)The difference between み and さ

The difference between み and さ (Adjective + み and さ : A+mi and A+sa). Hi everyone, to convert from adjectives to nouns, we often add suffixes み or さ behind the adjective.

However, how different are nouns that are tailed with み or さ?

In this article, LearnJapanesedaily would like to introduce to you the difference between み and さ in this situation.

Adjectives which are tailed with い :

How to form : We leave out the い  and then  add み or さ.

For example: 

強い(つよい)-> 強さ, 強み(つよみ)、良い(よい)-> 良さ、嬉しい(うれしい)-> 嬉しさ、大きい(おおきい)->大きさ, 広い(ひろい)->広さ.

Adjectives which are tailed with な :

→ We only need to add み or さ behind the adjectives (with out な) .

For example:


The difference between み and さ

Adjective + さ

さ is added to adjectives to indicate the degree, the state of being…, the condition… of the adjectives.

It is added subjectively, especially when being measured, counted by measurement equipment.

For example:

重さ(おもさ)、高さ(たかさ)、寒さ(さむさ)…  can always be measured by measurement equipment.

さ is the suffix that is used commonly and safely when converting adjectives to nouns.

Adjective + み

み is also used to indicate the degree, the state of being … , the condition… of the adjectives, however, it is less subjective than objectives + さ. objectives + み is often objective, showing the speaker’s point of view. Therefore, objectives + み is more likely objective.

For example:

痛み(いたみ : Pain)、苦しみ(くるしみ : Misery)、楽しみ(たのしみ : Happiness)、強み(つよみ : Strength)

There are many adjectives can be used with the suffix さ to convert to nouns as mentioned previously. However, it doesn’t work that way for み.

For example:

静かさ(しずか), 良さ(よさ), 広さ(ひろさ), 立派さ(りっぱさ), 片苦しさ(くるしさ), 美しさ(うつくしさ),嬉しさ(うれしさ), 大きさ(おおきさ), 静かさ(しずかさ.

Therefore, if you’re confused if you should add み or さ, choose さ because it’s more common and a safe choice. Only use み with words that you know, because they have some certain limits.

Above are Learn Japanese daily’s perspectives about The difference between み and さ, if you find it contradictory, feel free to comment below!

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2 thoughts on “The difference between み and さ

  • 14/02/2019 at 3:23 pm

    Hi, you’ve confused objective and subjective… they should be the other way round

    • 14/02/2019 at 4:16 pm

      hi Joe, can you tell me more about my confusing and tell me more about : “they should be the other way round” ?


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