Meaning

Primary

Fresh

Alternatives

Raw, Live

Word Type

noun, の adjective

Explanation

Normally a single kanji alone like this would mean the same thing as its parent kanji, but in the case of it's a little different (but still related). When you think of something that has life, it's fresh or raw. Think sashimi or sushi, for example. You want that to be as close as possible to life as you can, so you eat it when it's fresh and raw. This word can also be used to describe a live event, like a concert or sporting event.

You'll see this word at the beginning of other words. For example, 生たまご is "raw egg."

Reading

なま
Kyoko
(Tokyo accent, female)
Kenichi
(Tokyo accent, male)

Explanation

This uses one of the kun'yomi readings. Here's a mnemonic to help you remember it:

After eating raw fish, my yoga teacher and I say namaste (なま) to the sushi chef, bowing low to show our appreciation.

Context

Patterns of Use

  • 生の〜
  • 生〜
  • 生で〜

Common Word Combinations

  • 生のさかな
    raw fish
    生のパイナップル
    raw pineapple
    生のニンジン
    raw carrots
  • 生ビール
    draft beer
    生ごみ
    food scraps, kitchen waste
    生たまご
    raw egg
  • 生であじわう
    to taste raw food, to enjoy music live
    生でたべる
    to eat raw
    生できく
    to listen to live music

Context Sentences

生のやさいはにが手です。

I don't like raw veggies.

生ビール一ちょう、下さーい。

Give me a draft beer!

ビートルズは生でみれたらいいな〜。

If only I could have seen the Beatles live!

Kanji Composition