てき as a noun means “target” or “objective”; however, this kanji has one particularly useful grammatical usage: by appending it to certain nouns we can turn them into na-adjectives!

Noun Adjective
政治せいじ Politics
政治的せいじてき Political
Noun Adjective
環境かんきょう Environment
環境的かんきょうてき Environmental
Noun Adjective
効率こうりつ Efficient
効率的こうりつてき Efficiently

Of course, like in English, this doesn’t work with all nouns:

Noun Adjective
学校がっこう School
学校的がっこうてき() Schoolitically?
それは楽観的らっかんてき見方みかただよね。
That’s an optimistic outlook, eh?
昨日きのう映画えいが感動的かんどうてきだった。
The movie I watched yesterday was moving.
グローバルな対応たいおうもとめられる政治的せいじてき課題かだいである。
A political issue that requires a global response.

Note the literary form of the auxiliary verb at the end of the sentence. Most newspapers will use this form rather than だ.

Because with the addition of 的 these nouns are now na-adjectives we can add に to turn them into adverbs.

具体的ぐたいてきなにいたいの?
What exactly do you want to say?
効率的こうりつてき仕事しごとをする。
Work efficiently.

For some words it is possible to drop both the な and 的 in writing.

政治的せいじてき問題もんだい
政治的問題せいじてきもんだい
政治問題せいじもんだい
A political problem.
現実的げんじつてき視点してん
現実的視点げんじつてきしてん
現実視点げんじつしてん。()
A realistic perspective.

There is no definite rule regarding the omission of either the な and 的, but including both is always grammatically correct.

Informally, 的 is sometimes appended to conjugations of verbs to create a “that sort of thing” expression. For instance if someone is vaguely insinuating that they like you to give them a lift somewhere, you say the following to make them get to the point.

れててきな?
“Take me with you” sort of thing?

It is not correct grammar, per se, but you may hear this structure in casual conversation so it’s worth mentioning.

Send this to a friend