Grammar Info

N3 Lesson 1: 17/22


I heard that, It is said that

Do not confuse with the form of そう used with word stems.


Verb + そう +
[い]Adjective + そう +
Noun + + そう +
[な]Adjective + + そう +


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About そうだ

The auxiliary verb そうだ has two primary functions in Japanese. It can convey one of the following things:
Hearsay: 伝聞(でんぶん) - Highlighting things that have been heard from other people.
Appearance: 様態(ようたい) - Highlighting the way that things 'appear', or 'seem'.
The appearance nuance is covered in another lesson, so we will focus on hearsay in this grammar point. When used to repeat statements that have been heard from other people/sources, そうだ (or そうです) will be paired with the plain form of a verb or い-Adjective, or a noun/な-Adjective followed by .
  • この種類(しゅるい)(とり)はよく()そうだ
    I heard that this bird chirps a lot.
  • (つぎ)患者(かんじゃ)さん(ひど)事故(じこ)あったそうです
    I heard that the next patient was in a bad accident.
  • あそこから()夕日(ゆうひ)綺麗(きれい)だそうです
    I heard that the sunset that you can see from there is beautiful.
  • 先輩(せんぱい)明日(あした)仕事(しごと)だそうだ
    I heard that senpai will be working tomorrow.
そうだ always implies that the speaker is not 100% certain about the validity of the information that they are conveying. Due to this, it does not sound as confident as other expressions, like ようだ.
In order to avoid confusion between the そうだ that is used for repeating information, and the そうだ that is used for making observations, the following differences will need to be memorized.
Verbs -
()るそうだ - Unaltered verb, そうだ that is repeating information.
()りそうだ - conjunctive form, そうだ that is used for making observations.
い-Adjectives -(さむ)いそうだ - Unaltered adjective, そうだ that is repeating information.
(さむ)そうだ - い removed, そうだ that is used for making observations.
Nouns and な-Adjectives -綺麗(きれい)だそうだ - だ is used before そうだ. This is repeating information.
綺麗(きれい)そうだ - No だ between the な-Adjective and そうだ. This is making an observation.




    I heard that Tom's girlfriend is an actress.


    I heard that from next week the temperature is going to drop.


    I heard that that person is kind.


    I heard it will rain tonight.


    That person is scary when he/she gets angry, but I heard that he/she is usually kind.

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そうだ – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (11 in total)

  • searls



  • testing


    The second sentence is translated as “I should memorize it.” Isn’t it rather “I shall/will memorize it.”, or am I misunderstanding some grammar?

  • Daru


    Hey! Extremely late reply, but so that this remains answered if someone else asks:

    It’s ておく + Volitional, so in a way its saying: “I should [do the effort preemptively] memorize it”. If it were literally saying that it shall/needs to be remembered, something like 覚えるべきだ、覚えることだ would probably get that meaning across better, but it’s not the intention.

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