Grammar Info
N3 Lesson 1: 18/23

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 +
Verb + そう + です
[い]Adjective + そう + です
Noun + + そう + です
[な]Adjective + + そう + です
Register Standard
使用域 一般
The 助動詞(じょどうし) (auxiliary verb) そうだ has two primary functions in Japanese. It can convey one of the following things:
伝聞(でんぶん) - Highlighting things that have been heard from other people.
様態(ようたい) - Highlighting the way that things ‘appear’, or ‘seem’.
The 様態(ようたい) nuance is covered in another lesson, so we will focus on 伝聞(でんぶん) 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)鳥(とり)はよく鳴(な)くそうだ
    I heard that this bird chirps a lot.
  • 次(つぎ)患者(かんじゃ)さんは酷(ひど)い事故(じこ)あったそうです
    I heard that the next patient was in a bad accident.
  • あそこから見(み)る夕日(ゆうひ)は綺麗(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)は明日(あした)も仕事(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 -
降(ふ)るそうだ - Unaltered verb, そうだ that is repeating information.
降(ふ)りそうだ - 連用形(れんようけい) (counjunctive form), そうだ that is used for making observations.
い-Adjectives - 寒(さむ)いそうだ - Unaltered adjective, そうだ that is repeating information.
寒(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.
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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.
Genki II 1st Edition
Page 96
みんなの日本語 II
Page 138 [CH 47]
Marugoto Elementary 2 (A2) Rikai
Page 130 & 154
Genki II 2nd Edition
Page 122
[DBJG] A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar
Page 407
Tae Kim's Japanese Grammar Guide
Page 264
[AIAIJ] An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese
Page 74