Grammar Info

N2 Lesson 5: 18/18


Unlikely to, Showing no signs of

そうもない = much more unlikely something will occur


Verb[ます+ そうにない(1)

(1) そうにもない


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About そうにない

Compared to そうもない 'very unlikely to (A)', そうにない is a grammar structure that has a very similar meaning, but is not quite as emphasized. In this expression, も will be replaced with に. Also, apart from indicating that something is very unlikely, it may also indicate that something is showing 'no signs of (A)'.
そうにない will connect to the ます-stem of the verb that it is indicating as being very unlikely.
  • ごめん、定時(ていじ)()がれそうにないから(さき)()べてて。
    Sorry, it seems unlikely that I can leave work on time, so go ahead and eat without me.
  • 今日(きょう)()そうにないのでキャンセルでお(おねが)いします。
    It is unlikely that I am going to be able to make it today, so please cancel my appointment.
Occasionally, そうにもない may also appear, and has the strongest nuance of being unlikely to happen amongst そうにない, そうもない, and そうにもない. Note that the only difference between these three structures is the addition, subtraction, or combination of the に and も particles.
  • 今日(きょう)(あめ)()そうにもないから()りに()こう!
    It is unlikely that it will rain today, so let's go fishing!
  • (れつ)(すす)そうにもないのでまた今度(こんど)()ましょう。
    The queue is showing no signs of moving so let's come back another time.
As this structure is just an extension of the use of the auxiliary verb そう (used primarily for speculation, or hearsay), it is simply indicating that (A) does not have any appearance of occuring.




    It is unlikely you will win the lottery two times in a row.


    I have been preparing for the JLPT for two weeks, but passing it is unlikely. However, I won't give up.


    Judging from current Japan-China relations, a turn for the better is unlikely.


    It is unlikely that it will snow tomorrow.


    Doctor: 'After this accident, it is unlikely for her to be able to walk again.'

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