Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 4: 3/18

そうに

Seem, Look like, Sound

Negative Verb[な] + そう, い-Adj [な] + + そう

Structure

Verb[ます+ そう + Verb(1)
[い]Adjective[+ そう + Verb(1)
[な]Adjective + そう + Verb(1)
Verb[ます(2) + そう + Noun

(1) Adverb、[い]Adjective[な]Adjective
(2) [い]Adjective[[な]Adjective

Details

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About そうに・そうな

そうだ is one of the 18 auxiliary verbs in Japanese, and can be used in the same way as な-Adjectives (may be followed by な when acting as an adjective, or に when acting as an adverb). This is a unique characteristic of そうだ and ようだ. It is not something that can be done with all auxiliary verbs. As with そうだ, そうに and そうな carry the meaning of 'seeming like (A)', or 'looking like (A)'.
  • さっき、先輩(せんぱい)(おこ)そうになって
    Earlier, it seemed like senpai was going to get angry.
  • (かれ)(いそが)そうに仕事(しごと)ている
    He is working like he is busy.
  • 彼女(かのじょ)どんな仕事(しごと)でも簡単(かんたん)そうにやるからうらやましです
    She does all her work like it is easy, so I am very jealous of her.
  • つまらなそうなパーティー()ません
    I don't go to parties that seem like they would be boring.
Caution
そう may also be used when attached to the い-Adjective, ない. In this case, there is a unique conjugation rule which you will need to be careful of. As always, い will be removed from ない before attaching そう. However, さ will need to be inserted between な, and そう. This results in the construction なさそう.
  • すご(から)くなさそうに()
    Wow! You eat it like it's not spicy.
  • 大事(だいじ)じゃなさそうな(もの)()てもいい
    You can throw away anything that does not look important.
Note that this addition of さ does not happen with verbs. This is due to the ない that is used with negative verbs being an auxiliary verb, and not an い-Adjective. With the auxiliary verb ない, simply remove the い, before adding そう directly to the stem.
  • あの(ひと)(おこ)そうな(かお)ているけどいつも(おこ)ている
    He does not look like he gets angry alot, but actually he is always angry.
  • (かれ)美味(おい)くなさそうに(はん)()ている
    He is eating his food like it does not taste good.

Examples

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  • 今日(きょう)(あめ)()そうな()です

    It looks like today is going to be a rainy day doesn't it.

    • (かれ)わかりやすそうに説明(せつめい)したまだ理解(りかい)できない。

      He explained in a way that seemed easy to understand, but I still don't understand.

      • あの先生(せんせい)(おし)えている授業(じゅぎょう)(たの)そうな授業(じゅぎょう)です

        The classes that teacher teaches look like fun classes.

        • これ(はい)そうな(はこ)ってある

          Is there a box that looks like it might fit this?

          って

          • (やさ)そうに(いぬ)()でた。

            She pet the dog in a way that seemed affectionate.

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            そうに・そうな – Grammar Discussion

            Most Recent Replies (30 in total)

            • FredKore

              FredKore

              Verb[stem] + そうな + Noun

              降り出す振り出します

              Verb[stem] = 振り出し

              ⇒「降り出しそうな」 (ta-da! )

            • Exosum

              Exosum

              By the way this sentence is still present with confusing N3 grammar point.

              これが入りそうな箱ってある

            • busnea

              busnea

              Why can’t you use そうに for nouns? Like noun + そうに + Verb . Because you can use it for [な]Adjectives and Noun + の + よう + だ is possible.

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