Grammar Info
N4 Lesson 4: 3/18

Seem, Look like, Sound

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

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
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使用域 一般
そうだ is one of the 18 助動詞(じょどうし) (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)怒(おこ)りそうになって
    Earlier, it seemed like senpai was going to get angry.
  • 彼(かれ)忙(いそが)しそうに仕事(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行(い)きません
    I don't go to parties that seem like they would be boring.
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!辛(から)くなさそうに食(た)べ
    Wow! You eat it like it’s not spicy.
  • 大事(だいじ)じゃなさそうな物(もの)捨(す)ててもいい
    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.
  • あの人(ひと)怒(おこ)らそうな顔(かお)ているけどいつも怒(おこ)っている
    He does not look like he gets angry alot, but actually he is always angry.
  • 彼(かれ)美味(おい)しくなさそうにご飯(はん)食(た)べている
    He is eating his food like it does not taste good.
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It looks like today is going to be a rainy day doesn't it.
He explained in a way that seemed easy to understand, but I still don't understand.
The classes that teacher teaches look like fun classes.
Marugoto Elementary 2 (A2) Rikai
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Marugoto Elementary 1 (A2) Rikai
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