Grammar Info

N3 Lesson 3: 18/22


Figure, Shape, Appearance, Looks, Wearing, Dressed in, Presence


Verb + 姿(すがた)
Noun + () + 姿(すがた)


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About ~(の)姿

When the noun 姿(すがた) 'figure' is used as a suffix, it describes the outward appearance of someone. This may be in relation to what the person is wearing, their overall shape, body type, or style. 姿(すがた) is often translated as '(A) looking', 'wearing (A)', 'clad in (A)', or 'performing (A)'.
姿(すがた) may be used after verbs in their attributive form, or after nouns followed by the case marking particle の.
  • 昨日(きのう)(はじ)めてお(とう)さん(はたら)いている姿(すがた)()た。
    Yesterday was the first time I saw my father (his figure) working.
  • 息子(むすこ)(かな)しんでいる姿(すがた)()(わたし)まで(かな)しくなってくる
    When I see my son in a sad state, it makes even me sad.
  • さっき(おとこ)(ひと)姿(すがた)()えたけど()せいかな。
    Earlier, I saw a man (his figure), but that might have been my mistake.
  • デパート息子(むすこ)姿(すがた)()えなくなって、(すこ)しパニックになった。
    I lost sight of my son's presence at the department store, and it made me panic a little.
姿(すがた) is a word that focuses primarily on the way that someone appears to observer. Therefore, it is also often used to describe the observer's impression of who they are looking at, in regard to their presence, or lack thereof.
  • (むすめ)(ある)姿(すがた)(おっと)()ている
    The way my daughter walks looks just like my husband.
  • (いぬ)()ている姿(すがた)はとてもかわいい。
    The way my dog looks when he is sleeping is so cute.
After nouns, の will sometimes be omitted, but this is not always the case. In general, の may be dropped after kanji compounds, but not after simple words like (ひと), (とき), (もと), etc.
  • やっとお(まえ)花嫁(はなよめ)姿(すがた)()れて(うれ)しいよ。
    I am so happy that I can finally see you as a bride.
  • シンデレラは12()になった瞬間(しゅんかん)元姿(もとすがた)(もど)った。
    As soon as it reached 12 oclock, Cinderella turned back into her original appearance. (Unnatural Japanese)




    I like the way you look when you move. (moving figure)


    Newspaper article: 'Actresses dressed in brilliant kimonos made an appearance at the movie company party.' (appearance・looks)


    Chat between friends: 'That person has a pretty face, and also the way they stand is attractive.' (standing figure)


    Clothing store, client: 'I will look at my appearance in the mirror!' (figure)


    I haven't seen him (his presence) since the last time I met him in 2012. (figure・appearance)

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~(の)姿 – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (1 in total)

  • Ambo100


    Am I correct in assuming that 姿 when used to mean ‘dressed in …; wearing …’ does not need の before it as it used a suffix?

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