Grammar Info
N3 Lesson 3: 18/22

figure・shape, appearance・looks, wearing・dressed in, presence

Verb + 姿
Noun + () + 姿
Register Standard
使用域 一般
When the noun 姿(すがた) ‘figure’ is used as a 接尾後(せつびご) (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 連体形(れんたいけい) (attributive form), or after nouns followed by the 格助詞(かくじょし) (case marking particle) の.
  • 昨日(きのう)初(はじ)めてお父(とう)さん働(はたら)いている姿(すがた)見(み)た。
    Yesterday was the first time I saw my father working.
  • 息子(むすこ)悲(かな)しんでいる姿(すがた)見(み)る、私(わたし)まで悲(かな)しくなってくる
    When I see my son in a sad state, it makes even me sad.
  • さっき男(おとこ)人(ひと)の姿(すがた)見(み)えたけど、気(き)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)の姿(すがた)見(み)えなくなって、少(すこ)しパニックになった。
    I lost sight of my son, 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.
  • 娘(むすめ)歩(ある)く姿(すがた)夫(おっと)似(に)ている
    The way my daughter walks looks just like my husband.
  • 犬(いぬ)寝(ね)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 人(ひと), 時(とき), 元(もと), etc.
  • やっとお前(まえ)花嫁(はなよめ)姿(すがた)見(み)れて嬉(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時(じ)になった瞬間(しゅんかん)元姿(もとすがた)戻(もど)った。
    As soon as it reached 12 oclock, Cinderella turned back into her original appearance.
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I like the way you look when you move.
Moving figure. In this case, it is used to express the specific way someone looks when doing something.
Newspaper article: "Actresses dressed in brilliant kimonos made an appearance at the movie company party."
着物きもの姿すがた is also possible.
Chat between friends: "That person has a pretty face, and also the way they stand is attractive."
Standing figure.
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