In our first らしい
lesson, we discussed the 助動詞（じょどうし） (auxiliary verb) use of らしい
. In this lesson we will focus on the 形容詞（けいようし）の一部（いちぶ） (auxiliary adjective) usage. An auxiliary adjective is a type of adjective that must be attached to another word for it to have any meaning.
To use らしい
in this way, it must be attached to the end of a noun, and will imply that something is ‘typical of (A)’, where (A) is the noun that comes before it. As this らしい
behaves like an い-Adjective
, it may also be conjugated to らしく
, before a (B) phrase will explain more about ‘what’ is/was typical of (A).
Tom, you are really manly.
Takeru, you are already an older brother, so you should act like an older brother!
It has finally become October-like weather, don't you think?
The primary use of this らしい
is to express that (A) has some feature or trait that is expected of itself. It can be used for people, ‘studying all night is so typical of Tanaka’, or it can be used for things like seasons ‘this heat is so typical of the Japanese Summer’. Other common translations are ‘to be befitting of (A)’, or ‘to be appropriate for (A)’.
However, it may also be used negatively, to show that something is (often surprisingly) ‘uncharacteristic of (A)’.
I've never seen Tom study this much. It's very uncharacteristic of him.
Today is not typical of August. It’s cool.
She is an unladylike person.
When the noun that appears in (A) and (B) are the same, it will imply that (A) is the ‘prime example of (B)’, or ‘the most (A), (B)’.
August this year is the prime example of summer. (Literally, ‘the most summery summer’)