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JapaneseEdit

Etymology 1Edit

/sau//sɔː//soː/

AdverbEdit

そう (rōmaji , historical hiragana さう)

  1. 然う: so, like that, in such a way
See alsoEdit

InterjectionEdit

そう (rōmaji , historical hiragana さう)

  1. 然う: yes, yeah; it's like that; that's how it is; I see. (interjection to show that the speaker is paying attention)
SynonymsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

/sau//sɔː//soː/

Probably either a shift from (sama), or directly from (). Appears from the Muromachi period.[1][2]

Possibly influenced by, or developed by analogy to, the adverbial and interjectional (然う).

SuffixEdit

そう (rōmaji -sō)

  1. seeming that, seeming like, appearing that
Usage notesEdit

This productive suffix meaning seeming like can come after a full phrase in plain form, or after a verb or adjective stem, thereby forming a "-na" adjective.

  • After a full phrase in plain form, the resulting phrase implies reported speech, something heard from someone else. For example, the verb 降る (furu, "to fall from the sky") plus this suffix forms 降るそう (furu , "I've heard that it will rain" or "someone told me that it will rain"). The adjective 美味しい (oishii, "delicious") plus this suffix forms 美味しいそう (oishii , "I've heard that it's delicious").
  • After a verb or adjective stem, the resulting word means it looks like X. For example, the stem 降り of the verb 降る (furu, "to fall from the sky") plus this suffix forms 降りそう (furi, "it looks like it will rain"). The stem 美味し of the adjective 美味しい (oishii, "delicious") plus this suffix forms 美味しそう (oishi, "looks delicious"). However, いい+そう becomes よさそう and ない+そう becomes なさそう.

The suffix should not be used after stem forms describing visually obvious physical traits like color. Although 赤いそう (akai , "I've heard that it's red") would be valid, *赤そう (aka, "it looks red") would not. Another example of this is that かわいい (可愛い) means someone looks cute so it does not need another そう. (かわいそう does exist, but means "pitiful" or "poor".) The suffix should, however, be used when describing another person's mood or mental state. For example, if another person looks glad, one says 嬉しそう (ureshi, "you look glad"), which is more natural and polite than saying 嬉しい (ureshii, "you are glad").

Etymology 3Edit

Various.

Adjectival nounEdit

そう (-na inflection, rōmaji )

  1. :

CounterEdit

そう (rōmaji -sō)

  1. : pairs
  2. :
  3. : floors in a building
  4. : small boats

NounEdit

そう (rōmaji )

  1. : pair
  2. :
  3. :
  4. :
  5. : aspect, phase, dimension
  6. : draft, rough copy
  7. , : manor
  8. :
  9. :
  10. :
  11. : burial
  12. : clothing; binding of a book
  13. : priest, monk, bonze
  14. :
  15. : stratum, layer, seam, tier
  16. :
  17. :
  18. :
  19. 左右: left and right
  20. 疎雨, 疏雨:

PrefixEdit

そう (rōmaji sō-)

  1. : gross, general

Proper nounEdit

そう (rōmaji )

  1. : A male given name
  2. : A surname​.
  3. : Song

SuffixEdit

そう (rōmaji -sō)

  1. : race, run

VerbEdit

そう (rōmaji sou)

  1. 添う, 副う: to accompany; to comply with
  2. 沿う: to follow; to run along
  3. : (auxiliary) be, do

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
  2. ^ 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN