そうに/そうな - Grammar Discussion

seem, look like, sound

Structure

  • なAdj + そう + Verb
  • なAdj + そう + Noun
  • いAdj[] + そう + Verb
  • いAdj[] + そう + Noun
  • Verb[stem] + そう + Verb
  • Verb[stem] + そう + Noun

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Hello!
I have a question about this sentence:

つまらなさそうな 話はなしって聞ききたくない。[つまらない]

I don’t want to hear a story that sounds boring .

I did some research about the つまらなさそうな part, I googled that if it should be like this, or just つまらなそうな without the さ. Because technically it’s not a Negative form, it’s just a i-adjective, right? I just want to make sure what’s your verdict. Thank you so much for answering my questions! :slight_smile:

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Hey :grin:

I have changed it to つまらなそうな 話はなしって聞ききたくない。[つまらない].
But both answers (つまらなさそう、つまらなそう) are (and were) accepted.

つまらない originates from a negative form of つまる, and this is the source of the problem. In other words, it depends how do you interpret it - as いadjective or negative form.
But since no-one really says つまりません but instead つまらないです and there is no connection with modern つまる I think it is safe to assume it to be pure いadjective and it makes つまらなそうな the proper answer from the grammatical point of view. Another thing is that Japanese use both forms (though つまらなそう is still used more often).

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Thank you for the clarification!

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I have a quick question about one of the review questions:

彼(かれ)は わかりやすそうに 説明(せつめい)したが、まだ理解(りかい)ができない。

accepts both わかりやすそうに and わかりやすそうな. Is this an error?

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Hey :grinning:

I have fixed it, only そうに should be accepted since 説明した is a verb.

Cheers :+1:

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やさしそうに 犬を撫なでた。[優やさしい]
She pet the dog in a way that seemed affectionate .
[conjecture/guess・based on visual cues・low confidence]

Should this be “な” because “犬” is a noun?

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Hey! Long time no see!

It is に because it works as an adverb and modifies verb (can also modify adjectives and other adverbs).
Therefore it is expresses the manner.
やさしそうに 犬を撫でた。[優さしい]
She pet the dog in a way that seemed affectionate .

な would modify the noun itself.
やさしそうな 犬を撫でた。[やさしい]
She pet the kind looking dog .

Cheers!

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Thanks, mate. I think I get it.

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I hope is isn’t a silly question but what is “って” doing in this example question?

これが入りそうな箱はこってある?
Is there a box that looks like it might fit this?

I only know this as the casual quotation particle.
Any understanding would be wonderfuly helpful! ^o^!

@deltacat3 Hey! Not a silly question at all! って is actually an N3 grammar point and is used as a casual topic marker. We will get this sentence updated as it uses grammar that you have not yet learned in N4. In the meantime, I have added a link in the sentence that directs to the appropriate grammar point. Cheers!

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Oh! that’s such a relief to know that i’m not forgetting previous grammar as I push forward!
Thank you for the prompt response, and greetings from ニュージーランド! ∠( ゚д゚)/

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Apologies but I have another question small question (>_<)!
In this sentence what function is the に performing here?

指が長いので、彼はピアノを上手弾きそうな人だ。

@deltacat3 Hey! 上手 is a na-adjective/noun, but when you attach a に to it it becomes an adverb. So think of 上手 as “proficient” and 上手に as “proficiently.” Check out this awesome article from Wasabi covering Japanese adverbs.

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Omg! thank you for directing me to that link, it really, really helped!
And thanks for your insight, everyone is so helpful here. (゚∀゚)/

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Hi everyone,

I know this is a silly question but it’s been troubling me for some reason.

With the following sentence: つまらなそうな 話はなしって聞ききたくない,
Why is there a being used and not a ** に**? Isn’t 話はなしって聞ききたくない a verb?

@RJM Hey! Thank you for your question. 話 (はなし) is a noun and the part of the sentence that is being emphasized by そうな. If you were to place emphasis on the verb (聞きたくない) with そうに, the sentence would sound something like “I don’t want to uninterestingly/boringly listen to the conversation” which sounds a bit strange. You want to express “I don’t want to listen to a boring conversation,” so you would modify 話 with そうな. Cheers!

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Ahh perfect! Thanks so much :slight_smile:

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I don’t suppose you’d consider linking between the pages for そうに・ように・みたいに? And it looks like there’s going to be a げ construction of a similar sort, when I get a bit further. They’re all fairly similar, and (not too put too fine a point on it) it can be a little difficult to search on the grammar pages to look them up for comparison. A direct link somewhere would be ideal.

Thanks,
Cris