そうです - How to say “Seems, I heard” in Japanese?

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In this article, we will learn the expression “Hearing to say” in Japanese. It is very simple, we use the word そう (sou) together with です (desu) or another conjugation.

This expression is used when the speaker talks about something he heard. There is also a more informal way of saying そうです (soudesu) which is そうだ (souda).

そうです is used to express rumors and can mean expressions like:

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  • it looks like ~
  • hear that ~
  • people say ~
  • is about to ~
  • be going to ~
  • prone ~
  • almost ~

This expression そう is also used in conjunction with adjectives as in the words below:

  • 美味しそう - oishisou - looks yummy
  • そう - Omosou - looks heavy
  • そう - atsusou - looks hot
  • しそう - yasashisou - looks nice
  • さそう - yosasou - looks good

The そう form is also used in verbs, and the expression will depend on the context of the sentence. Let's see how some verbs look:

  • 泣きそう - naki-sou - cry
  • 来そう - kisou - come
  • 起きそう - okisou - get up
  • しそう - shisou - Do (する)
  • 落ちそう - (You) will fall
  • 降りそう - furisou - looks like it's going to rain
  • 降らなさそう - furanasasou - it looks like it won't rain

Now how are the verbs or adjectives in a sentence? Let's see some examples below:

中に眠りそうだった. Chū ni nemuri-sōdatta. I almost fell asleep during class.
 あの子が泣きそうです。 Year ko ga naki-sōdesu. This child is crying
 雨が降りそうです。 Love ga ori-sōdesu. It looks like it's going to rain
 もう食べられそう? Mō tabe rare-sō? Do you think we can eat now?
 ねえ,来られ今日そう? Nee kyou korare sō? Hey, do you think we can go out today?
 雪が降りそうですね。 Yuki ga ori-sōdesu ne. It looks like it's going to snow.
 この本は高そうです。 Kono Moto wa taka-sōdesu. This book looks expensive.
 この映画はとてもいいそうだ。 Kono eiga wa totemo ii am da. Hear that this film is very good.
 昨日雪が降ったそうです。 Kino Yuki ga futta I'm your. I heard it snowed yesterday.
 彼女は弁護士だそうだ。 Kanojo wa bengoshi da sou da. I heard that she is a lawyer.

If we conjugate そう in the following way we will have different meanings:

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  • そうもない - soumonai - very unlikely
  • そうにもない - sounimonai - improbable, impossible

Examples:

でも、そんなこと、ありそうにもないでしょう?
Demo, son'na ko to, ari-sō ni mo naideshou?
It doesn't seem likely, but, does it?

今君は自分で自分を監視できそうにもないよ。
Ima kimi wa jibun de jibun o kanshi deki-sō ni mo nai yo.
You are currently not able to be your own tutor.

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Finally, let's remember the famous expression that can sometimes seem sarcastic. そうですか (I'm desu ka) that means "Really?".  As we learned the meaning of そう, try to reason yourself why そう is in that question, remember why someone asked that question, and draw your own conclusions.

Now that we know the meaning of sou (そう) our sentences get richer, and we can understand much more what the Japanese mean. With just one word, we were able to understand several expressions and greatly expanded our understanding in the Japanese language. Now we must put it into practice, memorize it, and in time it will be easy to express うう in our conversations.