JLPT

Appearances&Hearsay

  • Appearance (みたい/よう )

N/いAdj/なAdj/V + みたいだ /みたいに/みたいなN
よう is the most generic way to express an appearance and/or manner, however in some cases よう might seem too formal or stiff. This is where the other noun, みたい, comes in.
But remember, in formal situations or if you are talking to someone older than you, or someone you’ve met for the first time, using よう is much safer as みたい is a more casual way of describing what something/someone looks like or appears like.

  • Examples:
  • 彼の話し方は、女みたいだ(=女のようだ)

→ He talks like a woman (Lit. His way of talking, seems like woman)

  • ここの砂は星みたいな形をしてる(=星のような)
→ The grains of sand here are star-shaped.
  • このアパートは誰も住んでないみたいだ(=住んでないようだ)
→ This apartment looks deserted. (Lit. It looks like no one lives in this apartment)
  • リンさんみたいに日本語がうまくなりたい(=リンさんのように)
→ I wish I could speak Japanese like Lin-san. (Lit. I want to become good at Japanese, like Lin-san)
  • このぬいぐるみは犬みたいじゃない?
→ Doesn’t this stuffed toy look like a dog?
  • 明日は雨みたいだ
→ It looks like it will rain tomorrow

  • Guessing by observation(そうだ)

First I will mention, there are two types of 「そうだ」. Now I will explain the one which describes that something “seems” like based on what the speaker sees or feels. The other 「そうだ」is hearsay. I will explain that later on in this post.

Lets take two key-sentences as examples for now:

(A) 雨が振りそうだ/そうです(It looks like it will rain)

(B)あの車は高そうだ/そうです(That car looks expensive)


  • Formation

→ Vます

  1. 話します → 話し + そうだ/です → 話しそうだ/です(Looks like s.o. will talk)
  2. 食べます → 食べ + そうだ/です → 食べそうだ/です (Looks like s.o. will eat)

→ いAdj

  1. 高い → 高 + そうだ/です → 高そうだ/です (S.t. looks expensive)
  2. 若い → 若 + そうだ/です → 若そうだ/です (S.o. looks young )

→ なAdj

  1. 静かな → 静か + そうだ/です → 静かそうだ/です (S.t looks quiet)

PS: The いAdj 良い and the negative ない change to 良さ  and なさ , respectively, before そうだ

Examples:

  1. このアパートは良さそうだ(This apartment looks good)
  2. 問題はなさそうだ(It looks like there is no problem)
  3. 村山さんの家はあまり新しくなさそうだ (Murayama-san’s house doesn’t look so new)

  • More example sentences with そうだ

① この家は強い風が吹いたら倒れそうだ(It looks like this house would fall down if a strong wind blows)

② あのステーキは美味しそうだった(That steak looked delicious)

③ この辺りは静かそうだ(This neighborhood looks quiet)


  • Note 1

そうだ expresses the speaker’s conjecture based on visual information. Thus, this expression can be used only when the speaker directly observes something.

This is where many people gets confused by the difference between そうです and ようです/みたいです.

Lets see an example:

a. 先生は忙しそうです

b. 先生は忙しいよう(みたい)です

Can you tell the difference?

In example (a), it indicates an intuitive judgment based on what you have seen of your teacher’s condition or behavior. Whereas, In example (b),  it indicates your judgment based on what you have read, heard or been told about your teacher.

In short, when a student once asked me “しそう and しいみたいです. Are they essentially the same?”

I answered: “そう is based on visual information by the speaker, whereas みたい(よう) does not have that restriction”


  • Note 2

N or N+copula cannot precede そうだ, as seen in (a) and (b), but N + copula neg ・non-past can, as seen in (c)

a. 加藤さんは学生そうだ (X)

b.加藤さんは学生だそうだ(X)

c.加藤さんは学生じゃなそうだ

To express the intended meaning in (a) and (b) らしい is used. (らしい will be explained later in this post)

Example(b)Is correct if そうだ means hearsay (Will be explained later in this post)


  • Hearsay (そうだ)

If you want to express what something appears to be, based on what you’ve heard from someone else, we append 「そうだ(です)」to the verb clause. Hearsay-そうだ  must end with だ Or です(For polite speech)
Key sentence(Informal):
山川さんはフランス語を話しているそうだ/そうです

  • Formation

→ Verb/いAdj

  1. 話す/話した + そうだ (I heard that s.o. will talk / talked )
  2. 高い/高かった + そうだ (I heard that s.t. is / was expensive)

→ なAdj / Nouns

  1. 静かだ/静かだった + そうだ (I heard that s.t. is / was quiet )
  2. 先生だ/先生だった + そうだ (I heard that s.o. is / was a teacher )

  • Examples

① 清水さんはお酒を飲まないそうです(I heard that Mr. Shimizu doesn’t drink alcohol )

② 日本の肉はとても高いそうだ (I heard that meat in Japan is very expensive )

③ 利子さんは英語をとても上手だそうです(I heard that Toshiko speaks very good English)

④ キングさんは英語の先生だそうだ (I heard that Mr. King is a English teacher)


  • Notes
  1. This そうだ expresses hearsay. That is, this pattern is used when the speaker conveys information obtained from some information source without altering it.
  2. Information sources are expressed by: Noun + によると(According to ‘Noun’)

Example:

新聞によるとフロリダに雪が降ったそうだ(According to the newspaper, it snowed in Florida)


Appearance from hearsay or behavior(らしい)

らしい is generally used when the speaker makes a conjecture based on some information which he has heard, read or seen. Unlike そうだ, which expresses a simple guess based on the what the speaker sees, らしい is used when the conjecture is based on more reliable information.


  • Examples of hearsay

① 杉本さんはもう帰ったらしいです(Sugimoto san seems to have gone home already)

② あの学校の入学試験は難しいらしい(That school’s entrance exam seems difficult )

③ その話は本当らしいです(That story seems true)

④ 今年新しく出来た遊園地は大きくてとても楽しいらしいよ(It seems that the new amusement park that was built this year is big and fun)


  • Examples of behavior

Here らしい means likeness.

① 大木さんは男らしい(Ooki san is manly)

And since らしい is an いAdj, it can also precede nouns, as showed below:

② 私は男らしい人が好きだ(I like manly men)

And just like any other いAdj you can make it negative:

③ 大木さんは男らしくない(Mr Ooki is not manly)

④ 約束時間に送れるのは、彼らしくない(Its not like him to be late at the promised time)

⑤ 今日は、春らしい温かい日でした(Today was very warm and spring-like day)

⑥ 私は女性らしい洋服はあまり着ない(I don’t wear many feminine clothes)

Informal expression of similarity (っぽい)

っぽい is usually used in highly informal / casual speech and writing, meaning something like the English “-ish”. っぽい is an いAdj and conjugates exactly like other いAdjectives.

Example:

  • 黒っぽい(です)(S.t. is black-ish)
  • 黒っぽく(ありません/ない) (S.t. isn’t black-ish)
  • 黒っぽければ (If s.t. is black-ish)
  • 黒っぽかった (S.t. was black-ish)

The nouns, adjectives, and verbs that can take the suffix っぽい are not unlimited, but quite productive, especially when it is connected with a noun. Below you will see a list of nouns, adjectives and verbs that are commonly used with っぽい

① Noun +っぽい

  • 先生っぽい(Teacher-like)
  • 学生っぽい(Student-like)
  • アメリカ人っぽい(American-like)
  • 日本人っぽい(Japanese-like)
  • 不良っぽい(Delinquent-like)
  • 大人っぽい(Adult-like)
  • 埃っぽい(Dusty)
  • いたずらっぽい(Mischievous)
  • 浮気っぽい(Don Juan-like)
  • 色っぽい(Sexy)
  • 熱っぽい(Feverish / enthusiastic)

② いAdj +っぽい

This form is restricted to adjectives of color and shape except 安っぽい(Cheapish)

  • 白っぽい (Whiteish)
  • 赤っぽい (Redish)
  • 黄色っぽい (Yellowish)
  • 丸っぽい (Roundish)
  • 四角っぽい (Squarish)

③ なAdj +っぽい

  • あだっぽい(Coquettish)
  • きざっぽい(Affected)
  • 嫌味っぽい(Sarcastic)
  • 皮肉っぽい(Cynical)
  • げすっぽい(Vulgar)
  • 俗っぽい(Vulgar)

④ Vます +っぽい

  • 怒りっぽい(Quick tempered)
  • 疲れっぽい(Easily tired)
  • 慌てっぽい(Apt to lose self-control)
  • ひがみっぽい(Apt to feel victimized)
  • 湿っぽい(Dumpy)

Note: 湿っぽい is actually an irregular form, because the expected form is 湿りっぽい


  • Notes

(1)Vます+っぽい can be replaced by やすい(As shown in the example (1) below), but depending on the verb with which っぽい is connected, the やすい version becomes marginal(As shown in example (2) )

1)

1.1 私は最近とても疲れ(っぽい/やすい)なった(I become easily tired recently)

1.2 うたぐり(っぽい/やすい)人って、嫌ですね(Lit. Distrustful people are no good. / I don’t like distrustful people)

1.3 じゅうたんは汚れ(っぽい/やすい)から、私は使っていません(Carpets gets easily dirty, so I don’

t use them )

2)

2.1 父は年をとってから怒り(っぽく/やすく??)なった(My father has became short tempered since he  became old )

[[ Using やすい here is not very accepted. Using っぽい is much more natural. ]]

2.2 うちの息子は飽き(っぽい/*やすい)んで、次から次へと新しいことをするんですが、一つとして、ものにならないんですよ(Our son gets bored easily, and he tires new things one after another but doesn’t get anywhere with any of them )

[[ Using やすい here is completely unacceptable ]]


Formation

① Nっぽい

→ 子供っぽい (Childish)

② いAdj っぽい

→ 安っぽい(Cheapish)

③ なAdj っぽい

→ 哀れっぽい(Pitiful)y

④ Vます っぽい

→ 忘れっぽい(Easy to forget / Forgetful )


Example sentences with っぽい

  • 昼食時にはこのレストランはサラリーマンっぽい人達で一杯になる(During lunch time this restaurant becomes crowded with men who look like salaried workers)
  • あの女優は実に女っぽいから好きだ(I like that actress because she is so womanish)
  • こんな水っぽい酒、飲まないぞ(I cant drink such watery sake)
  • 公園のベンチに座って、きざっぽい男とあだっぽい女が話している(Sitting on a bench at the park, a foppish man and a coquettish woman are talking)
  • あなた、こんな安っぽいソファを買ってきてどうするの?(What are you gonna do with this cheapish sofa that you bought?)
  • あの小学生は、大人っぽい(That elementary school student is very adult-like)
  • この料理は油っぽくていやだ(I don’t like this dish. Its too greasy)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s