i-adjectives: the sou-form

The sou-form of an i-adjective expresses that something seems to be in a certain way. It translates into sentences such as it looks red (akasou).

It is very easy to build. Just replace the last “i” of the adjective with a “sou”. So 楽しい (tanoshii, enjoyable) becomes  楽しそう (tanoshisou). Here are a few more examples to make it clear.

Plain Form Romaji Meaning sa Form Romaji
楽し tanoshii enjoyable 楽しそう tanoshisou
美し utsukushii beautiful 美しそう utsukushisou
新し atarashii new 新しそう atarashisou
akai red そう akasou
大き ookii big 大きそう ookisou

Example sentences:



kono ryouri wa totemo oishisou desu.

This dish looks very delicious.

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  1. Take a note that this isn’t true of all things. おいしそう – Looks Tasty. たのしそう – Looks Fun. かわいそう you would think means looks cute but it means Pathetic. Watch out!

  2. Lelevich says:

    かわそう means looks cute 😉

    • The adjective かわいい meaning cute would be written “かわいそう” but as かわいそう(可哀想)means poor, pitiful, sad, it is not really use in spoken language. You would rather say かわいらしい (kawairashii) which has the meaning of “look cute”.

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