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<< soreni | soudan >>

そう [そう] (sou)
    Meaning: Vm, Looks like
    Example: Looks like snow'll fall.
    JLPT Level: 3
    Category: grammar
    Author: Amatuka

  [ Edit This Grammar Entry ]
This form is

(Verb masu stem) + sou
= seems it will rain

(i-Adj base) + sou
= seems delicious

(na-Adj base) + sou
= seems to have time

With negatives the -nai becomes -nasa:
= seems like it won't rain
make sure to check sou-2 for the difference between the two -sou endings... i heard / it seems 
= look; look like; appear; seem; feel like
-auxiliary adjective which indicates that what is expressed by the preceding sentence is THE SPEAKER'S CONJECTURE concerning an event in the future/ present state of someone/ sth (never a past state/event), BASED ON WHAT THE SPEAKER SEES OR FEELS.
-used only when the speaker directly observes sth
-cannot be used to express the speaker's conjecture concerning a past event/ state
-Noun/ Noun+ copula cannot precede sou da (in this case we use rashii), but N+copula neg/nonpast can:
ex: a)* 加藤さんは学生そうだ。
  b)* 加藤さんは学生だそうだ。=Mr Katou looks like a student. 
  c)加藤さんは学生じゃなさそうだ。=Mr Katou doesn't look like a student。
- in this construction, the negative form of verbs usually don't precede sou da. Instead, Vmasu sou ni/ mo nai is used:
a) 彼は車を売りそうに・もない。= He doesn't seem to sell his car.
  b) この問題は学生は出来そうに・もない。= It doesn't seem that the students can solve this problem.
-also used to express the speaker's conjecture concerning his own non-volitional future actions based on what he feels:
a)僕はこのケーキを残しそうだ。=I'm affraid I can't eat all this cake.
 b)私はとても疲れていてたおれそうだ。=I'm so tired that I feel weak (lit:like I'm falling down)
- sou da is a NA Adjective; the prenominal form is SOU NA:
a) 高そうな車=a car which looks expensive/ an expensive-looking car
b)雨が降りそうな空=(lit:) the sky which looks like it will bring rain

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ex #768   雪が降りそうですね。 
Looks like it's going to snow doesn't it?  
ex #770   美味しそうなデザートですね。 
Doesn't the dessert look delicious!  
ex #827   「起こしてくれればよかったのに」翌朝ロンが不機嫌そうにいった。 
"You could have woken me up ..." Ron said the following morning in a grumpy [seeming] way.  
ex #1056   この本はそうです。 
This book looks expensive  
ex #3137   饂飩が美味しそう!何時食べられるの? 
The udon looks delicious. When can we eat?  
ex #3258   これは、食べられそうではありません。 
This doesn't look like it's edible.  
ex #6609   教室は静かそうだ。  
The classroom seems quiet (to me).  
ex #6610   雨が降りそうだ。 
It seems (to me) that it will rain. (I say after I have looked at the sky and saw clouds) sou  

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  See Also:  
[ Add a See Also ]
your nameNegative can also be formed by +ve そう followed by
ではありません (etc.)
美味しそうじゃないよ! "It doesn't look tasty!"
AmatukaVm = Verb -masu base
AmatukaPossibly the '不機嫌そう' use in the example is another way of distinguishing between what you can actually know (whether somebody sounds grumpy) vs what only they know (how they feel). 
dcAppparently the sou ending can be used to connotate both heard and seems:

makeru-sou desu
= I heard he will lose

= seems he will lose
dc来るそう = I heard he will come
きそう = it seems he will come
KotatsuSamawatch out with きそう, it sounds too close to くそ 
Mikihmm Do you mean くそ is the one「きそう、(-.-;) くる、くる I have to go to the bathroom」? Or くそ!くそっ! Both are the same in English, too でしょ?  
Mikiex#3137 KS is too good at Kanji. Usually we use うどん.
bamboo4In the real world, nobody would confuse between 来そう and くそ. 
yookosoI added a See Also to よう...

Unless I am mistaken if you want to use a noun, you use N + のよう (e.g. 先生のよう).
But, for a negative you use N + ではなさそう (e.g. 先生ではなさそう)

Also, somewhere I read that the negative for a verb is V (ます form) + そうもありません NOT the そう followed by ではありません mentioned in the first comment. Is this true?

As for V-tai form I think たい acts like A1 adjective.

いい uses よい instead (e.g. よさそう / よくなさそう)

Finally, note that そう acts as な-adj (you can probably guess this from the examples but I thought I would state it explicitly).

Any corrections very welcome...
Mikiそう followed by ではありません can be used. I added eg.
What is A1 adjective?
anonex#3258 I think これは食べられそうではありません。is fine.
When 思いません is followed, これは食べられるとは思いません。would be better.
NealeOne more rule/example:
If you want to say いい + そう (looks good)
then you need to use よさそう
seanolanBeware forming this construction with かわいい (可愛い). かわいそう(可哀相) does not mean "looks cute", but "pathetic" or "pitiful", as my friend managed to find out to his chagrin. 

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