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What is the difference between ~げ and ~そう

What is the difference between 〜げ and 〜そう?

Consider for example:

彼が、何か言いたげに近づいて来た。

彼が、何か言いたそうに近づいて来た。

Or are they synonyms?

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marked as duplicate by istrasci, Dono, snailboat, cypher, ento Nov 6 '12 at 6:12

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
Also, if anyone happens to no by any chance: how do you type "づ" on a Mac keyboard? If I have it on hiragana then I can't seem to find it anywhere. "ず" is easy because it's "z-u"... –  Matt N. Nov 5 '12 at 21:41
1  
= 'du' on most IME's. –  istrasci Nov 5 '12 at 22:00
1  
Just a note: -ge is 気. It may help you interpret it by thinking of it like 気配 (kehai). –  Dono Nov 6 '12 at 2:15
    
@istrasci Thank you! –  Matt N. Nov 6 '12 at 7:20
    
@MattN.: Since the た line is typed with 't', just use 'd' for the だ line, even if the romaji is a different letter. –  istrasci Nov 7 '12 at 17:21

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

They are very similar, however there is a slight difference in nuance. げ implies a stronger sense of uncertainty compared to そう.

So, in your first example, you are not certain whether he wanted to say something or not, while in the second example, you are almost certain that he wants to say something.

Another example:

彼が楽しそうに話している //#1

彼が楽しげに話している //#2

If you saw the person and noticed that they were laughing, smiling, etc. You are most likely to use version #1 and not version #2 because you are confident about your conjecture.

However, although in standard dialect there is the distinction I mentioned above, in some dialects (and in young people's slang) they do no make this distinction and げ is used commonly to mean そう.

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