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I was told that 'そうですか’ has two basic meanings according to the speaker's accent. One is 'Really? I understand', the other meaning is 'Yes, it is, I know that'.

But what about 'そうですね'? Does 'そうですね' have the same meaning with the second meaning of 'そうですか'? What is the accurate meaning of these three sentences?

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A:君の妹はきれいだよ。(Your sister is beautiful). B:そうですか?(I don't think so.)

A:君は、試験に落ちました。(You failed an examination.) B:そうですか.(I see.)

A:どんな食べ物が好き?(What foods do you like?) B:そうですねぇ, 魚が好きです。(Well, I like fish.)

A:日本語は難しいよ(Japanese language is difficult.) B:そうですね(That's correct.)

I feel そうですか in affirmative sentence is often used in pessimistic consent and そうですか in question means "I don't think so" rather than "Really?".

そうですね means "I agree with you", "Right", "That's correct".

  • Very helpful answer! English doesn't have exact equivalents, but for French speakers it seems like そうですか is a bit Iike "n'est-ce pas?" (uncertain or hesitant) and そうですね is more like "c'est ça" (more agreeing, more certainty). – Dan Lenski Aug 25 '17 at 20:21
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No in french, そうですか means "Ah bon" like 'really!' But "そうですね means 'n'est ce pas' like 'that's right' or something like 'is that Right ?'

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