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ねむくなってしまいそうに癒される。

I can't figure out what this sentence is saying. I've asked my girlfriend and my coworkers (both Japanese) about そうに and they can't explain it. (One of my coworkers said it means 'a/an' but I can't see it being that. I've looked around online but have only found そうにもない。

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  • By any chance, is there any context? Oct 13, 2016 at 14:59
  • Are you sure it says ~そうに癒される? Is it not 眠くなってしまいそうなほどに癒される or something?
    – Chocolate
    Oct 14, 2016 at 23:24
  • That's what it's says. I know it's unbelievable, I thought so to which is why I had to come to the forums to see what was going on. I wish I could post a photo of the text. Oct 15, 2016 at 6:40
  • The context is a guys internal monologue about a girl he met. I've read a couple chapters in now and I literllay understand like 95 percent of everything. Some things are hard to grasp but I have an idea. It's just this one sentence I don't get at all. I have no idea what this そうに means. I'm tying to accept what others have said, that it's そうな but in a form modifying the end verb but it's still a little weird sounding to me, Oct 15, 2016 at 6:43

3 Answers 3

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そうに is the continuous form of the verbal auxiliary そうだ which indicates manner and mood. For example:

美味しそうに食べる。 -- You eat foods with keen relish.
この車は速そうだ。 -- This car looks fast.

I feel ねむくなってしまいそうに癒される is a bit unnatural, and ねむくなってしまうほど癒される (I am so comforted that I become sleepy) would be more natural.

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Well that's a hard one. 癒される seems to imply that you are being refreshed/rejuvenated. I would picture someone in an onsen, or receiving a massage, and it feels good to the point where you could fall asleep.

To describe that way to use that そうに is indeed not so easy. The statement before the そうに sort of explains in what way the action is being perceived. If that makes sense...

眠そうに見える
"looks sleepy"

何日も食べなかったように食べている
"eating as if he didn't eat in a few days".

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  • Why is your 2nd example 〜ように when talking about 〜そうに?
    – istrasci
    Oct 13, 2016 at 15:02
  • Because the the way to use it and the meaning are extremely similar, and it's important to be aware of the existence of both. Oct 13, 2016 at 15:15
  • Thanks a lot guys. As far as the context, it's from a book I was reading while waiting at a friends house. I just picked it up and started reading. This was the only thing that stuck out to me that I couldn't figure out. I know how to use そう and it's forms but I've never seen it used like this before. I too thought it was unnatural so I just decided to ask. I can post the entire sentence Oct 14, 2016 at 5:56
  • 澄んだえて、やわらくて、ねむくなってしまいそうに癒される。 Oct 14, 2016 at 6:02
  • I too thought maybe ように would have been better, or rather at least better for me so I could make sense of it Oct 14, 2016 at 6:03
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According to "A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar", page 410:
そうだ: an auxiliary adjective which indicates that what is expressed by the preceding sentence is the speaker's conjecture concerning an event in the future or the present state of someone or something, based on what the speaker sees or feels.

Examples:
雨が降りそうだ。
It looks like it will rain.

あの車は高そうだ。
That car looks expensive.

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