What is the difference in meaning between "mousugu", "mamonaku", and "sorosoro"?

According to what I found, in English they all mean "soon"?


2 Answers 2


もうすぐ and まもなく are both "soon". The latter is a formal expression mainly used in polite business settings. And まもなく refers to a very short time (usually a few minutes), but もうすぐ can be a few days, or even months later, depending on the context.

  • もうすぐ春が来る。: OK
  • まもなく春が来る。: weird

そろそろ is an adverb which adds a nuance of "it's high time" or "it's about time".

そろそろ学校に行く時間だ。 It's about time to go to school.

  • can we use もうすぐor 間もなくin past tense?
    – user25388
    Aug 16, 2017 at 4:19
  • how about this sentence そろそろ南の方で桜の咲く頃です。can we use 'soon' for the translation?
    – user25388
    Aug 16, 2017 at 4:22

In my opinion, もうすぐ is a subjective expression(subjunctive mood) for the upcoming event and you don't have to be so sure about the event definitely will come whereas まもなく is more of an expression for the known fact(bus, train, flight schedule)and you know the upcoming event already scheduled in advance and probably logistics officers often use it. As for the comment, you asked, もうすぐ is a subjunctive it is slightly weird to use for the past tense. I mean you know the event already finished. And if the chronological order(present-past) is clear and known fact, you should use "まもなく".

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .