I am just now really diving into adjectives and how they work in Japanese. It was to my surprise that I heard 『楽{たの}しいそうなお祭{まつ}りね』 being used. Does the そう usage require な even for い adjectives?

  • We don't say 楽しいそうなお祭り. Did you REALLY hear that said by a native speaker? Aug 7 '18 at 15:19
  • I don't remember who said it, but it very well could be by a student. What would you say instead? Aug 7 '18 at 15:20
  • 1
    @ヤラユギ There are two different ways to add そう to an i-adjective with very different meanings. You probably meant 楽しそう rather than 楽しそう. Aug 7 '18 at 15:32

There are two things I would like to do as part of the answer to your question.

First, you may not have been aware that there was a mistake in your sentence. I will address that first.

You wrote:


It should be:


For the formation of the そうだ grammar is as follows:

  • Vmasu + そうだ
  • adj(i/na) stem + そうだ


話しそう (verb)
楽しそう (i adjective)
静かそう (na adjective)

Source: A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar (See below)

Now for the question you acked. According to A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar (Seiichi Makino and Michio Tsutsui):

そうだ is a な-type adjective; The prenominal form is そうな. Examples:

taka souna kuruma
(A car which looks espensive (= an expensive looking car))

ame ga furi souna sora
(lit. the sky which looks like it will bring rain)

So to directly answer your question:

Does the そう usage require な even for い adjectives?

The answer is yes. Note that most of the time, you will find this formation at the end of a sentence requiring it to end with だ/です. However, if you plan on using this grammar as an adjective (i.e. you mean to use it to modify a noun), you should treat is as a na-type adjective.

Note: I included a link to the amazon listing of the book I used for my source. If you plan to purchase it, look around. I have definitely seen it sell for less.

  • 2
    If you're serious about Japanese then "A Dictionary of xxx Japanese Grammar" is a great investment. Aug 7 '18 at 15:39

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