Take for example the following,


which means (it) looks good.

Is it possible for one to attach a 〜そう phrase to the start of a noun?

Taking a good apple as an example sentence, are any of the following correct?




  • 3
    美味しいそう doesn't mean "looks delicious" in the first place. See: japanese.stackexchange.com/q/1994/5010 – naruto Sep 25 '18 at 6:34
  • Interesting, so I added an extra い. I'll edit my question using a different adjective instead. – Tim F. Sep 25 '18 at 7:50


Should be the correct answer. Sō da is an auxiliary na-adjective, and when used to describe a noun, the prenominal form sōna should be used.

Other option is to use, for example when talking about a plate of apples:

どのりんごを食{た}べたの。 (Which apple you ate?)

良{よ}さそうなのを食{た}べた。 (I've ate the looking good one [apple])

When using the particle の, the whole pharse before it acts like a noun: 良{よ}さそうなの (The looking good one) . So it can be used with を食{た}べた.

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The correct way is よさそうなりんご.

According to "A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar", page 410 to 412:

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.

[ . . . ]

そうだ is a na-type adjective. The prenominal form is そうな.

Examples paraphrased from the book:

A car which looks expensive.

a sky which looks like it is going to rain

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  • 2
    どこからどこまでが引用ですか? 「そうだ ... feels.」だけですか、それとも、例文と英訳もですか? – Chocolate Sep 25 '18 at 15:36
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    My J-J dictionary says そうだ is a 助動詞. Does your grammar book "A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar" really say そうだ is a na-adjective. ? This is another reason I'm asking you to clearly show which part of your answer is 引用. – Chocolate Sep 25 '18 at 23:34
  • 1
    @Chocolate The book labels it "aux. adj. (na)" and refers to it as an "auxiliary adjective", which they define on page 1 as "A dependent adjective that is preceded by and attached to a verb or another adjective". So the authors do refer to it as an auxiliary, but they don't call it an auxiliary verb because it's not a verb, preferring instead to call it an auxiliary adjective. – snailplane Sep 26 '18 at 0:04

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