In this sentence:


I'm having some issue in understanding そうでもない, and according to how I read it it reverse the meaning of the sentence: as far as I understand, そうでもない means "not really", so the sentence would mean something like "Not very/really unexpectedly, Jinno Naoko nodded", but I'm not sure about そうでもない and I can't find it on my grammars.

1 Answer 1


Your translation seems okay. To break it down:

  • 意外だ: "is unexpected"
  • 意外そうだ: "looks unexpected"
  • 意外そうではない: "does not look unexpected"
  • 意外そうではなく: (ku-form of 意外そうではない) "not looking unexpected"
  • 意外そうでなく: "not (quite) looking unexpected"
  • さして意外そうでもなく: "not really looking unexpected"

For the last も, see:

さして "(not) very/really" is an adverb used with a negative expression (i.e., negative polarity item).

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