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病気のことはそう心配する必要はない。

Can someone explain which そう this represents? Is it the そう that means appear that is added to the masu stem of a verb? Or is it the 沿う, 総、添う, etc.?

2 Answers 2

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そう心配する必要はない

From デジタル大辞泉:

そう〔さう〕【▽然う】 の解説
[副]
2 (あとに打消しの語を伴って)それほど。そんなに。「然う大きくない」

This そう is an adverb (副詞) that means それほど, そんなに, used with a negative word (打消しの語) such as ~ない.

And from プログレッシブ和英中辞典:

そう【▲然う】
3〔それほど〕(▼否定文で)
そう驚くことはないよ
You needn't be so surprised.
そう悪い人間でもないと思う
I don't think he is such a bad person (as you seem to think).
この本はそう面白くない
This book is not very interesting.

This そう means "not so~~" "not ... such~~" "not very~~", used in a negative sentence (否定文). So your example means:

"You don't have to worry so much about the illness."

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This そう functions adverbially a bit like そんなに. Here そう means "like that" or "in that manner". It's not equivalent to そんなに which would mean something more akin to "to such an extent". I'm just saying it functions adverbially much like そんなに does.

病気のことはそう心配する必要はない。

just means

Regarding being sick, you don't need to worry like that.

a bit coincidentally, this そう is almost just like so in English.

Regarding being sick, you don't need to worry so.

Since it's not attached to any verb's masu-stem, you can rest assured it's not that そう.

The other choices you provided

沿う is often seen in a context like 線路に沿って meaning along the tracks. This doesn't make sense in this context.

総 means general as in general election; or gross as in gross weight or total. This doesn't make sense in this context either.

添う means to accompany. Again, this doesn't really make sense in this context.

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