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What is the difference between ~げ and ~そう

What is the difference between 〜げ and 〜そう?

Consider for example:



Or are they synonyms?

  • Also, if anyone happens to no by any chance: how do you type "づ" on a Mac keyboard? If I have it on hiragana then I can't seem to find it anywhere. "ず" is easy because it's "z-u"... Nov 5 '12 at 21:41
  • 1
    = 'du' on most IME's.
    – istrasci
    Nov 5 '12 at 22:00
  • 2
    Just a note: -ge is 気. It may help you interpret it by thinking of it like 気配 (kehai).
    – Dono
    Nov 6 '12 at 2:15
  • @MattN.: Since the た line is typed with 't', just use 'd' for the だ line, even if the romaji is a different letter.
    – istrasci
    Nov 7 '12 at 17:21

They are very similar, however there is a slight difference in nuance. げ implies a stronger sense of uncertainty compared to そう.

So, in your first example, you are not certain whether he wanted to say something or not, while in the second example, you are almost certain that he wants to say something.

Another example:

彼が楽しそうに話している //#1

彼が楽しげに話している //#2

If you saw the person and noticed that they were laughing, smiling, etc. You are most likely to use version #1 and not version #2 because you are confident about your conjecture.

However, although in standard dialect there is the distinction I mentioned above, in some dialects (and in young people's slang) they do no make this distinction and げ is used commonly to mean そう.

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