Sunday, February 17, 2019

良さそう, Yosasou - Meaning in Japanese

In Japanese, yosasou よさそう, also spelled yosasou 良さそう, means "looks like it's good." It's what you get when you add the sou そう suffix to the sa-form of the i-adjective yoi よい, "good." It's also de facto the sou-form of the synonym ii いい.

Yosasou-na 良さそうな

The phrase yosasou-na 良さそうな is yosasou treated as a na-adjective by adding the na な copula to it.
  • ii hito いい
    Good person.
  • yosasou-na hito 良さそうな人
    Person [that] looks like [he's] good.
    [Someone who] looks like a good person.
  • atama ga ii 頭がいい
    "Head is good."
  • atama ga yosasou na hito
    Person [whose] head seems good.
    A person [that] seems smart.
  • naka ga ii 仲がいい
    "Relationship is good."
    In good terms. Friends.
  • naka ga yosasou na kappuru
    A couple [whose] relationship seems good.
    A couple [that] seems in good terms.

This works because sou is a na-adjective, so any word that has the sou suffix is a na-adjective.

Since yosasou is a na-adjective, it can be conjugated to adverbial form, etc. like one:
  • mieru 見える
    To be able to see.
    To be seen. To appear [in a way]. To be visible. (because someone can see it.)
  • yoku mieru よく見える
    To see well. (it's very visible.)
    [I can] see [that] well.
    • yoku is the adverbial form of the i-adjective yoi よい.
  • yosasou-ni mieru 良さそうに見える
    To look like it's good. (you actually saw it, and it "looked good," yosasou.)
    • yosasou-ni is the adverbial form of the na-adjective yosasou.

Yosou vs. Yosasou

One important thing to note about yosasou is that when adding the sou そう suffix to normal adjectives to say "looks like..." You normally add it to their stem, for example:
  • warui 悪い
  • warusou 悪そう
    Looks bad.
  • warusou-na hito 悪そうな人
    A person [that] looks like [he's] bad.

But because Japanese hates you, yosasou よさそう gets the sou suffix added to its sa-form, yosa よさ, instead of the stem.
  • kimochi-ii 気持ちいい
    kimochi-yoi 気持ちよい
  • kimochi-yo-sa 気持ちよさ
    How good it feels.
  • kimochi-yo-sa-sou 気持ちよさそう
    To look like it feels good.
  • kimochi-yo-sa-sou-na kao 気持ちよさそうな顔
    A face [that] looks like [it] feels good.
    [He] looks like [he's enjoying himself.] (e.g. his facial expression tells he's enjoying an activity, like singing, watching the clouds, going on a psychopathic murderous rampage, sleeping, dancing, etc.)

This isn't normal: the only other adjective that gets sou そう added to the sa-form instead of the stem is nai 無い. Probably all other i-adjectives get sou added to the stem. It's just yosasou and nasasou that are weird.
  • kane ga nai 金がない
    Money is nonexistent.
    There's no money. To have no money.
  • kane ga nasasou-na hito 金が無さそうな人
    A person [that] looks like [he] has no money.

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