Rifōmu-suru rashii-no-yo. It seems they are having their house remodeled

by Akemi Tanahashi and Hitomi Tashiro

Rifōmu-suru rashii-no-yo. (It seems they are having their house remodeled.)

Situation 1: Mr. Okubo returns from taking out the garbage

夫; 近所の山本さん、最近、ゴミの日に家具とかいろいろ捨てているね。

妻: リフォームするらしいのよ。このごろ、大工さんがよく出入りしているの。

Otto: Kinjo-no Yamamoto-san, saikin, gomi-no hi-ni kagu-toka iroiro sutete-iru-ne.

Tsuma: Rifōmu-suru rashii-no-yo. Konogoro, daiku-san-ga yoku dehairi-shite-iru-no.

Husband: Recently, our neighbor Mr. Yamamoto is throwing out all kind of things on garbage day, like furniture and stuff.

Wife: It seems they’re having their house remodeled. Carpenters have recently been in and out of there.

Today, we introduce the proper use of X-らしい and X-そうだ. X-らしい is used to show the objective inference or judgment made according to what the speaker heard,saw or read. In Mrs. Okubo’s remark, the inference,リフォームするらしい is made because she has seen carpenters next door. X-らしい is not used for the speaker’s groundless imagination. The sentence explaining the assumption often comes before or after X-らしい. X is the plain form of a verb, adjective or noun sentence. When X ends with a na-adjective or with a noun sentence in nonpast affirmative, だ is dropped, as in 学生(がくせい)らしい (I guess that he’s a student).

Situation 2: Ms. Yamani and Mr. Okubo are talking about NP Co.

ヤマニ: NP社は今度、日本橋の新しいビルに引っ越すそうですよ。

大久保: ああ、今話題のビルですか。新聞によるとNP社は最近、業績がいいらしいですね。

Yamani: NP-sha-wa kondo, Nihonbashi-no atarashii biru-ni hikkosu-sō-desu-yo.

Okubo: Aa, ima wadai-no biru-desu-ka. Shinbun-ni yoru-to NP-sha-wa saikin, gyōseki-ga ii rashii-desu-ne.

Yamani: I heard that NP Co. is going to move to a new building in Nihonbashi.

Okubo: Oh, it’s that building everyone’s talking about, isn’t it? It seems that business is going well for NP recently, according to the newspaper.

X-そうだ is used to report what the speaker heard or read. X is the plain form of a verb, adjective or noun+だ. X-そうだ conveys a less objective feeling than X-らしい. Expressions such as Y-によると (according to Y) or Y-のはなしでは (according to [Y's remark]) are often used with X-そうだ and X-らしい. Example: 天気予報 (てんきよほう) によると、今年(ことし)の夏(なつ)はあまり暑 (あつ)くないらしい (According to the weather report, it seems it’s not going to be so hot this summer.)

Bonus Dialogue: Mr. Mita, who has a crush on Ms. Hashimoto, is talking with Mr. Sere.

三田: 橋本(はしもと)さんはつきあっている人(ひと)はいるのかな。

セレ: いや、いないらしいよ。橋本さんがよく残業(ざんぎょう)しているのを見(み)るから、デートする人はいないらしいってうわさだ。

三田: 同(おな)じ課(か)の人といっしょにいたいから残業するということもあるよ。

セレ: ありえないよ。結婚(けっこん)している人ばかりだよ。

三田: でも、同じ課の山田(やまだ)さんは最近(さいきん)離婚(りこん)したそうだよ。

セレ: ええっ、それは知(し)らなかった。

三田: 山田さんは大学時代(だいがくじだい)、スポーツ選手(せんしゅ)だったらしい。性格(せいかく)もよくて、もてたらしいよ。そんな人が独身(どくしん)に戻(もど)ってしまったら、あぶないなあ。

セレ: そんなことを言(い)っていないで、誘(さそ)ってみたら? しょうがないなあ。

Mita: I wonder if Ms. Hashimoto is going out with someone.

Sere: No, I don’t think she is. Everyone notices that Ms. Hashimoto often works overtime. So they say that she doesn’t have someone special.

Mita: She may do overtime because she wants to stay near someone in her section.

Sere: No, it’s impossible. They’re all married.

Mita: But, I heard that Mr. Yamada in her section recently got divorced.

Sere: What!? I didn’t know that.

Mita: He was an athlete of some kind when he was in university. He also has a good personality, and seems to have been popular with girls. It’s odd that such a man has become single.

Sere: Don’t talk like that. What if you tried inviting her out? You’re hopeless!

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