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Mō sukoshi de rasubosu ga taose-sō na-n da.

(I’m just about to take down the last boss.)

Situation 1: Mrs. Okubo is speaking to her son, Mitsuo, who is playing a computer game.

母:光男、私のスマホがちょっと変なの。見てくれない?

光男:あ、今だめ。もう少しでラスボスが倒せそうなんだ。

Haha: Mitsuo, watashi no sumaho ga chotto hen nano. Mite-kurenai?

Mitsuo: A, ima dame. Mō sukoshi de rasubosu ga taose-sō na-n da.

Mother: Mitsuo, my smartphone is (behaving) a bit strange. Can you look at it for me?

Mitsuo: Ah, now’s not good. I’m just about to take down the last boss.

 

The pattern Xそうだ/そうです expresses the idea that “X,” a verb in pre-masu form, is happening or about to happen based on something the speaker sees or feels — in other words, conjecture. In Situation 1, Mitsuo believes he is about to take down the final boss and win his video game. “X” can also be an adjective, without the final い or な, to express the idea of “looks like”:

息子(むすこ)は元気(げんき)そうに見(み)えますが、実(じつ)は心臓(しんぞう)に病気(びょうき)があるんです。

(My son looks well, but to tell the truth he has heart disease.)

寒(さむ)そうですね。上着(うわぎ)を貸(か)しましょうか?

(You look cold. Shall I lend you my jacket?)

An exception is the i-adjective いい (good), which conjugates as よさそう.

 

Situation 2: Mrs. Okubo is speaking to her brother-in-law on the phone about his operation.

大久保:手術後の経過が順調だそうで、安心しました。

義兄:お見舞いの電話、ありがとう。ご心配をおかけしました。

Ōkubo: Shujutsu-go no keika ga junchō da-sō de, anshin shimashita.

Gikei: O-mimai no denwa, arigatō. Go-shinpai o o-kake shimashita.

Mrs. Okubo: I heard your progress after the operation has been going smoothly, I’m relieved.

Brother-in-law: Thank you for calling to see how I am. I appreciate your concern.

When the “X” in Xそうだ is a verb or i-adjective in its infinitive form, or a na-adjective stem or noun with だ added to the end, then the pattern expresses hearsay. The equivalent in English is along the lines of “I heard that” or “people say that.” In Situation 2, Mrs. Okubo has based her relief on the idea that she has heard her brother-in-law is getting better.

ミラーさんは、先月(せんげつ)国(くに)に帰(かえ)ったそうです。

(I heard that Mr. Miller went back to his country [of birth] last month.)

さやかちゃんは将来(しょうらい)教師(きょうし)になりたいそうだ。

(I heard Sayaka wants to be a teacher in future.)

ここは有名(ゆうめい)な温泉地(おんせんち)だそうです。

(This place is said to be famous for [its] hot springs.)

 

Bonus Dialogue: Two colleagues are chatting on the phone. Mr. Mita seems a little down.

三田(みた):もう、いいかげんコロナに負(ま)けそうだ。うつ病になりそうだよ。早(はや)く飲(の)み会(かい)とか合(ごう)コンに行(い)きたいなあ。

セレ:ワクチンができるまで、遊(あそ)びはがまんしようよ。健康(けんこう)で仕事(しごと)ができるだけで幸(しあわ)せだよ。

三田:ワクチンか…。まだまだ先(さき)だよね。

セレ:いや、大阪(おおさか)大学(だいがく)のワクチンが来年(らいねん)の春(はる)の実用化(じつようか)をめざしているそうだよ。

三田:えっ、すごい!がんばってほしいなあ!

セレ:日本(にほん)だけじゃなくて、たくさんの国で開発(かいはつ)しているから、きっと来年は飲み会ができるよ。

三田:令和(れいわ)になってから、いろいろ大変(たいへん)な災害(さいがい)があったけど、来年からはいい年(とし)になりそうな予感(よかん)がする。

セレ:あ、もう元気(げんき)になったんだ!それでこそ、やっぱり三田くんだ。

Mita: It looks like I’m losing to the corona(virus situation). I feel like I’m becoming depressed. I want to go to a drinking party or on a group date soon.

Sere: Until there’s a vaccine, we need to be patient. Be happy that you’re healthy and able to work.

Mita: A vaccine, huh … it’s still far off.

Sere: No, I heard that Osaka University’s vaccine is aiming for practical application by next spring.

Mita: Eh, that’s amazing! I want them to keep at it!

Sere: Not just in Japan, in many countries researchers are developing (a vaccine), so we’ll have drinking parties next year sure enough.

Mita: There have been various disasters since (the start of the) Reiwa Era, but I have a feeling that it will be a good year next year.

Sere: Ah, you’re better already! That’s you, good old Mita.

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