645 - ようだ (looks like)

Before reading this lesson, I recommend reviewing this one: [NDL #644] - JLPT N4: みたいだ (just like).

You'll find that みたいだ is quite similar to...


JLPT N4: ようだ (looks like; is like)

While みたいだ is quite a conversational phrase, ようだ has a stiffer feel to it.

You can use it in spoken language, but it doesn't sound casual.

An example:


お父さんはいつもだらだらしていて、ナマケモノようです
おとうさん は いつも だらだら していて、 ナマケモノ の ようです。
My dad doesn't do anything; he's like a sloth.
Literally: “father / dad + は + always + idle / lazy / sluggish + is doing (and), + lazy person / sloth + の + よう + です.”

怠け者 (なまけもの) means something like "lazy person" or "slothful person."

When written in katakana, though, ナマケモノ typically refers to the animal the "sloth."

Here's the Japanese Wikipedia article on ナマケモノ. On that page, you'll see that there is technically a kanji for this word: 樹懶. I don't think you need to learn it, though.

So, ナマケモノよう means "like a sloth."


Let's look at one more example.

See if you can catch the word pattern that is used with ようだ


愛犬が死んだときは、子供ように泣いてしまいました
あいけん が しんだ とき は、 こども の ように ないてしまいました。
When my (beloved) dog died, I cried like a little kid.
Literally: “pet dog / beloved dog + が + died + when / time + は, + child + の + よう + に + ended up crying.”

子供よう
like a child


👷 Construction 👷

Generally speaking, you should put a NOUN, followed by the particle , then ようだ

NOUNようだ

In addition to ようだ (or ようです), we also have sentences with ような and ように (because よう acts as a na-adjective).

So memorizing these patterns may be helpful:

NOUNようだ・ようです
NOUNようなNOUN
NOUNようにADJECTIVEVERB (or VERB phrase)


ようだ is nice when you want to make some flowery similes:


彼女の心はように広くように澄んでいる
かのじょ の こころ は うみ の ように ひろく、 そら の ように すんでいる。
Her heart is as vast as the ocean, and as pure as the sky.
Literally: “she + の + heart + は + sea / ocean + の + よう + に + wide / spacious (and), + sky + の + よう + に + is being clear.”


Using everyday language is OK, too:


今日は真冬ような寒さですね。
きょう は まふゆ の ような さむさ です ね。
It’s as cold as the middle of winter today, isn’t it?
Literally: “today + は + middle of winter + の + よう + な + coldness + です + ね.”


Lastly, note that we don't necessarily have to have "NOUN" right before ようだ.

Here we have a VERB right before it:


時々、昔の彼女から思い出したように連絡が来る
ときどき、 むかし の かのじょ から おもいだした ように れんらく が くる。
Sometimes, my ex-girlfriend (from long ago) contacts me as if she’d just remembered me.
Literally: “sometimes, + former / long ago + の + girlfriend + から (=from) + recalled / remembered + よう + に + getting in touch / contacting + が + comes.”


You'll find that よう shows up in quite a few JLPT grammar points. We'll take them one at a time.

We've already seen some of them:
- [NDL #359] - JLPT N3: ように (so that)
- [NDL #402] - JLPT N2: かのように




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