When used with the verb stem そう expresses that something is likely to happen or be true based on your own first-hand experience or judgment.

あめそうだ。
It looks like it’s going to rain.

Context: You’ve looked up at the sky and seen dark clouds.

時間じかんがかかりそうだね。
It seems like it’s going to take some time, eh?

Context: You think the task is going to be difficult.

彼女かのじょ興味きょうみがありそうなかおをしているよね。
He’s got a look that says he’s interested in her, right?

Context: You’re sat across the table and your friend keeps looking at the girl.

ありそうな理由りゆう
A likely reason.

We can connect the phrase to noun using な and to a verb using に.

対向車たいこうしゃにぶつかりそうでした。
To almost hit an oncoming car.

It can also be used with the potential.

できそうですか。
Do you reckon you can do it? (Does it seem like you can do it?)

To make the sentence negative we add にない.

できそうにない。
It doesn’t seem I can do it

そう can also be used with adjectives. For i-adjectives we need to get rid of the final い; for na-adjective we append そう without the な particle.

家賃やちんたかそうなアパート。
An expensive-looking apartment.

Context: You don’t know the rent but you’ve seen the luxury furnishings inside.

ケーキがうまそう
The cake looks delicious!
便利べんりそうな制度せいど
A convenient-sounding system.

Context: You’ve not used the system yourself, but you’ve read the details and can imagine it’s convenient.

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