Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I almost...~そうになる

The other day, I had a hard time expressing easily the fact that I was almost hit by a car. I kept telling my girlfriend "ぎりぎりで車に引かれたよ." Now whether that makes sense or not, I think she got the nuance, but she repeated back to me, "もうちょっとで車にひかれそうになった?" And it hit me like a ton of bricks --

そう:as if, like, appear + なる: to be
= ~そうになる: almost/nearly ~X

車にひかれそうになった
almost hit by a car.

So, by V-masu sou ni naru, you can say how something nearly happened. Verbs must also be non-volitional (verbs that are beyond your control), which includes passive and potential verbs.

例: 帰る途中で、酔っぱらい運転手にひかれそうになった
Halfway home, I was almost hit by a drunk driver.

例: 地震で、井口さんの家はつぶれそうになった
Mr. Iguchi's house almost collapsed in the earthquake.

例: 今日はすごく暑くて、死にそうになる
I'm dying, it's so hot.

Just a side note, for volitional verbs (verbs that are under your control), you should use volitional form +とする to describe almost/attempting X.

2 comments:

daigoro said...

Hi there nice to see a fellow Japanese study blogger, on 'blogger' too I might add :D.

I believe you can also say:
今日は、車にひかれかかったよ。 for extra dramatic effect, to express that u where in a life and death situation.

Recap: Verb + kakaru = to almost

Also you can use ところ

車にひかれるところだったよ。

Means more you were about to get hit by a car though.

and it just occured to me but why not add 危なかった。to express how close u came to disaster.

That's what I love about Japanese grammar, so much choice.

Anonymous said...

Is sou the abbreviation of sore no you?
Thanks.