Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 10: 3/18

らしい ②

typical of, -ish・like, appropriate for, becoming of, befitting

Structure

Noun + らしい
Noun + らしく + Phrase
Noun + らしい + Noun

Details

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    Standard

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    一般

About らしい ②

In our first らしい lesson, we discussed the auxiliary verb use of らしい. In this lesson we will focus on the 形容詞(けいようし)一部(いちぶ) (auxiliary adjective) usage. An auxiliary adjective is a type of adjective that must be attached to another word for it to have any meaning.
To use らしい in this way, it must be attached to the end of a noun, and will imply that something is 'typical of (A)', where (A) is the noun that comes before it. As this らしい behaves like an い-Adjective, it may also be conjugated to らしく, before a (B) phrase will explain more about 'what' is/was typical of (A).
  • トム本当(ほんとう)(おとこ)らしい
    Tom, you are really manly.
  • タケル(くん)もう(にい)ちゃんので、お(にい)ちゃんらしくしなさい
    Takeru, you are already an older brother, so you should act like an older brother!
  • やっと10(がつ)らしい天気(てんき)になっ
    It has finally become October-like weather, don't you think?
The primary use of this らしい is to express that (A) has some feature or trait that is expected of itself. It can be used for people, 'studying all night is so typical of Tanaka', or it can be used for things like seasons 'this heat is so typical of the Japanese Summer'. Other common translations are 'to be befitting of (A)', or 'to be appropriate for (A)'.
However, it may also be used negatively, to show that something is (often surprisingly) 'uncharacteristic of (A)'.
  • トムこんなに勉強(べんきょう)ているのは()たことがない、トムらしくない
    I've never seen Tom study this much. It's very uncharacteristic of him.
  • 今日(きょう)8(がつ)らしくないです(すず)です
    Today is not typical of August. It's cool.
  • 彼女(かのじょ)(おんな)らしくない(ひと)
    She is an unladylike person.
Fun Fact
When the noun that appears in (A) and (B) are the same, it will imply that (A) is the 'prime example of (B)', or 'the most (A), (B)'.
  • 今年(ことし)8(がつ)(なつ)らしい(なつ)
    August this year is the prime example of summer. (Literally, 'the most summery summer')

Examples

  • 父親(ちちおや):「学校(がっこう)()きたくなくなること子供(こども)らしい。オレそうだった。」

    Father: 'Not wanting to go to school is typical of children. I was also like that.'

  • スコット:「これ一番(いちばん)だいこんらしいだいこん!」

    Scott: 'This is the most radish radish among radishes!'

    When the same noun is used, it expresses a perfect example, apex, real. Like: 'manly man', etc.

  • スーツ(いろ)一番(いちばん)人気(にんき)のは(くろ)(おも)っている一番(いちばん)サラリーマンらしい(ほか)(ふく)()やすいから

    I think that the most popular suit color is black. Because it is (the color) most typical of company employees and easily matches other clothes.

  • トモちゃん(おんな)()だけど(おんな)らしくない

    Tomo-chan is a girl, but she is unladylike.

  • もっと大人(おとな)らしくなさい!」

    'Behave more like an adult!'

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らしい ② – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (10 in total)

  • Superpnut

    Superpnut

    About 1 year ago

    I don’t really get what you mean by phrase in this grammar point

    • Noun + らしく + Phrase
      Could I get a quick explanation or maybe an example because I’m not really sure
  • nekoyama

    nekoyama

    About 1 year ago

    I think it’s just a way to say “a bunch of words”. In linguistics, a phrase is a grammatical unit that can consist of multiple words. Not all phrases are valid here, but there isn’t really enough room to put a complete list. But it would be the same one as for い-adjectives in their く-form or for adverbs.

    Among the example sentences, there is this one:
    カップルらしく 映画えいがこう

    I picked it because it’s fairly long compared to the other examples. The entire part after らしく is the “phrase”.

  • Superpnut

    Superpnut

    About 1 year ago

    Thanks, I wasn’t sure what it meant. I kinda thought it meant what you were saying but I wasn’t sure. I guess I just never thought something like “going to the movies” was considered a phrase I just thought it was a sentence. But I get what they mean by phrase now thanks

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