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Japanese Sentence Pattern: “I heard that …” using ~そうだ

Very often you want to express something that you heard. You simply attach そうだ to the end of the plain form of the sentence that you heard. For example, if you want to say “I heard that the weather would become nice tomorrow.” – You would need to express “The weather would become nice tomorrow” in plain form, and then attach そうだ (casual) or そうです (polite) to it.

To construct the plain present tense form of a phrase, check if it ends with a noun, an adjective or a verb, and do the following:

  1. Noun/な-adjective: (drop な) and attach だ to it
  2. い-adjective: leave it unchanged
  3. Verb: change it to its dictionary form (ends with う or る)
明日はいい天気になるそうです。
I hear that the weather will be nice tomorrow.
明日はいい天気になる + そうだ
そとは暑いそうです。
I hear that it is hot outside.
そと = outside, 暑い = hot
彼は、学生だそうです。
I hear that he is a student.
学生 = student
だそうです。
That’s what I heard.
だ indicates the state of being.

You would change the sentence to plain past tense form if the sentence is in past tense. If you are not sure what it means, please look up a detailed description for plain forms of noun phrases, adjectives and verbs.

In English we have tense agreement. For example, it is technically incorrect if you say “I heard that he is a student.” In Japanese, however, そうだ already implies it is something that you heard, and you do not need to change the tense of the original sentence.

毎日学校に行ったそうです。
I heard that he went to school everyday.