sugoi/sugoku

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nonews

Member
China, Chinese (mandarine)
Hi there!

I was told that these two sentences below are both correct:
Sugoi Oishii!
Sugoku Oishi!

My question is, what´s the nuance of the two sentences and which one is more used.
To my understanding, "sugoi" is an adj. and "sugoku" an adv. Are they alternatives in all the cases or only some of them? Could someone give me some examples?

Thanks a lot!
 
  • Flaminius

    coclea mod
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Hello nonews, :)
    My question is, what´s the nuance of the two sentences and which one is more used.
    Both sugoi and sugoku are used as an adverb in the example sentences you wrote above. You can say that they are grammatically or semantically equivalent. The difference lies in usage. The former (sugoi as an adjective) is more casual and the latter is more authentic. The former is used more in spoken language and the latter in written language. I might even say that sugoi (adv.) predominates spoken language.

    This form can substitute sugoku that modifies an adjective or a verb (cf. sugoi tabeta or "ate very much"). Another adjective that passes for an adverb is erai (thoroughly; erai tsukareta or "thoroughly exhausted"). The sample is too small to make any sound generalisation but I realise that both are adjectives denoting degree.
     

    nonews

    Member
    China, Chinese (mandarine)
    凄い! どうもありがとう Flaminius san!

    One thing interesting about the word “sugoi” is that the kanji "凄" means "miserable, sad" in Chinese… I don´t know if there´s any connection with Japanese…:confused:
     

    quesuerte

    Senior Member
    Oxford English UK
    Yeah, I think 凄い does have the meaning of terrible or dreadful. I guess it's used a bit like how we say "wicked" in English.

    E.g "She's a wicked person!" meaning that she's really great, and not that she's actually a really horrible person. It has two meanings that are opposite!

    Maybe if you said to someone that their cooking was sugoi it could be taken in two ways? :p
     

    I_like_my_TV

    Senior Member
    Tongan
    Yeah, I think 凄い does have the meaning of terrible or dreadful. I guess it's used a bit like how we say "wicked" in English.
    See how the meanings swing in these words:

    terrible => terrific
    awful => awesome
    (Note that even "terrible", "awful" can still modify something appreciative in their adverbial forms: terribly, awfully)
     

    nonews

    Member
    China, Chinese (mandarine)
    Thank you guys!

    See how the meanings swing in these words:

    terrible => terrific
    awful => awesome
    (Note that even "terrible", "awful" can still modify something appreciative in their adverbial forms: terribly, awfully)
    What I like my TV said really makes sense. At last these words turn into adj. /adv. of degree, although originally they might have the opposite meanings.

    But I think in most cases, “sugoi” is used in nihongo as an exclamation with a positive meaning…
     

    cheshire

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    形容詞としても副詞としても普通に使えるよ!

    中国ってすごくでかい。China is really big!
    パンダってすごく可愛い。Panda is really cute!

    中国ってすごくでかい国だね。
    パンダってすごくかわいい動物ね。

    中国ってすごいでかい。
    パンダってすごいかわいいね。

    中国ってすごいでかい国だね。
    パンダってすごいかわいい動物ね。
     

    I_like_my_TV

    Senior Member
    Tongan
    cheshire said:
    形容詞としても普通に使えるよ!

    中国ってすごくでかい。China is really big!
    パンダってすごく可愛い。Panda is really cute!
    So you think すごく in these sentences are adjectives? Interesting! :)
     

    Broca's Area

    Member
    Italian / Italy
    See how the meanings swing in these words:

    terrible => terrific
    awful => awesome
    (Note that even "terrible", "awful" can still modify something appreciative in their adverbial forms: terribly, awfully)
    Also, interestingly enough, nice and silly underwent considerable semantic change through the centuries.

    nice: "ignorant" > "kind(http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=nice&searchmode=none)

    silly: "happy" > "foolish"
    (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=silly&searchmode=none)
     

    Musical Chairs

    Senior Member
    Japan & US, Japanese & English
    They say "suge" (I don't have the characters in here so I can't write it) but this is vulgar.

    This is more in the sense of surprise and not to describe stuff though.
     

    Flaminius

    coclea mod
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    According to 古語辞典 (旺文社), a printed dictionary of Classical Japanese, すごし (> すごい) was used to describe a sense of horror or eeriness that causes goose flesh. As it came to be applied to splendid things that also cause goose flesh or similar sensations, the negative connotations of the adjective worn off. In Modern Japanese, most instances of すごい is with positive attitude.

    nonews said:
    One thing interesting about the word “sugoi” is that the kanji "凄" means "miserable, sad" in Chinese.
    The kanji 凄 meant be cold (凄凄), horrifying (凄絶) and austere (凄風) when it was introduced into Japanese more than thousand years ago (『新字源』: 角川書店). I find this pretty similar to the original sense of すごい.
     

    in_sense

    New Member
    English - US
    I see I'm bringing this thread back from the dead. Necromancer it is, then.

    When surprised high school girls see me for the first time they say "suge!!". They seem pretty psyched so I doubt that anything vulgar is implied in this sense. I'm glad they're excited to learn English!

    Thoughts?
     

    Flaminius

    coclea mod
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Hi,

    If you are interested, sugē is phonetically derived from sugoi and it carries both the adjectival and the adverbial uses of the latter. The difference? Again, it belongs to yet a more casual speech register.
     

    Ototsan

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    I see I'm bringing this thread back from the dead. Necromancer it is, then.

    When surprised high school girls see me for the first time they say "suge!!". They seem pretty psyched so I doubt that anything vulgar is implied in this sense. I'm glad they're excited to learn English!

    Thoughts?
    You are right. "Sugee!" often means something like "Terrific!." An even more intesified form is すっげえ Suggee! :)

    --
    You may also hear forms like すっごい, すっごく, etc., which are all intensified forms,e.g. すっごい大きい, すっごく大きい.
     
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