How to use 〜らしい ( = rashii) + Bonus song lesson♪ 「どんなときも」= Donna toki mo


= Sensei shitsuren shitarashiiyo.

= I heard Sensei has a broken heart.


= That’s not like you, Maggie. Keep your chin up!


無断転載禁止(All rights reserved)

皆さん、今日は!= Minasan konnichiwa! = Hello, everyone!

This lesson is for my Twitter follower, ユリヤ, who has recently asked me how to use らしい ( = rashii)
She wants to know when/how to use it.  Actually, I started making this lesson a year ago, but put it on the back burner until now. But now I actually have more to add, so that’s even better!

When you think about this word, basically there are two ways to use.

1) When you tell people what you have heard, seen, read — based on indirect information, you say:
I heard ~/ They say ~ / It seems like~ / It looks like/ apparently

→Similar words :  みたい (だ)(=mitai(da)),  よう(だ)( = you(da)),  そう (だ ) ( = sou(da))

(Note :  様 (だ)= みたい (だ)= mitai(da) is more colloquial than 様(だ)= you(da)

a) マギー先生は風邪をひいたらしい

= Maggie Sensei wa kaze wo hiita rashii.

= I heard (they say) Maggie Sensei had a cold.

You can also say

b ) マギー先生は風邪をひいた様だ。

= Maggie Sensei wa kaze wo hiita yō da.

c ) マギー先生は風邪をひいたみたいだ。

= Maggie Sensei wa kaze wo hiita mitaida.

d) マギー先生は風邪をひいたそうだ。

= Maggie Sensei wa kaze wo hiita sōda.


Note :
1) a) ~d) They all could mean “I heard” or “They said” but b) & c) could be based on your own assumption or conjecture. Like you have seen Maggie Sensei is sneezing, coughing, etc. so you assume she has a cold. But a) & d) are based on indirect information.

2) While ようだ ( = (da) )  and みたい(だ) ( = mitai (da) ) can be used when you describe something about yourself, it sounds strange to use らしい  (  = rashii) or そうだ ( = sōda) for yourself.

I think I have a cold/It seems like I am catching a cold, so I will go home.

Ex. 風邪をひいたみたいなので帰ります。

= Kaze wo hiita mitai nanode kaerimasu.

Ex. 風邪をひいた様なので帰ります。

= Kaze wo hiita yō nanode kaerimasu.

X  風邪をひいたらしいので帰ります。

= Kaze wo hiita rashii node kaerimasu.

X 風邪をひいたそうなので帰ります。

= Kaze wo hiita sōnanode kaerimasu.

Ex. 今日、抜き打ち試験があるらしいよ。

= Kyō nukiuchi shiken ga arurashiiyo.

= I heard they are going to give us a pop quiz today.

Ex. この辺においしいラーメン屋があるらしいよ。

= Kono hen ni oishii raamenya ga arurashiiyo.

= I heard there is a good ramen shop around here.

Ex. その噂は本当らしい

= Sono uwasa wa hontō rashii.

= The rumor appears to be true.

Ex. お隣、来年、転勤らしいよ。

= Otonari, rainen tankin rashiiyo.

= I heard (It seems like) our next-door neighbor will be transferred next year.

Ex. 今年の冬はいつもより寒くなるらしい

= Kotoshi no fuyu wa itsumo yori samuku narurashii.

= They said this winter is going to be colder than usual.

🐶: From the picture above


= Sensei shitsuren shitarashiiyo.

= I heard Sensei has a broken heart.


2)  The second meaning of らしい (=rashii) is when you express something that represents its characteristic, quality, or originality well. ~ like, It is really ~

You use it for something /someone ideally should be like ~ / Some condition that we all expect/supposed to be / should be / ideally should be ~)

Ex. らしいファッション

= Harurashii fasshion

= Springy fashion (describing clothes that look to be very appropriate for spring)

Ex.  ずっと暑かったけれどもやっと秋らしくなってきた。

= Zutto atsukatta keredomo yatto akirashii tenki ni natte kita.

= It was very hot for a long time but it finally seems like autumn.

Ex. らしい

= onna rashii)

= feminine

Ex. らしい仕草

= Onnarashii shigusa

= feminine gesture

📝 Note :

It is very similar to 女っぽい ( = onnappoi)
(Please check my っぽい ( = ppoi) lesson I also explained the difference between っぽい ( = ppoi) and みたいな ( = mitaina) in that lesson.)

女々しい ( = memeshii) or 女みたいな ( = onna mitaina)  are used towards men and it is negative.

Ex. 女々しいぞ!   (ぞ(=zo)  ending is a male speech/ blunt)

= Memeshiizo!

= Don’t be a sissy!

Ex. なに、女みたいなこと言ってるんだ!(male speech/ blunt)

= Nani, onnnamitai na koto itterunda.

= You are talking like a girl!

Ex. 彼は男らしい人ですね。

= Kare wa otokorashi hito desune.

= He is masculine, isn’t he?

*人間らしい = ningenrashii = humanly


= Motto ningen rashii seikatsu wo shitara?

= Why don’t you live like a real person? (This use implies the person is living improperly in some way — e.g.. working too much and not enjoying their life.)

*子供らしい = kodomo rashii = childlike

Ex. あの子は子供らしいね。

= Ano ko wa kodomo rashii ne.

= That child is very childlike.

We usually use it with a pronoun and express the quality that represents that person or place.

*マギーらしい =  Maggei rashii = very Maggie, Maggie-like

→ Ex. マギーらしいね。

= Maggie rashii ne.

= It is typical of Maggie. / It is so Maggie.

 From the picture above :


= Maggie rashiku naiyo! Genki dashite!

= It’s not like you, Maggie. Keep your chin up!

*あなたらしい = anata rashii = very you

→ Ex. これはあなたらしい作品ですね。

= Korewa anata rashii sakuhin desune.

= This work is very you.

🔸 Negative form:

らしくない = rashikunai


= Sonna koto wo iu nante anohito rashiku nai.

= It is not typical of him/her to say things like that.

🔸 Adverb:

~らしく= rashiku

= jibun rashiku = to be like oneself

Ex. 自分らしく生きる

= jibun rashiku ikiru

= to live by one’s own values

Ex. 自分らしくしなさい

= jibun rashiku shinasai

= Be yourself!

Ex. もっと自分らしく振る舞いなさい。

= Motto jibunrashiku furumai nasai.

= Act yourself more.

📝 Cultural note :

Japanese people are often considered to live in a group.
We are tied up in a society and we have learned how to follow society.
Although we want to be ourselves, sometimes we have to do things against our will in order to be adapted to society.

So there are many young people who want to live according to their own values without worrying about society.
wishing to live being yourself, 自分らしく生きたい = Jibun rashiku ikitai.

🎵 Bonus lesson: Learn Japanese through a song!! 

Do you know the song 「どんなときも= Donna tokimo) by 槙原敬之 ( = Makihara Noriyuki)? It’s very motivational.

It is not a new song, but it’s his signature song and many people have covered this song.

It has a famous line, 僕がらしくあるために…(=boku ga boku rashiku aru tameni) in the lyrics.


= Boku no senaka jibun ga


= omō yori shōjikikai

→ Is my back as honest as I think it is?


= darekani kikanakya


= fuan ni natte shimauyo

If I don’t ask someone, I will feel uneasy.


= tabidatsu boku no tame ni


= chikatta ano yume wa


= furuboketa kyōshitu no


= sumi ni okizari no mama

→ I left the dream I promised to myself before my journey  in the corner of my old classroom


= ano dorodake no suniikaa ja


= oikosenai nowa

 The thing that I can’t pass with those muddy sneakers are


= densha dmeo jikan demo naku

 neither train nor time


= boku kamo shirenai kedo

 but it could be myself.

どんなときも どんなときも

= donna toki mo donna tokimo

 Through hard times and good times


= boku ga bokurashiku aru tameni

In order to be myself


= sukina mono wa suki to

言える気持ち 抱きしめてたい

= ieru kimochi dakishimetetai

I would like to embrace the feelings to be able to say “I just love it!”

どんなときも どんなときも

= donna toki mo donna toki mo

Through hard times and good times


= mayoi sagashitudukeru hibi ga

答えになること 僕は知ってるから

= kotae ni naru koto boku washitteru kara

Because I know those days that I keep searching and wondering will be my answer.


= moshi mo hoka no dareka wo


= shirazu ni kizutsukete mo

Even if I hurt someone’s feelings without knowing,


= zettai yuzurenai


= yume ga boku niwa aru yo

I  have dreams that I can never give up



= “Mukashi wa yokattane” to


= itsumo kuchi ni shinagara


= ikite yuku no wa


= hontō ni iyadakara

I really don’t want to live looking back at my past saying it was great back then.


= kietai kurai tsurai kimochi


= kakaete itemo

鏡の前 笑ってみる

= kagami no mae warattemiru


= mada heiki mitai dayo

So even though I hold onto this painful feeling — a feeling so painful that I want to disappear — I try to smile in front of the mirror.
I still look OK.

どんなときも どんなときも

= donna toki mo donna toki mo


= biru no aida kyūktsusou ni


= ochiteyuku yuuhi ni

焦る気持ち 溶かして行こう

= aseru kimochi tokashite yukou

→Through hard times and good times
I will dissolve my frustration into the sunset in the small spaces between the buildings.

そしていつか 誰かを愛し

= soshite itsuka dareka wo aishi


= sono hito wo mamoreru tsuyosa wo


= jibun no chikara ni kaete yukeru yō ni

Some day I will love someone and hope to get the strength to protect that person myself.

**** repeat ****

Hope you like this song as much as I do! :)

マギー先生より = Maggie sensei yori = From Maggie Sensei


= Korekaramo Maggie rashii ressun wo ippai tsukutte ikimasune.

= I will keep making lessons that represent me.


Will you be my Patron? 

I appreciate your support!  サポートありがとう!

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  1. その時、十人ほどの集団が入ってきて、レストランは満員になった。
    Hello Maggie Sensei,
    can you explain what does the -らしく means at the end of the sentence? What significance does it add to the sentence than without it?
    He is there seeing them come in so why even use this?
    Thx in advance

    1. Hi Mark
      らしく It seems like they come to the place many times.
      It will be more clear to have that part because you rarely order things without checking the menu.
      People generally check the menu before they order something.
      So the speaker is assuming they must be the regular customers who have been there many times.

  2. Maggie sensei,

    Thank you for the great lesson.
    I just have one small point to confirm.

    らしい is used for indirect information. And よう is used for the fact based on our assumption.But they are all guess, right.

    For the information I get from my friends, other people, it’s clear to be らしい。

    However, for many cases, it’s hard to distinguish what is assumption and what is indirect information. Actually, when we get indirect information then we will make an assumption…

    But my question is will I get any trouble if I used らしい and よう not cleverly? I mean, for example.
    When getting up in the morning, I see the road is wet. Then I make a guess “Seem that It rained last night”. Is it possible if I use both らしい and よう

    Thank you for always helping us, Maggie sensei

    1. Hi
      You are right. You use both よう and らしい for assumption but if you see the wet road, I would say

      Basically よう is based on one’s subjective judgement and らしい is based on something more objective, Ex. information from others.

      1. Thank you Maggie sensei,

        But sensei, will I cause some troubles if I use Rashii.

        Because when I am in a conversion, I can not quickly decide what is subjective and what is objective information….

        And,in the case I get information from my friends (my friend tells me “It rained yesterday”, but then I use this information to make my own judgment, what to use, らしい or よう。

        Sorry if I am making thing complicated….
        But it’s really a headache.

        1. Please don’t apologize.
          If you hear from someone that it rained last night, you say

          Sorry. I have to run right now but will get back to you with more examples.

        2. OK, I’m back.

          昨日は、雨が降ったらしい。 I heard /Someone told me/ I read (somewhere) that it rained yesterday.
          (based on the information that the speaker has heard/seen.)

          昨日は、雨が降ったようだ。It seems like it rained last night.
          (1) first hand experience. Based on what you have seen.
          (2) Like らしい, it could be based on what the speaker has heard/seen but the speaker uses ようだ when they are more certain about it.

          Let’s change the tense a little.
          When you are talking about the future weather, you can use both らしい and ようだ. ようだ is used when the speaker is more certain.

          I heard it’s going to rain tomorrow.
          Based on what the speaker has heard/seen.


          Apparently it is going to rain tomorrow.(based on more reliable information or the speaker’s experience/knowledge)

          So if you ever get confused which one to use, I would suggest to use らしい when you heard the information from someone. And use ようだ for your first hand experience.

          1. Maggie sensei,

            Don’t know how to express my thanks to you and your site now…
            Lots of thanks Maggie sensei.

            Lucky that I’ve found you!

      2. Dear Maggie Sensei, I have a question. if ら し い is like an iAdj, why do I have to write マ リ ア ら し い 明 る い 色 の 洋服 だ ね。 and not マ リ ア ら し く て 明 る い 色 の 洋服 だ ね。?
        can I join it to an iAdj without modifying it?

        1. こんにちは、Shizuru
          I guess you can say them both but the meaning is slightly different.
          1) マ リ ア ら し い 明 る い 色 の 洋服 だ ね。

          マリアらしい modifies 明るい色

          2) マ リ ア ら し く て 明 る い 色 の 洋服 だ ね。?

          マリアらしい and 明るい modify 色

  3. Hey, for the longest time I’ve been having trouble figuring out why 僕が僕らしくあるために means what it means, why is the ある there?

    1. First ある is a formal way to say “to be” / “to be in the state of being ~ ”
      彼は大人だ He is an adult. → 彼は大人である
      今日は静かだ It’s quiet today.→今日は静かである

  4. Hi Maggie sensei! I just found this website and I think it’s awesome! I would be grateful if you could answer me a question. I don’t understand the expression どんな心持ちで in this sentence, why is it used together with どちらかというと. The full sentence is: どちらかというと、どんな心持ちで勉強や仕事をしていたほうが幸せだろうか
    Thank you so much!

    1. Hello Pedro!
      心持ち has two meanings:
      1) 気持ち
      2) 幾分/少し/わずかばかり

      In this case it refers to 1) – 気持ち
      どんな心持ちで = what kind of feelings


    2. PS どちらかというと is an expression, which means “would rather”, “if I had to say then” “… if anything …”
      I would rather spend the day together with my friends, than go to the work today.

      1. Pedro

        Sorry. Just read your comment. Looks like our nice friend answered your question already.
        Thank you 天人 for helping Pedro.

      2. Thanks but I understand the meaning, what I don’t understand is the full meaning of the sentence combining those two words. “If anything, I wonder how happy it is to be studying and working with what kind of feelings”? If you know the meaning, could you please help me? Thank you^^

        1. Well, I don’t do the translation here but it roughly means
          If anything, I wonder what kind of mindset should I have when I study or work to make me happy.

  5. Hi Maggie! Did you miss me? ^ ^
    I’m just wondering, if there’s a difference between らしい and ~めく and っぱい in the context of “-like”?

    EX. 春らしい日 vs 春めいた日 vs 春っぽい日.

    Btw, what’s the most natural way to say in Japanese “Did you miss me?” / “Have you missed me?”
    1. 私がいなくて寂しかった?
    2. 私が恋しかった?
    3. Maybe something else?


    1. @天人

      Hi 天人!
      Yes, I missed you. :D

      らしい and ~めく and っぽい

      らしい= something/someone is like what the speaker expect
      めく= something is getting certain state (It is becoming like ~ = “〜らしくなる”)
      っぽい= ~ ish : Similar to らしい but more conversational

      EX. 春らしい日 vs 春めいた日 vs 春っぽい日.

      春っぽい日 is very conversational. Spring-ish day

      春らしい日 springlike When you see/feel something that represents spring, such as flowers, air, weather,etc.

      春めいた日 to describe a day which is in the process of getting spring


      to miss

      You have to change depending on the context

      I miss you.
      1) 彼がいなくて寂しい (You are talking about his presence. expressing one’s loneliness)
      2) 彼が恋しい (You are attracted to him and miss his presence badly.)
      3) 彼に会いたい (I want to see him. While 1) expresses one’s loneliness, you focus on wanting to see him more.)

      But for example, if I miss you because you haven’t come here for a long time,
      I can’t say 天人さんがいなくて寂しい・寂しかった
      You have to add more information

      If this site hasn’t uploaded for a long time, some might say (hopefully)


      So the typical pattern is
      reason + から・くて+寂しかった

      Ex. 天人さんが2日間、コメントをくれなくて寂しかった。

      (I will make a mini lesson on Facebook sometime.)

  6. マギー先生、こんにちは
    面白く、分かりやすいレッソン、ありがとうございます !happyface!
    しかし、質問があるんですが… 「らしい」と「そうだ」は、どちらが違いますか?「らしい」も「そうだ」も「人々から聞きました」という意味がありますので… :?:

    1. @jolie


      Ex.1) 今日は雨が降るらしい。
      Ex.2) 今日は雨が降るそうだ。


      Ex.3) 今日は雨が降りそうだ。(It looks like it is going to rain today.)




  7. Hello!!! Merry Xmas!!
    I need help with two different subjects. First, There’s this song, Kurage by Kanjani8, that has this phrase: いつも 何を考えてるのか
    誰が見えてるんだろう 夏休みが来るんだよ
    しばらく会えない日々 想像すると一人へこんだ
    Where 分からない君の横顔の先に was translated (into Spanish) as ”I don’t Know, It’s a Part of Your self” and I’ve been trying to understand it but I just Cannot. Is it ”君の横顔の先に” an expression? and that is why I cannot get the literal meaning?

    My other question is: What does 卒業らしい mean? This is from the first sentence of Nobuta Wo produce novel. It says: 辻ちゃんと加護ちゃんが卒業らしい。For what I understand is that This kids look like senior students to the narrator. Or it could mean that they act like typical senior students. Am I right?

    Thank you so much for your help!

    1. @R.deM.

      Merry Christmas, R.deM.!!
      Since it is from lyrics, 横顔の先に is a very poetic expression and it means “beyond one’s profile”

      This guy (the singer) is looking at a mysterious profile of a girl wondering who she is seeing (= who she actually likes) beyond her profile.

      卒業らしい means 卒業するらしい= It seems like Tsuji-chan and Kago-chan are going to graduate (leaving) from the group, モー娘 ,an idol group

      looking at the profile (=side face) of this person wondering who she is actually seeing.

  8. i have a question, i’ve been reading this book on japanese and there is a sentence : べスは大学を出たらしい and it translates as : beth seems to have graduated from college is the use of rashii correct?

    1. @虎

      Yes, it is correct.
      べスは大学を出たらしい can be translated as,
      Beth seems to have graduated from college.
      It seems like Beth graduated from college.
      I heard that Beth graduated from college.

  9. Dear Maggie-Sensei,

    Thank you for the great lesson! And for introducing me to such a great and inspirational song!
    I’ve been trying to study the song with your translation. However, there are a few points regarding the last sentence that I still don’t understand after much searching. If it’s not too much trouble, could you please explain these for me please?


    1. What does “行ける” mean? Is it just the potential form of “行く”? Or something entirely different?
    2. If I had to translate “その人を守れる強さを自分の力に変えて” by myself, it would go along the line of “change the strength to protect that person to my own strength”. Could you tell me where I went wrong here?
    3. What would the literal translation for the whole sentence be?

    I’m still a beginner so I hope I’m not annoying you too much with these questions.
    Thank you!

    1. Hello Monica!

      Maggie先生 is probably sleeping right now, but I am still awake, so I will answer your question.

      1. ~ていける is the potential form of ~ていく. You can read about ~ていく here:「〜ていく+〜てくる」teiku-tekuru/
      2-3. Your translation is quite good! But it’s better to know the whole context, otherwise a translation mistake can easily be done.


      My interpretation:

      Anytime, anytime
      The space between buildings feels [so] tight (/seems to be [so] tight)
      In the setting sun
      I’m gonna melt my frustration down
      And some day I shall love someone
      And I hope, I will be able to
      change the strength that protects her
      into my own power (/strength).


    2. @Monica & @天人

      Oh wow…while I was sleeping 天人 answered Monica’s question. Thank you, 天人!
      Monica, is it clear now?
      I love this song. I am glad you like it,too!

      1. Hi 天人!

        Thank you so very much for your response, and wonderful interpretation. It’s all clear now.
        I’m sorry for the late reply. I kept thinking I’d receive an email notification if I got a reply but apparently not. Lucky for me I checked! =)


        I love the song! Been replaying it again and again for the past few days!



  10. やっと「-らしい」レッスンを学んで終わりました!

    「Ex. この辺においしいラーメン屋があるらしいよ。
    = Kono hen ni oishii raamenyasan ga arurashiiyo.
    = I heard there is a good ramen shop around here.」


    1. @Orti

      読み方はramen-ya です。

        1. @Orti

          Ex. お米屋さん・魚屋さん、郵便屋さん

  11. 失恋する=to have one’s heart broken??

    1. @Aki
      Yes, 失恋する literally means “to lose love” so it means “to get one’s heart broken” /”to get brokenhearted”
      いつもありがと、Aki! !CHECKHEART!

        1. @majoringram3636
          I am happy to hear that. It is very catchy! I am still singing “どんなときも〜♫” on and on in my head after I made this lesson. !happyface!

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