すぐ vs. もうすぐ: Native Speakers Often Use These
Some Japanese learners are quite complicated to use “すぐ(sugu)” and “もうすぐ(mou-sugu)”, aren’ they? Because they are quite similar. And “すぐ” and “もうすぐ” are often used by native speakers. After reading this, you would be able to easily use them. Let me introduce how you easily use “すぐ” and “もうすぐ” today!
Right away / Immediately / Shortly / Quickly
“すぐ(sugu)” means “right away, immediately, shortly and quickly”. “すぐに” can be used all of the tenses which means “すぐ” is used for past, present and future tense, unlike “もうすぐ”. Time-wise, “すぐ” has been basically used 1 sec to 5 minutes, of course, it depends on the people thought. And the difference between “すぐ” and “すぐに” is that people use “すぐ” in emphasizing. Because when people can’t afford to do something, they tend to omit a word and に of すぐに in this case. So, when you talk to people in daily conversations as polite or write e-mails, you might want to use すぐに instead of “すぐ”. Lastly, when emphasizing “すぐ”, that would be “今すぐ”.
“もうすぐ(mousugu)” means “soon” and which can’t be used for the past tense, unlike “すぐ”. Basically, もうすぐ is used as the future tense or present tense. For instance, “もうすぐ着くよ。(I’ll be there soon.)” which is correct, however, “もうすぐ着いたよ。(I was there soon.)” is wrong which is the past tense. Again すぐ can be used as the past tense such as “すぐ着いたよ。(I immediately arrived there.)”. There are two points in using “もうすぐ”. The one is that it can’t be used for the past tense and the second is that time-wise is 5 minutes to 1 hour, although it depends on the people and by using these words: 行く(go), 来る(come), 着く(arrive), 入れる(put in), 入る(enter), 出る(go out), etc. However, もうすぐ has been also used 2 or 3 weeks to 6 months or more. In this case, people could describe a long period of time by using もうすぐ such as 花(flowers), 季節(seasons), 人生(life) and etc.