#GrammarTrivia: “Seem” vs. “look”

Hola, Fellas! It’s finally Friday again. How do you do during this week? I hope you are doing well. This evening we are going to have a discussion about the difference between ‘seem’ and ‘look.’ In this term, both words are considered as copular verbs. Do you know what copular verb is?

Copular verb is a verb that connects subject of sentence to a subject complement. In other words, copular verb is linking verb. There are some words that are considered as copular verbs, such as ‘feel,’ ‘look,’ ‘smell,’ ‘taste,’ etc.  In this occasion, we will specifically talk about ‘look’ and its common substitute, ‘seem.’

Sometimes, you might face a confusion on whether you should use ‘seem’ or ‘look’ to express your opinion of an object. As illustration,

  • “She (look/seem) happy today.”
  • “You (look/seem) pretty today.”

Which verb will you choose to complete each of the example?

“You look pretty today.” “She looks happy today.” – @NeNi961111 

Seem and look. – @Syalaladubidum

You look pretty today. She seems happy today. – @niaangreinny

You look pretty today. She seems happy today. Am I right? – @innecfc

‘Look’ for the second question and ‘seem’ for the first I guess. – @ryutz_


In the first example, I would choose “seem” as the answer. “Seem” is a general copular verb to express our sense/impression about something. On the other words, we use “seem” when the judgement is subjective, it’s like you are using your intuition.

On the other hands, we can also say “She looks happy today” if we see her laughing or smiling. Here are some examples on how to use “seem’ in a sentence,

  • “The task seems difficult to be accomplished,”
  • “It seems like we are going to have a long chat this evening.”


Meanwhile, I would say “You look pretty today” in the second illustration. “Look” is generally used as a result of a physical observation of an objectSo, you would say “look” if you can see the appearance of the object. For example,

  • “You look stylish with this dress,”
  • “This area looks dirty with these scattered trashes.”



Compiled and written by @mettaa_ for @EnglishTips4u on Friday, March 15, 2019

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