Look • Seem • Appear - Differences | Bilexis Blog
Look • Seem • Appear - Differences
Look • Seem • Appear - Differences

The differences between the words 'look, seem, appear'.

The verbs look, seem and appear have similar meanings and uses. These three verbs are used to express an impression. Mostly, these verbs can be used interchangeably, but there are slight differences in meaning between them.


It is mostly used to indicate the impressions obtained through the eye.

・You look great!

・You don't look your age.

・He looks like a rich man.

・She looks like her mother.

・It looks like an interesting movie to me.

・It looks as if it's going to rain.


It is used to indicate impressions obtained both visually and intuitively.

She seems unhappy.

・He is not what he seems to be.

・It seems like a good plan.

・He seems to be a nice man.

・It seems as though everything is normal.

・He seemed as if he was very tired.

・It seemed to me that his idea was strange.


It is generally used in written language to indicate more objective situations.

She appeared disappointed.

・The situation was not as it appeared.

・It appears (that) there has been a problem.

・He appeared to know what was happening.

・Everything appears as if normal.

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