“It looks something like this” in academic English.

Polina_Al

New Member
Russian
Hello everyone!
I hope to get some help here :- )
When you are describing something referring to the picture, how to say in academic (textbook) English “It looks something/approximately like this”?
I’ll really appreciate any help!
Thanks
 
  • Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Hello
    I'm not sure what you mean. What is "it" and why don't you have a picture of "it"? Why talk about one thing and have a picture of something similar but not the same.

    Please could you explain in more detail?

    Example

    Don't swim with sharks. So that you know what a shark looks like, it looks approximately like this. Picture of a dolphin.

    Why not just give a picture of a shark? :confused:
     
    Last edited:

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Polina, welcome to the forum.

    Regardless of Biffo's (justified) comments on your pictures, I think there is a different problem here. You seem to think there is "academic English" and "plain English". This is a mistake. Increasingly, modern academics use plain English, and if they don't they are mistaken and misunderstood.

    The correct way to say in academic English “It looks something/approximately like this” is simply: “It looks something/approximately like this”.

     

    George French

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Polina, welcome to the forum.

    Regardless of Biffo's (justified) comments on your pictures, I think there is a different problem here. You seem to think there is "academic English" and "plain English". This is a mistake. Increasingly, modern academics use plain English, and if they don't they are mistaken and misunderstood.

    The correct way to say in academic English “It looks something/approximately like this” is simply: “It looks something/approximately like this”.

    Or as the rest of the world would say:- "It looks a bit like this."

    GF..

    Can we get it even simpler?????
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Ah, a bridge too far. I'd never use "a bit" in formal writing, having had it drummed into me at the age of 14 that a bit was a thing in a horse's mouth, and not the same as "a little, a small amount, somewhat, rather..."
     

    Polina_Al

    New Member
    Russian
    Thanks a lot for your answers!!!!!:- ) I really appreciate your help!!
    Ok, to make it more clear. Let’s say it’s an instruction. You are explaining how some tool works and then you say “it (this tool) looks something like this. (see the picture) ” or “it (this tool) has approximately this look (see the picture)”. Is it formal/academic enough?
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    When you are describing something referring to the picture, how to say in academic (textbook) English “It looks something/approximately like this”?
    I think the more formal phrase you are looking for is "It bears a [marked] resemblance to <insert reference>."

    This phrase is often used in a context where the writer wishes to show a relationship between two articles/objects.

    e.g. "For years giant pandas were considered a unique species, however, in the attached image you can see that the giant panda bears/has a [marked] resemblance to the grizzly bear."

    However, you said, "For years giant pandas were considered a unique species, however, in the attached image you can see that the giant panda looks something like the grizzly bear." this is more tentative/speculative: more open to another opinion.

    Then there are the cases where the first object has no direct comparator and one is invented:

    "The graph of solubility looks [somewhat] like a horizontal 'S'." This is OK as you are merely describing it rather than comparing it.

    This would be as opposed to:

    "The graph of solubility bears/has a [marked] resemblance to that of niobium ferosulfate." (comparison)
    "The graph of solubility looks [somewhat] like niobium ferosulfate." (vaguer, more general)
     

    Polina_Al

    New Member
    Russian
    Thank you so much for your help PaulQ...
    it's not really what I needed, but your post was very interesting.
     
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