seem/seem like

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liangmike

Senior Member
Mandarin
Could anyone tell me the difference between "seem" and "seem like". I give some speech below, please tell me which one is not idiomatic

It seems like it will rain
It seems that it will rain
It seems to be gonna rain


He seems to be a happy man
He seems like a happy man
He seems that he is a happy man



Thanks
 
  • Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    It seems like it will rain
    I find this quite slangy. In my world, "seems like" is only used to reflect a similarity to something (using "like" to mean "alike"). If you were shopping for a new computer, you might say "This one seems like the one I looked at yesterday but it's a lot cheaper."

    It seems that it will rain
    This isn't technically incorrect but isn't idiomatic.

    It seems to be gonna going to rain
    This is grammatically incorrect ("to be" doesn't work here). Again, this just isn't how a native-speaker would say this. We would probably most often say "It looks like it's going to rain".

    He seems to be a happy man:tick:
    He seems like a happy man:tick:
    He seems that he is a happy man:cross:
    This last one isn't grammatically correct. We would say "It seems that he is a happy man"
     

    Shohane

    Member
    USA
    Vietnamese
    When you use "seem", you don't say "like", right?

    For example:
    "She seems happy".
    "She looks like she's happy."
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    "It seems that ..." suggests that it is as it seems, and "it seems as though ..." strongly suggests that it is not as it seems. "It seems as if ..." suggests it is not as it seems, but less strongly than "it seems as though ...".

    I know some native speakers object to like as a conjunction, but to me the meaning of "it seems like ..." before a clause is somewhere between "it seems that ..." and "it seems as if ...". In other words, "it seems like ..." is nearly without bias in either direction.

    All the following seem like proper sentences to my American ear:

    It seems like it will rain.
    It seems that it will rain.
    It seems it will rain.
    It seems (that/like) it is going to rain.
    It seems to be going to rain.

    He seems (like) a happy man.
    He seems to be a happy man.
    It seems (that/like) he is a happy man. [Not "He seems ...".]

    She seems
    (to be) happy.
    It seems (like/that) she's happy. [Not "She seems ...".]
    She looks like she's happy. [Like is required in this sentence.]
    It looks like she's happy. [Like is required here too.]

    It seems not to be such a big deal.
    It seems to not be such a big deal.
    It seems to be not such a big deal.
    It seems not such a big deal.
    It does not seem
    (to be) such a big deal.

    I hope this helps.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I'm not happy with it seems like it will rain. Like Dimcl I find it 'slangy'.

    I think it's the as/like divide again.

    I'd say of a white cold wet substance it seems like snow.

    But I'd have to say it seems as if it will rain or it seems that it will rain. The second sounds very formal.
     

    sevengem

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    I think what liangmike asks is whether the following two sentences are exactly the same.

    1. He seems a nice man.
    2. He seems like a nice man.
     

    nongprue

    Member
    Français
    Well, hello everybody

    'it seems that' (subjonctive)
    so in my humble opinion
    'it seems that he be a happy man'
    I'd say 'this man looks happy' or just ' he looks happy' (why 'man' or 'a')?
    He seems to be a nice man (I rather prefer 'he looks nice' 'this man looks nice'
    'it looks like rain'

    Otherwise I fully agree with Dimcl constantly. 'let's be simple'

    Thank you for reading and taking account of my point of view.
    happy practicing.
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    Well, hello everybody

    'it seems that' (subjonctive)
    so in my humble opinion
    'it seems that he be a happy man'
    I'd say 'this man looks happy' or just ' he looks happy' (why 'man' or 'a')?
    He seems to be a nice man (I rather prefer 'he looks nice' 'this man looks nice'
    'it looks like rain'

    Otherwise I fully agree with Dimcl constantly. 'let's be simple'

    Thank you for reading and taking account of my point of view.
    happy practicing.
    In English, we just don't use subjunctive that way.

    We use only indicative after looks that and after colloquial looks like, and any subjunctive after as if or as though is limited to "past" subjunctive:

    It seems that he be a happy man.:cross:
    It seems that he is a happy man.:tick:
    He looks as if he be a happy man.:cross:
    He looks as if he were a happy man.:tick:
     

    nongprue

    Member
    Français
    Hello everybody,

    Not only do I respect you and your skill but I thank you for your
    responses. (from the whole forum too)
    however please let me add...

    source ;
    https://www.englishclub.com/grammar/verbs-subjunctive.htm


    The President requests that you be present at the meeting.
    It is vital that you be present at the meeting.


    Here are some examples with the subjunctive:


    The manager insists that the car park be locked at night.


    Some fixed expressions use the subjunctive.
    Here are some examples:
    Long live the King!
    God bless America!

    Also, when the verb is use like 'indicative' but without 'S' at the third person (singular).
    it is important for learners to know that, isn't it?
    « I want him to leave » to avoid saying « I want that he leave ».

    source ; anglaisfacile.com thanks to I knew this forum.
    and so on ....
    Thank you ever so much Forero. I'll revise the topic anyway.
    have a nice day to all.
     
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