Friday, January 29, 2010

seem - look

We call "seem, look" as link verb.
We use them without an object. So they are always in active voice.
We use them with the present simple tense.
They give the idea about appearance but "seem like" refers to a concept, "looks like" refers to the appearance of a person, place or thing.

You seem happy. (You were singing all day. I guess you are happy, but you might not be smiling.)
She seemed to like me. (No eyesight is needed for the observation.)
"Seem like" seems less certain that "look like".
"seem" it takes a little time to make a judgement.

Ahmed seemed to be asleep.
The man seems to be quite ill.
It seems silly not to tell him.

You look happy. (I see you smiling. I know very easily and quickly that you are happy.)
He looks old. (You notice it with your eyes, or quickly understand.)
He looks just like a baby.

And definitely not "usually"! "chance" or "lukc" are exactly what communicated by that expression.
I happen to, have just the answer you're looking for.
It just so happens that I have the answer you're looking for.
As luch would have it, I have just the answer you're looking for.
These there are generally speaking, equivalents.
To happen to + infinitive is a special construction:
- I happend to be X = it is a coincidence that I am X.
- The bus crashed, and many people were wounded; they survived only because there happened to be a nurse in the bus as well.
(It was not a plan that the nurse was there.)
- My brother did not use to work in the WTC; he just happened to be nearby when the towers collapsed: that's when he died. (ıt was not to be expected that should have been there at that time.)
It can also be used ironically:
- You know nothing about Brazil: I have been there a few times, and I speak Spanish.
- Oh, that is quite interesting. They happen to speak Portuguese in Brazil.

Did you happen to see Ahmed, while you were in the bar?

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