The difference between words: look, seem, sound, feel

Recently, a student asked me about these words, so I would like to share with you this post below for some good explanations and examples.

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In English, we often use the words “look”, “seem”, “sound” and “feel” to describe our feelings about certain situations, but sometimes it is confusing as to which is the appropriate one to use in each situation. That’s what I’d like to write about today.

Let’s start with the easiest one: “look”. We use “look” when talking about something that we can physically see with our eyes. For example:

I saw a picture of Bill’s new house. It looks really nice.

This looks like a really expensive restaurant. I think we should go to another place.

We use “seem” when talking about a situation that we have experienced for a very short time and we want to give our impression of it. For example:

I only talked to the new manager for a couple of minutes, but she seems really nice.

I’ve only just arrived in this city, but it seems like…

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The difference between words: look, seem, sound, feel」への2件のフィードバック

  1. I’ve been often confused about how to use ” look “, ” seem ” , ” sound ” and ” feel “, but I feel like I understand it.
    I’ll make the sentences using them.

    A: I’ll go skiing at RUSUTSU on Sat.
    Why don’t you come with me?
    B: It SOUNDS great!

    At a restaurant, we’re going to eat desserts.
    ” It LOOKS really good! ”

    It SEEMS like it’ll rain tomorrow.
    ( but, actually, I hope it won’t rain because snow is going to melt and I won’t be able to ski )

    The music is playing………
    ” It FEELS like that I used to listen to in my 10’s.

  2. Good examples, Fuyu. With your last sentence you would probably use ‘sounds’ as you hear the music. You could say however, ‘I feel like I am in my teens again.’ (not 10’s)

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