Intermediate Grammar #1: ~아/어 보이다 “Looks Like”


~아/어 보이다:

  • Conveys feelings based on some outward appearance
  • Equivalent to “looks like” or “seems like”

Usage:

  • Used with ADJECTIVES only
  • ~게 보이다 is an acceptable alternative

Tenses:

  • Past (과거): ~아/어 보였다
  • Present (현재): ~아/어 보이다
  • Future (추측): ~아/어 보일 것이다

Examples:

과거:

  • 어제 미나씨가 피곤 해 보였어요.
    (It looks like Mina is tired now.)
  • 탐 크루즈의 영화를 봤을 때 키가 커 보였잖아요.
    (When I watched Tom Cruise’s movie, he looked tall.)
  • 그 웹회사를 임차했을 때 웹사이트가 멋있어 보였어요.
    (When I was hired by that web company, their websites looked cool.)
  • 그 점심 음식은 맛있게 보였잖아요.
    (That lunch looked good.)
  • 이 체육대회를 시작했을 때 그 분은 힘이 많아 보였어요.
    (When the sports match started, that guy looked like he was strong.)

현재:

  • 지금 괜찮으세요? 슬퍼 보여요.
    (Are you OK? You look sad.)
  • 속도가 지금 빨라 보여요.
    (The speed looks really fast now.)
  • 물이 차가워 보이잖아요.
    (The water looks cold.)
  • 왜, 지금 화나 보입니까?
    (Why do you look angry now?)
  • 이삭이는 그렇게 하면 진짜 강아지 같아 보여요.
    (When Isaac does that, he really looks like a puppy.)

추측:

  • 한국에 오랫동안 살았서 한국말 잘 해 보일 것이예요.
    (Since you lived in Korea for a long time, it seems like you should speak Korean well.)
  • 비싼차를 운전하니까 풍부해 보일 것이예요.
    (Since he drives an expensive car, it seems like he’s rich.)
  • 어제 늦게 왔서 오늘도 늦어 보일 것잖아요.
    (Since I was late yesterday, it looks like I’ll be late again today.)
  • 그 집가 넓어 보일 것입니다.
    (That house looks like it would be wide.)
  •  와! 이 영화가 진짜 재미있어 보일 것이다!
    (Wow! This movie looks like it’s going to be really interesting!)

**These are notes from Korean Grammar in Use: Intermediate. For more in-depth explanations, buy the book.

How goes your study? Any more tips?

3 comments

  1. 어제 미나씨가 피곤 해 보였어요. (It looked like Mina was tired yesterday.)
    탐 크루즈의 영화를 봤을 때 키가 커 보였잖아요(보였어요). (When I watched Tom Cruise’s movie, he looked tall.)
    그 웹회사에 고용됐을 때, 이 회사 웹사이트가 멋있어 보였어요. (When I was hired by that web company, their websites looked cool.)
    그 점심(점심 includes 음식 itself)은 맛있어 보였잖아요. (That lunch looked good.)
    이 체육대회를 시작했을 때 그 분은 힘이 세 보였어요. (When the sports match started, that guy looked like he was strong.)

    1. 지금 괜찮으세요?(Just 괜찮아요? look more natural) 슬퍼 보여요. (Are you OK? You look sad.)
      지금 속도는 정말 빨라 보여요. (The speed looks really fast now.)
      물이 차가워 보여요. (The water looks cold.)
      Speakers can use 잖다/잔아요/잖아 when they want to highlight or confirm the information in a sentence.

      지금 왜 화나 보입니까? (Why do you look angry now?)
      do English speakers use this sentence instead of “Why are you angry now?”)
      지금 왜 화나 보입니까 is not used in Korean we just say “지금 왜 화났나요?”,

      This one is good translation
      이삭이는 그렇게 하면 진짜 강아지 같아 보여요. (When Isaac does that, he really looks like a puppy.)

      1. Excellent! I appreciate the help!~ As you can tell, I’m mostly just posting what I’m learning, as I’m learning it. Looking back, I also can notice many of my first sentences are a little strange.

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