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”


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


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



  • 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.)


  • 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.)


  • 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?