We use "seem" when something appears to be true, probable, or likely.
We use this sentence pattern when we think something is true, but we do not know for sure. Also, there is some reason or evidence for why we think something.
- It seems like it will rain. = I think it will rain.
Both of the sentences above are correct and they have the same meaning.
- He seems like he is nice. = I think he is nice.
"He seems like he is nice." means I think he is nice, but I am not sure. Maybe, I have only met him one time, so I can't be 100% sure. "I think he is nice." can have two meanings – my opinion or my guess. Subject + seem(s) like + noun...
Subject + seem(s) like + sentence
- He seems like a scary boss.
- They seem like best friends.
- The two women seem like sisters.
- She seems like a nice lady.
- Mark seems like a funny person.
- Tim and Karen seem like great coworkers.
- This art gallery seems like a cool place.
- Ben seems like a smart guy.
- She seems like a wonderful teacher.
The subjects must match with this kind of sentence except if the subject is "it". If "it" is the subject it can match or be something different (the last two examples show this).
Bonus Tips and Points
- They seem like they are in love.
- He seems like he gets angry easily.
- She seems like she is hard to work with.
- They seem like they are getting ready to leave.
- This coffee shop seems like it is becoming popular.
- They seem like they love their job.
- It seems like Mary is nice.
- It seems like he is tired.
1. Although it is not very common to use the subject "I" with seem, it is natural in the sentence patterns below. If I seem like..., (then)... If it seems like I...., then....
- If I seem like I am tired today, then I apologize.
- If I seem like I am not paying attention, please be assured that I am.
- If it seems like I am about to fall asleep, then wake me up.
- If it seems like I am talking to a boring person, then call my cell phone, so I can have an excuse to get away.
2. We can make past tense sentences.
Real-World English Conversations
- It didn't seem like a good idea.
- She didn't seem like a kind person.
- He did not seem like he was interested in our offer.
A) Let's go into the classroom.
B) It seems like it is too early to go in. Nobody else is going in.
A) Do you want to go on a picnic today?
B) Look at those dark clouds. It seems like it is going to rain. Let's check the weather first.
A) She seems like a nice person.
B) Yes, she is. Mary is so kind.
A) They seem like a great couple.
B) Yes, they are always happy when they are together.
A) This restaurant seems like a popular place.
B) That's right. It is the new hot spot.
A) He seems like he is in a bad mood today.
B) You are right. That is not like him. He is usually very happy and upbeat.
A) I heard you got a job offer.
B) Yes, but I turned it down. The company didn't seem like a good place to work. Study these free English lessons to improve your English speaking. If you learn these common sentence patterns well, then your English speaking will improve greatly and you will be able to have fluent conversations in English in the near future! Study the lessons well, practice using the sentences and questions at home and in real life, and make sure to come back to review the material so you do not forget. If you do these three things, then you will be speaking English like a native English speaker in no time!