We use "seem" when something appears to be true, probable, or likely.
We use "seem" when we think or feel something, but we are not 100% sure. We use "seem" when there is a reason or evidence for why we think something.
For example, if I meet a woman for the first time. The woman smiles a lot, talks very kindly to me and is very positive. Then, I can say, "She seems nice". I am not 100% sure that she is a nice person, but I have a reason or evidence for why I think that. Subject + seem(s) + adjective...
- I met him once. He seems nice.
- Look at that food. It seems good.
- They seem strange.
- This book seems interesting.
- This class seems hard.
- It seems good.
- This TV show seems funny.
- People seem nice here.
- We seem serious, but we like to joke around.
- That man seems dangerous.
We can make negative sentences. Subject + don't/doesn't seem + adjective...
- He doesn't seem nice.
(= He seems mean.)
- It doesn't seem good.
(=It seems bad.)
- This TV show doesn't seem funny.
- They don't seem smart.
For a situation in the past, we use "seemed" or "didn't seem". Subject + seemed + adjective...
Bonus Tips and Points
- I saw Bill yesterday. He seemed angry.
- I passed by Mark's restaurant yesterday. It didn't seem busy at all.
- I saw you with your boyfriend last weekend. You two seemed happy.
1. We can add adverbs that show how sure we are that something is true.
- It kind of seems good.
- They definitely seem nice.
- They really seem fun.
However, we can also put the same adverbs before the adjective. When we do this, we are showing the degree of the adjective.
Real-World English Conversations
- It seems kind of good.
- It seems really hot. Don't touch it.
- It seems very hot today. I'm going to wear shorts.
- It seems somewhat confusing to me.
- It seems surprisingly accurate.
A) Have you met Karen?
B) I've met her once. She seemed nice.
A) You seem happy today.
B) I'm very happy. I got a promotion today.
A) He seems angry today.
B) I think he is. We should avoid him if we can.
A) This book seems interesting. Have you read it?
B) I haven't read it, but my wife said it is very good.
A) This place seems cool.
B) It is cool, but it is also expensive.
A) The plane tickets seem kind of expensive.
B) Actually, that is a normal price for this time of year.
A) That is high.
B) It is peak travel season. What do you expect?
A) What do you think about this dress for the wedding?
B) It seems okay.
A) Just okay?
B) I mean it looks amazing. You are so beautiful. Use these free English lessons to learn the most common sentence patterns in the English language. If you learn these sentences and questions, it will help you speak English well. Study the lessons thoroughly, practice making your own sentences, and come back to review often. If you do these three steps, your English speaking will improve quickly and you will be able to have natural English conversations.