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Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #106423: To feel, look, seem, sound ...
To feel, look, seem, sound ...
Verbs of impression : to sound, to look, to feel, to seem, to smell, to taste ...
1) These verbs + adjective or noun all mean : 'to appear', 'to seem'.
This structure has no equivalent in French :
we can notice that the way, the means of doing the action is what decides of the precise verb to be used :
- 'Look' is used when people or things are seen. If they are heard, you should use 'sound', if they're eaten, 'taste', if they're touched, 'feel', if they're smelt, 'smell' ...etc.
ex : How strange! These strawberies taste of mint ...
ex : Listen ! He really doesn't sound British, does he?
ex : She looks both tired and angry.
ex : He looks younger than he really is.
2 ) Verbs of impressions are built with :
- VERB + as if / as though + proposition (mind the sequence of tenses).
ex: It looks as if it's going to rain ....
ex 1 : She sounds as if she's angry !
ex 2 : She sounded as though she were/ was angry, but in fact, she was upset. ( = modal preterite indicating what's unreal. )
- 'Seem' is more neutral than 'look', 'feel' ou sound' for instance :
ex : My nephew seems to be doing well in Australia !
ex : Jen and Ian seem to be getting on well together !
- 'To look like + V 'and 'to feel like' are used in the United States and in colloquial British English.
( DO NOT USE THESE FORMS in an exam or a competitive exam in Europe ...)
ex : That girl looks like a wreck, she must be helped.
ex : He looks like he's got the flu and I feel like I've got a cold.
BEWARE ! In British English, 'to feel like + ing' = 'to have a desire or an inclination for'.
ex : She was so happy, he was feeling like dancing and couldn't help it !
- Personal subject + personal subject => physical, psychological impressions or feelings.
ex : She felt lonely, tired and forsaken. .
It often does, doesn't it ?
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