Look vs. Look Like

Understanding Confusing Grammar - Lesson #9

The word "look" can be used in a few different ways, so it can sometimes be confusing for people learning English. Let's see the different ways that we use the word "look".

1. We can use "look + adjective". We use this when we want to talk about how something or someone appears.

Here are some examples.
  • He looks tired.
  • She looks sick.
  • They look happy.
  • The dog looks scary, but it is nice.
  • It looks big.
2. We can use "look at + noun". We use this when we want to say what thing a person or animal has their eyes on.

Here are some examples.
  • Why are you looking at me?
  • The dog likes to look at the people outside.
  • Don't look at my test.
  • Look at me when I am talking to you.
  • We didn't look at each other while we ate.
3. We can use "look like + noun". We use this to compare the appearance of two things or people.

Here are some examples.
  • She looks like an actress.
  • They look like brothers, but they are not.
  • This food looks like meat, but it is tofu.
  • It looks like a house, but it is a museum.
  • My face looks like a bird.
4. We can use "look like + sentence". We use this when we want to say our opinion about how somebody or something looks. We are not talking about what is actually happening. Instead, we are talking about what we think will happen or is happening. This is pretty much the same as "It appears that…" or "It seems that…".

Here are some examples.
  • You look like you are getting sick.
  • He looks like he will cry.
  • They look like they are busy.
  • The men look like they are fighting.
We can also use the same rules for the words "smell", "taste", "sound", and "feel".

Here are a few examples.

A) How does it feel?
B) It feels soft.

A) What is that smell?
B) I don't know. It smells like garbage.

A) Do you like that singer?
B) Yes. Her voices sounds amazing.

A) How does it taste?
B) It tastes like chicken.

If you want to speak natural English, then you must know how to use the verb "look" correctly. These are things that you will use on a daily basis if you are speaking English.