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𝔸 guy sits down in a movie theatre and notices that the man in front of him has brought his dog, and it's sitting in the seat next to his. He thinks it's unusual, but he likes dogs so he decides that as long as it's not a distraction, he won't mention it. The movie starts and pretty soon there's a funny part.

The dog makes some low yapping noises that sound like laughter. Soon there's a sad part and the dog appears to be sobbing. This continues throughout the film and the man sitting behind the dog is gobsmacked.

When the lights come on he taps the dog's owner on the shoulder and says, "I have to tell you, and I know it sounds bizarre, but it seemed like your dog really enjoyed this movie." The dog owner looks at the dog and nods. "I know, it is strange indeed," he says, "Because he really hated the book."

To seem, to feel, to sound, to taste, to look, to smell

The French verb "sembler" or "avoir l'air" can be represented by its English equivalent "to seem". For example, "He seems worried." The thing is that in English we can go further, and use specific sense verbs. She looks ready [eyes] or They sound angry [ears] or This tastes great [tongue] or You smell good [nose], etc. In the joke we see another representation of that idea, where the verb "appear" is used: The dog appears to be sobbing. We use seem to say that something or someone appears to be something, gives the impression of being something or of having a particular quality. Sometimes when you agree with someone you might say "it seems so," or simply... "seems so." I've also heard, especially in North-American English, "seems like." James: "She's going to win Roland Garros." Aïcha: "Seems so" or "seems like." Choose the one you prefer and stick with it. Don't forget to have a look at the examples in the table below.

Check out these example sentences

In French In English
Tu semble plus âgée que lui You seem/look older than him
Je semble avoir accumulé beaucoup de livres I seem to have collected a lot of books
Tu sais à quel point ça paraît dingue ? You know how crazy that sounds?
Le plat de ton mari était si bon ! Your husband's dish tasted/was so good!
Ça sent mauvais. Qu'est-ce que c'est ? This smells awful. What is it?
Il semble être ivre. Que pensez-vous ? He appears to be drunk. What do you think?


The verb 'to seem' The linking verb 'seem'

Try these exercises

Quiz 1  Quiz 2  Quiz 3 

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