There are numerous ways to express “seems like” in Japanese and what makes each of these expressions tricky for learners is that the Japanese makes clear distinctions between differences in meaning that we don’t need to pay much attention to in English. Take the following sentences, for example.

You seem tired.
It seems that he didn’t get the message.

In the first sentence the observation is one that you have personally made upon seeing the person’s face (e.g. they have bags under their eyes or their eyelids are half closed). In the second sentence, however, you are basing your comment on logical conjecture (he didn’t reply so you assume the message wasn’t received).

Given these sort of nuances its best to tackle all the different expressions at once so you can compare and contrast usage.

You May Also Like

Saying “When” in Japanese: とき

Quite often “とき” is the first word that you meet to say ‘when’ in Japanese. The kanji (時) we…

Imperative Verbs

At the moment the only way we have to give an order is to ask politely for someone…

Expected Outcomes: ~そう

When used with the verb stem そう expresses that something is likely to happen or be true based…

Creating Partial Lists (や, など, とか)

We know we can connect nouns with the と particle like so: 野菜やさいと 魚さかなと 牛乳ぎゅうにゅうと 水みず。 Vegetables and fish and milk…