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

とき versus 〜たら

The critical difference is that ~たら assumes that the prior action has been completed before the subsequent action begins.…

To Desu or Not to Desu

As you may already be aware, the Japanese language includes honorifics and there are a number of different…

Comparisons within a Group

This phrase let’s us say things like, “Out of all my school subjects, I like history the most”.…

Maybe/Possibility: ~かもしれない

かもしれない is translatable as “maybe”. It expresses less probability than adding the volitional form of the auxiliary verb…