にみえる - Grammar Discussion

to look
to seem
to appear

Structure

  • Verb[ ] + みえる
  • Verb+ よう/みたい + にみえる
  • いAdj[ ] + みえる
  • いAdj[ そう ] + に みえる
  • なAdj + にみえる
  • Noun + (のよう/みたい)・にみえる

[conjecture/guess・based only on visual cues・some confidence]

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Hi, I am having some trouble understanding how to combine にみえる with みたい. They both express similar concepts based on visual cues but with a different degree of confidence.

So, for example, in the sentence:
あのビルは病院みたいに見えるけど、病院じゃないって

The に見える looks to me a bit redundant, what is the added nuance compared to:

あのビルは病院みたいだけど、病院じゃないって

Many thanks

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Hey :grin:

あのビルは病院みたいに見えるけど、病院じゃないって
あのビルは病院みたいだけど、病院じゃないって

Mean basically the same (and many might use them interchangeably), though the first sentence implies that the judgment is based on direct visual observation, external appearance, etc while the second one means that the judgment might be based on the visual observation but it doesn’t have to be so. It might be based on something else. In other words, みたい is a more general expression, and みたいにみえる、ようにみえる more specific and have a strong nuance of direct observation.

By the way, some Japanese might also feel that speaker when using みたいだ is more certain than when using みたいにみえる because of だ which is used in statements/declarations. Though I don’t think that most feel that way.

I hope it makes it a bit more clear,:sunglasses::+1:
Cheers

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Spotted what may or may not be an error

彼女は幸せそうにみえる。

幸せ is a な adjective, and the guide doesn’t mention anything about using そう after a な adjective. So one or the other is a bit off if I’m not mistaken

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Hey!

@Enecororo
Thank you for spotting it! :bowing_man:

I have added なAdjective + そうに見える to the structure section :+1:

Cheers!

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This is presumably tied to the previous two posts, but I’ve got
綺麗(きれい) にみえる けど、近(ちか)くで見(み)たら汚(よご)れている。
and I tried そうにみえる as in the guidance but it wasn’t accepted. Is that as it should be? If so, when can そう be used?

@CrisH Hey! I apologize for the confusion. 綺麗そうにみえる should have been an acceptable answer for this review question. I have updated the review question to accept そうにみえる as an answer. Please note that な-Adjective + そうにみえる is far less common in spoken language than な-Adjective + にみえる. Cheers!

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Thanks. It did occur to me, probably after I asked, that な-adjectives are often used as adverbs with に generally, so I should be able to remember that!

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