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]

View on Bunpro

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

1 Like

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

1 Like

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

1 Like

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!

1 Like