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I saw this sentence on the internet.

Uh-oh! Looks like a couple of Pikachus are out of hit points

I wonder how two verbs (look, be) exist in one sentence.

Is the grammar in this sentence right?

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  • Could you say how you think the sentence should be written? – Mari-Lou A Nov 21 '16 at 7:55
  • "It looks like you are a bit confused by that sentence" That two verbs (look like, be) co-exist in the same sentence happens all the time, there's nothing unusual about that. Why do you think it is wrong? Could you explain more, maybe provide a reference which says that the two verbs cannot exist in the same sentence? – Mari-Lou A Nov 21 '16 at 7:59
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Yes, Looks like a couple of Pikachus are out of hit points is grammatically correct.

I can guess two possibilities that confused you. Because you didn't mention exactly what confused you, I will discuss both points in this answer. But before we begin, please note that your example is an example of informal English, and both points below are more common in informal English.

Point 1: Ellipsis (in this case, "conversational deletion")

As pointed out in several comments, Looks like ... is just shortened from It looks like ...

In informal English, it's quite common to delete words at the end or the beginning of our sentences. Keep in mind that the remaining sentence should still have clear meaning. (In other words, be careful not to omit too much, or else your speech may sound unidiomatic.)

So, your example sentence:

Looks like a couple of Pikachus are out of hit points.
= It looks like a couple of Pikachus are out of hit points.

IMPORTANT! Note that it's Looks, not Look, at the beginning of your example sentence. This is because It is omitted, so we're left with Looks. Don't use Look when it's shortened from It looks!

Usage note: "(It) looks like" is quite similar in meaning to "It looks as though", "It looks as if", "It appears", or "It seems". It's one of several common English phrases that you can use to express your opinion on something. ("I think that ..." or "I can see that ..." is also similar.) For more details, check out this Wikipedia page: Evidentiality.

Point 2: This 'like' is a conjunction

If you look up the word like in any dictionary, you'll find that like is also a conjunction, i.e., it links two clauses together, which is why you have two verbs: looked, the main verb; and are, in the subordinate clause. Here are some typical sentences where like is a conjunction (from Macmillan Dictionary):

She looked like she was about to cry.
Sam played with the children like he was one of them.
It looks like he has his hair trimmed about three times a week.

The last example is pretty much like your example, right? :-)

I hope this answer can explain the grammar and usage of your example sentence adequately.

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Yes, the sentence is grammatically correct. What it says is that the situation looks like a bunch of Pokemons don't have hit points anymore. They had them some time ago, but not now. to be out of something means that you don't have any of it anymore. For examples, when I say that I'm out of sugar, that means I have no sugar left and it looks like I'm going to have to go to the store to buy some.

And yes, there's nothing stopping the verbs to look and to be from coexisting in the same sentence. You can place the two together in the same sentence and that's absolutely fine.

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    Actually to be 100% grammatically correct, the sentence should begin with, "It looks like..." – iMerchant Nov 20 '16 at 19:47
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    @iMerchant It has undergone a grammatical process sometimes referred to as conversational deletion. It's colloquial rather than ungrammatical. – snailplane Nov 21 '16 at 8:12
  • This doesn't actually answer the underlying question about the grammar, which is how can a sentence have two different verbs? and not what does be out of mean? – Esoteric Screen Name Nov 21 '16 at 15:56
  • @EsotericScreenName But it did tell the OP the sentence is grammatical, and it explained the meaning of the sentence. It's just unfortunate that the OP did not ask Cookie to add an explanation about the coexistence of look and be. – Mari-Lou A Nov 23 '16 at 7:34
  • @Mari-LouA What are you talking about? "I wonder how two verbs (look, be) exist in one sentence. " is right there in the question. – Esoteric Screen Name Nov 23 '16 at 14:32

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