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I always have used 'it seems to me', but now I'm wondering if I'm correct. What is the correct form? 'it seems to me' or 'it seems me'?

Just to get a better context, look at this phrase:

That thing seems to me very suspicious

or should be:

That thing seems me very suspicious

Thanks in advance

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  • Maybe you're getting interference from It strikes me as very suspicious? With intransitive seems and appears and looks we use the preposition to to designate the perceiver.
    – TimR
    Aug 31, 2017 at 9:58

2 Answers 2

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The example sentence: "That thing seems me very suspicious" is nonsensical. There is no indication of what "me" is doing in the sentence structure. The addition of "to" defines what "me" is doing. Without the "to", the reader does not know if the "me" applies to the "That thing seems" part of the phrase, or the "very suspicious" part of the phrase, so the intended meaning is unclear. Adding "to" makes it crystal clear that "me" is referring to "That thing seems".

So, the thought can be defined. "That thing seems very suspicious." has meaning. The thought is clear. "That thing seems to me very suspicious." Now the original phrase is modified so that the thought is clear, AND we know that the speaker is limiting the observed truth to their own interpretation. It moves the simple statement from the realm of absolute assertion, into a statement that recognizes personal viewpoint as having an important impact on the viewing.

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The verb seem means to appear in a particular way and we can normally use it as a linking verb followed by an adjective like the verb be, for example: She seems very happy today, or with to+infinitive form, for example: The question seems to be very difficult. He always seems to offend people. Also,you can use the verb seem with a that-clause, ** as if-clause**,.....etc, for example: It seems that the shops will be closed tonight. To answer your question in your case it seems me I can say that you have to put the preposition to in order to show to whom it is seemed in that way. So it seems to me ... is correct.

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