I wanted to be looked good in this picture. (Does it mean "look good to other people")
I wanted to look good in this picture.

What is the difference between both the sentences? Please explain when should I use which one now here I am talking about previous day I took a photo which all of this about.

1 Answer 1


"I wanted to be looked good" is ungrammatical.

I wanted to look good.

Automatically implies "look good to other people [who are looking at the picture]."

You can say "I want to be looked at," meaning "I want people to look at me," but there is no passive form of "to look good."

  • 1
    The nearest I can get to a passive form of "to look good" is I want to be made to look good or I want to be seen as looking good But you're right - it's not really a suitable verb for conversion to passive. I don't understand why quite a few learners here on ELL are so interested in generating passive forms regardless of whether they have any obvious use (or indeed, meaning). Commented Nov 13, 2017 at 18:45
  • It occurs to me that “I wanted to be looking good” is grammatical but neither passive nor natural.
    – mamster
    Commented Nov 13, 2017 at 20:42
  • Can you tell me when do we use, be with 3rd form of verb and what does it mean. I am little confused here😥
    – fusion
    Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 6:50
  • "Looking good" is an idiomatic set phrase that means "looking cool/stylish/attractive," often with a stress on the "good." It can also be used ironically. But it doesn't work in the infinitive form, where it sounds like trying to use a stative verb in the progressive tense.
    – mamster
    Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 14:23
  • mamster: I don't entirely agree that constructions like to want to be looking good are inherently unnatural. Consider, for example, Make sure you take a broom with you if you step outside the office for a smoke. You want to be looking busy in case the boss passes by. Personally, I could easily be convinced the progressive form there is actually better than infinitive You want to look busy... Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 14:27

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