She seems to be sleeping.

She seems sleeping.

What's the difference? My question will be as you see: what's the function of 'to be'?

Previous knowledge: 'to infitive' is used to imply a 'future' event like 'something is to happen'


She seems to be happy

She seems happy.

Question is the same: What's the function of "to be"?


The first one is correct; sleeping is the participle form of the verb. We use the infinitive to be after seem.

We can use the participle like an adjective (the sleeping woman), but it is not idiomatic to say she seems sleeping.

  • Thx. Kate. Please see the EDIT ver. of the question.
    May 23 '21 at 8:14
  • 2
    "She seems to be happy" is the more 'correct' version. For some reason I can't explain, it is idiomatic in colloquial speech to use seem followed directly by an adjective, but not by a verb participle. May 23 '21 at 8:25

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