What's the difference between "appear like" and "look like"?

  1. Known officially as the National Aquatics Center, the building's design and its translucent, blue-toned outside skin make it appear like a cube of bubbles (Haici Cidian)

  2. It looks like a saddle


Appear is another word for seem - something which shows itself gradually/slowly can appear. The sun appears over the horizon.

Look is more direct and explains something which you can see immediately.Look like means something bear a physical resemblance to; She looks like her mother.

  • 3
    Good answer. +1. Also to note that appear/seem/look may be used to mean the same thing. This appears to be a big problem; This seems to be a big problem; This looks like a big problem. – Maulik V Sep 15 '14 at 5:37

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