1. B appears/looks/seems the same as C

  2. B appears/looks/seems TO BE the same as C

My intended meaning: B seems to be identical to C, but I'm unsure of this.

I guess that 1 is simply 2 with verb phrase ellipsis, but is 1 wrong in any way?
Somehow, it just sounds wrong to me. Might anyone know how or why? 2 sounds fine to me though.
Also, I guess that the same here is a pronoun.

  • 1
    You might google up "raising verbs": seems is a typical raising verb. Here's one good page with explanation Commented Feb 14, 2015 at 15:28
  • 1
    Somehow, not somewhy. This is your second offence. Third offence is a mandatory life sentence in the US.
    – TimR
    Commented Feb 14, 2015 at 18:01
  • One reason we are asking you to use normal, everyday English, and not esoteric English (somewhy) is because we figure you want to know everyday English. But when you use esoteric English or sayings that are all but dead (I lighted (up)/on), it gives one the impression that you would rather use these weird forms. This can give rise to doubting your sincerity and cause some here to stop helping you.
    – user6951
    Commented Feb 14, 2015 at 19:23
  • No, version 1 is not wrong in any way. Commented Feb 15, 2015 at 3:27
  • 2
    Both are correct in the US (though I believe the British might use "same to"), but the implication of using "to be" is to emphasize that while it appears the same, there is some question as to whether it actually is the same. This is not a clear-cut distinction, however. Commented Feb 15, 2015 at 18:43

1 Answer 1


"Seems the same" means literally that they look similar "Seems TO BE same" might imply circumstances under which they look similar but aren't actually the same.

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