She ____ worried about something?


a) looks
b) is looking
c) looking

My approach:

"She looks worried about something?" because "is looking" will not be the answer because "is ((look) v1+ing +v2)" is not any form and "looking" doesn't fit in the solution.

So, I put "looks".

2 Answers 2

  • she looks is okay.

    This is correct because looks is singular, and the subject she is singular. So it is correct to say:

    She looks worried about something. [correct]

  • she is looking is okay, but in spoken English the contraction she's looking would be more common.

    If you wish to use looking as part of a verb phrase you need another verb, such as: She is looking, I am looking, or They are looking.

    She is looking worried about something. [correct]

    And so you are correct to say the following doesn’t fit:

    She looking worried about something. [incorrect]

  • Look is plural, so you need a plural subject. So it would be correct to say

    They look worried about something. [correct]

    But incorrect to use it when the subject is singular:

    She look worried about something. [incorrect]

  • Is the structure of the sentence right when we choose "is looking" ?How can i judge more accurately? Commented Oct 5, 2015 at 5:25
  • 1
    I'll edit my answer and add some more detail. The choice of verb is to do with number (she is singular). But for now, just know that the sentence 'She looks worried about something' is correct. Commented Oct 5, 2015 at 5:32
  • Here look acts as a linking verb so how is looking can be used? Commented Mar 23, 2019 at 5:58

First, you're right that she looks worried is grammatical.

Secondly, you're right that she looking worried is not grammatical in any standard English, though there are some dialects that allow it.

But your analysis of she is looking worried is wrong, because worried is not a verb here but an adjective, and it can be a complement of look just like other adjectives (as it is, in fact, in she looks worried).

For a more permanent appearance, the "simple present" would be better:

She looks aristocratic.

but for a (usually) temporary appearance, the "present continuous" is more normal:

She is looking worried about something.

Having said that, she looks worried about something is not wrong, and there are contexts where it would be perfectly natural. But she is looking worried about something is more generally likely.

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