i have been baffled.

Hey, i have seen a girl who looks like you.

Can we use the sentence which is below instead of the first sentence

Hey, i have seen a girl looking like you. Thanks

  • 2
    We normally use "looking like" not to express the idea that two people look similar, but that someone seems to be about to do something, or that something has a particular sort of appearance. "There's a guy up at the ticket window looking like he's about to get violent." or "Those flowers are looking like they need water." – Tᴚoɯɐuo Feb 16 '16 at 14:32

Welllll, maybe.

"... who looks like ..." is present tense. In English, the present tense can be used for events happening right now, like "I look out the window. I see Bob crossing the street." But it can also be used for a "state of being" present, implying that the action began in the past, continues in the present, and will go on indefinitely. "Bob is a tall man." He isn't tall just for this instant. He's probably been tall his whole life and will continue to be tall.

"... looking like ..." is also present tense, but can only mean something happening right now.

So consider a different word. Suppose you said, "Alice talks like Betty." This would be understood to mean that Betty has something distinctive or unusual about the way she talks, and Alice talks the same way.

But, "Alice is talking like Betty" means that Betty has something distinctive or unusual about the way she talks, and Alice is talking the same way right now, but probably does not talk the same way most of the time. I'd expect the context of that sentence to be that Alice does not normally talk like Betty, but she is doing so now, perhaps because it's an unusual situation, or she is mimicking her.

So in your example, "I have seen a girl who looks like you" means, you have a certain look, and I saw someone else who has the same look. But "I have seen a girl looking like you" would mean that she does not normally look like you, but right now she does. That's a fairly unlikely thing to say. I could imagine contexts where it would make sense. Like, "Alice normally wears formal business suits while Betty usually wears blue jeans. But today Betty was looking like Alice. Is she going to a job interview?"

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.