는 것 같다 / 나 보다 / ㄴ 듯하다/ㄴ 모양이다 looks like

present : verb+는 것 같다, adj +(으)ㄴ 것 같다, noun + 인 것 같다
past : verb+(으)ㄴ 것 같다
future : verb/adj + (으)ㄹ 것 같다, noun+일 것 같다

present : verb+나 보다 / adj +(으)ㄴ가 보다
past : v/a+았/었/했나 보다

present : verb+는 듯하다/adj+(으)ㄴ 듯하다
past : verb+(으)ㄴ 듯하다
future : v/a+(으)ㄹ 듯하다

present : verb+는 모양이다 / adj+(으)ㄴ 모양이다
past : verb+(으)ㄴ 모양이다
future : v/a+(으)ㄹ 모양이다

는 것 같다, –는 듯하다, 나 보다 and 는 모양이다 all mean ‘looks like’ or ‘seems like’, but they are slightly different.

는 것 같다 is used two different situation. One is ‘looks like’ which is used for ‘assumption’ and ‘I think(mostly refuse or can’t)’ which is used for ‘speaker’s opinion. If 는 것 같아요 is used for the first meaning, we can switch with other three, however if it is the second meaning, we can’t. For example,

1)밖에 비가 오는 것 같아요. (=오나 봐요/오는 듯해요/오는 모양이에요) It looks like it is raining outside.
2)아이가 길을 잃은 것 같아요.. (=잃었나 봐요/잃은 듯해요/ 잃은 모양이에요) It looks like the kid is lost.
3)돈이 많은 것 같아요.. (=많은가 봐요/많은 듯해요/많은 모양이에요) It looks like someone has a lot of money.
4) 비가 올 것 같아요.. (=비가 올 듯해요/비가 올 건가 봐요/비가 올 모양이에요.)
5)그 사람 돈이 많은 것 같아요.. (=돈이 많은가 봐요/돈이 많은 듯해요/돈이 많은 모양이에요.
6)민수 얼굴이 어두운 걸 보니까 무슨 일이 있는 것 같아요.. (=있나 봐요/있는 듯해요/있는 모양이에요)
7)두 사람이 말을 안 하는 걸 보니까 싸운 것 같아요.. (=싸웠나 봐요/싸운 듯해요/싸운 모양이에요.)
8)오늘 몸이 아파서 수업을 못 할 것 같아요.. I think I can’t have a lesson today because I am sick.
9) 시간이 없어서 못 만날 것 같아요.. I think I can’t see you because I don’t have time.
10) 오늘 일이 일찍 끝날 것 같은데 차나 한잔 할까요? I think I will be finished at work early today, would you like to have a cup of tea together?
11) 제 생각에는 정희 씨가 가지고 간 것 같아요.. I think 정희 took it.
11a) 제 생각에는 정희 씨가 가지고 갔나 봐요.(X)
12) 정희 씨가 가지고 간 것 같아요.. (=정희 씨가 가지고 갔나 봐요.) Looks like 정희 took it.
13) (after speaker heard someone speaks Korean well) 한국말을 잘하시는 것 같아요.. (ㅇ) I think someone speaks Korean very well.
13a) (after speaker heard someone speaks Korean well) 한국말을 잘하시나 봐요./는 듯해요/는 모양이에요. (X)
13b) (before speaker heard someone’s Korean, just assumes without a clue) 한국말을 잘하시나 봐요.

As you can see 5)-7), 는 것 같다 can be switched with other three. But, like 8) – 11), 는 것 같다 can’t be switched with others because those are speaker’s opinion. And like 13) 나 보다/는 듯하다/는 모양이다 can’t be used for a situation if you have a clue or an experience.

If you have any questions, please leave a reply to this post.

#는 것 같다 #나 보다 #은가 보다 #같다 #듯하다 #는 모양이다 #는 듯하다

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.