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~는 것 같아요 (It seems like ____ )

Posted by on November 12, 2011

For today’s lesson, we are going to be taking a look at a pattern in Korean that is probably most analogous to “it seems like ____ .”  If the verb tense is accordingly conjugated, the form can be used in the past, present and future tense, making it especially broad in application.  It’s been so long now that honestly I don’t remember what level I was in when I learned this pattern, but I think it was Level 2.


Let’s start out with a few examples with the verb “공부하다 (to study).”

Past tense
Attach ~ /ㄴ to the verb stem, along with 것 같아요

  • (당신이) 공부한 것 같네요
  • Wow, It seems like you studied.

The similar expression, ” ~했나 봐요 (It looks like ~ )” can also be applied in most situations were this phrase would be appropriate.
Making use of that form, the sentence would be “공부 좀 했나 봐요.” When translated literally it would be “It looks like you studied,” but in cases where this phrase would be applicable most native English speakers would probably say something along the lines of “It looks like someone’s been studying” or “It looks like you’ve been studying hard.”

Present tense
Attach ~ /는 것 같아요 to the verb stem.


  • 만나는 것 같아요
  • It seems like they’re meeting.
  • 공부하는 것 같아요
  • It seems like they’re studying.
  • 식사하는 것 같아요
  • It seems like they’re eating.
  • 사귀는 것 같아요
  • It seems like they are dating.

Taking, again, the verb for study…
(그들이) 그 교실에서 이미 공부하는 것 같아요.
It seems like they’re already studying in that classroom.

Future Tense
Attach ~ /ㄹ 것 같아요

When used in the future tense, this form is akin to “It seems like he/she/they will _____ .”

Here are some examples

  • 그는 성공할 것 같아요.
  • It seems like he will succeed.
  • 소개시켜 주면 둘이 되게 잘 어울릴 것 같아요.
  • Those two would probably get along great if we introduced them.
  • 지금 공부 그렇게 열심히 하는 걸 보니 나중에 커서 회사 생활도 되게 잘할 것 같아요.
  • Judging from the way he studies so hard now, it seems like as an adult he’ll be successful in the workplace as well.

He are some harder examples of the pattern for our more advanced learners.

  • 지금 남자에 대한 의심도 많고 심하게 경계하는 걸 보니 옛날 애인한테 크게 당한 적이 있는 것 같아요.
  • With the way she is suspicious of men and always maintains strict boundaries, it really seems like she was hurt by an ex.
  • 시험 결과만으로 미뤄보면 미국 공립교육제는 1950년대에 정점에 달한 것 같아요.
  • Simply considering text scores, it seems that the public education system reached its apex in the 1950s.
  • 학과 친구 중에서 그 애는 발표를 제일 잘하는 것 같아요.
  • Among students in our department, it seems like he is best at giving presentations.

2 Responses to ~는 것 같아요 (It seems like ____ )

  1. Francisco

    Perfect. This is easy to understand, and the example just perfect. Thank you.

  2. elspeth

    Awesome~i like this page

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