How to use “Appear”

Appear can be a linking verb, used to say how things look or seem. It is used in similar ways to seem, but is less frequent, especially in an informal style. With this meaning, appear is followed by adjectives, not adverbs. We can use appear or appear to be.
He appears (to be) very angry today.
(NOT He appears very angrily today.)

Before nouns, we generally use appear to be.
It appears to be some kind of bomb.
The boys on the bus appeared to be students.

Structures with preparatory there or it are possible.
There appears to be a problem with oil pressure.
It appears that we may be mistaken.

Appear and seem: differences

Seem can be used to talk both about objective facts and about subjective
impressions and feelings.
Appear is mostly used to talk about objective facts.

The baby seems/appears (to be) hungry.
She doesn’t want to go on studying. It seems a pity.
(NOT It appears a pity.)

Seem is often used with like. This is not normal with appear.
It seemed like a good idea.
(More natural than It appeared like a good idea.)

Seem can be used in a special structure with can’t. This is not possible with appear.
I can’t seem to make him understand.
(BUT NOT I can’t appear to make him
understand. )

Appear can also mean ‘come into sight‘ or ‘arrive‘. In this case, it can be
modified by an adverb.
She suddenly appeared in the doorway.


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