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Published on: Grammar Bites

Uses of the verb ‘parecer’

Did you know that the Spanish verbo “parecer” has many different uses and equivalents?  Let’s see the many things we can express with just one verb:

1. We use ‘parecer’ to discuss the appearance of a person or object:

  • Julio parece un doctor con ese delantal. Julio looks like a doctor with that smok.
  • Este libro parece muy interesante. This book looks very interesting.

2. We also use the verb ‘parecer’ to express an opinion. In this sense, parecer acts as a synonym of ‘pensar que’, and we use it in the conjugation of the 3rd person singular (él, ella, usted) together with the indirect object pronouns (me, te, le…):

  • Me parece que esta escuela es la mejor. I think this school is the best one.
  • A ellos les parece que el país tiene una crisis muy seria. They think the country is going through a severe crisis.

3. With this verb, we can also describe the impressions caused by someone’s actions or attitudes. In this sense, the English equivalent is ‘to seem’:

  • Susana parecía tener prisa. She seemed to be in a hurry.
  • Parece que ellos todavía están enojados por lo que pasó. It seems like they’re still angry about what happened.

4. We use ‘parecer’ frequently to make a suggestion or to propose an invitation using the structure ¿Qué te/le/os/les + parecer?:

  • ¿Qué te parece si vamos al teatro? Should we go to the theatre?
  • ¿Qué les parece si vamos a cenar al nuevo restaurante peruano? How about if we go to the new Peruvian restaurant?

5. Finally, we can use ‘parecer’ to express opinions in an impersonal manner; in this sense, we only use it in the conjugation of the 3rd person singular (él, ella, usted), ‘parece que’:

  • Parece que va a llover esta noche. It looks like it’s going to rain tonight.
  • Parece que no hay más entradas disponibles para la obra. It looks like there are no more tickets available for the play.
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