HomeQ&AWhat do you look like?

What do you look like?

5
votes

Is there any difference between “what do you look like?” and “what are you like?”

I would like to know your answers. Thank you. grin

8217 views
updated NOV 14, 2009
posted by nila45

11 Answers

8
votes

What I look like relates to my features, my physical appearance.

What I'm like is more my personality

updated NOV 14, 2009
edited by 0068e2f4
posted by 0068e2f4
You aren't going to get a much better explanation than this Nila!! - Nicole-B, NOV 14, 2009
I agree with Robertico. - --Mariana--, NOV 14, 2009
Robertico always quick on the draw - nizhoni1, NOV 14, 2009
Good answer, Robertico. - gregp1996, NOV 14, 2009
2
votes

The most strange is that I thought that if someone asks you “what are you like?” you can answer with something referring to your personality. Or also, you can answer something about your physical appearance and your personality. That sounds more coherent. Don’t you think?. Do you agree about these last statements?.

You are right Nila. This sounds very true. I just want to add that when someone asks what are you like, if the person is in front of you there won’t be any reason to start describing one's physical appearance unless the person is blind, is asking about a specific part of the body covered by clothing or the conversation is by telephone or internet. If the question is face to face it would undoubtedly refer to one's personality.

One's physical and intellectual abilities should also be taken into consideration but that kind of intertwines with personality also. I find your statements very interesting. To tell you the truth when I read the question it sounded like a booby trap. I knew there was some other hidden reason for asking a simple question like this. Maybe you could‘ve gotten more input if you would had stated your entire query from the beginning.

updated NOV 14, 2009
edited by 0068e2f4
posted by 0068e2f4
2
votes

I thought that if someone asks you “what are you like?” you can answer with something referring to your personality. Or also, you can answer something about your physical appearance and your personality.

Yes, Nila, I think so. " What's Mrs. Harrison like? " could also have been answered, "She's a mean old biddy who throws things at kids who walk on her lawn" jejeje Either way works.

Although, most often I think Robertico is right, and when someone says "What are you like?" they are asking about personality.

updated NOV 14, 2009
posted by Valerie
2
votes

In the above example about Mrs. Harrison they are making some very general comments which do relate to appearance. They imply very subtle negative or trivializing judgement however to "sum up a person" and their nature by saying they are simply "old and fat".

And also, though it would not be strange or wrong to answer "what is someone like" by talking about what they look like, the questioner could well respond by saying: "Yes, but what are they like" To mention just appearance might even be a way of being evasive. For instance, if I think someone stupid and rude and you ask me what he is like, I might stall by saying "...well, he's tall and has quite regular features" and you might look at me puzzled and say "that's not what I meant"

So, The question "What are you like" asks for a global assessment and description, of which appearance could be a part, especially if it is striking in some way. But few of us think of only our outward appearance when we think of what is important to know about us.

updated NOV 14, 2009
posted by kittybrougham
2
votes

Robertico is right, as ususal. wink

En España podemos decir para ambas cosas:

¿Cómo eres?

en inglés hay que distinguirlo.

updated NOV 14, 2009
posted by 00494d19
2
votes

Well, I was suspecting what Robertico said. “What do you look like? is for physical appearance and “What are you look like? is for personality. A teacher taught me that a long time ago. That is the reason why when I have found these sentences, I thought this sounded strange.

What’s Mrs. Harrison like? Well, she is not a young woman and she is not thin. She is quite old, and rather fat.

The most strange is that I thought that if someone asks you “what are you like?” you can answer with something referring to your personality. Or also, you can answer something about your physical appearance and your personality. That sounds more coherent. Don’t you think?. Do you agree about these last statements?.

updated NOV 14, 2009
edited by nila45
posted by nila45
2
votes

In English they say that an ugly person has a face "like the back of a bus". I never knew why. Some buses at the back look OK to me.....

alt text

updated NOV 14, 2009
edited by 00515f39
posted by 00515f39
1
vote

I look like myself excaim

updated NOV 14, 2009
posted by The-Unknown
1
vote

“what do you look like?”

Could it be "¿Cómo pareces?" o "¿Qué aspecto tienes?" I'm actually not sure about "¿Cómo pareces?" Is that how it could be said?

question

updated NOV 14, 2009
posted by chaparrito
1
vote

If you are referring to my passport photo, I do not look good at all.

Yo compareci muy mal.

updated NOV 14, 2009
posted by jamesgv0r
0
votes

Well, Kitty, it was clear that this had to have an explanation. After all, the information was in a grammar book.

updated NOV 14, 2009
posted by nila45
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