Quick answer
"Look like" is a transitive verb phrase which is often translated as "parecerse a", and "appear to be" is an intransitive verb phrase which is often translated as "parecer ser". Learn more about the difference between "look like" and "appear to be" below.
look like(
look
 
layk
)
A transitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and requires a direct object (e.g. Take out the trash.).
transitive verb phrase
1. (to be in appearance)
a. ser físicamente
What does her sister look like? Is she blonde like her?¿Cómo es su hermana físicamente? ¿Es rubia como ella?
2. (to resemble)
a. parecerse a
Ana looks like her mom.Ana se parece a su mamá.
b. parecer
It looked like a horse from here.Desde aquí parecía un caballo.
3. (to seem likely)
a. parecer que
It looks like Leonard is coming with us.Parece que Leonard viene con nosotros.
b. parecer
Are we spending the night here? - It looks like it.¿Vamos a pasar aquí la noche? - Eso parece.
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appear to be
An intransitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and does not require a direct object (e.g. Everybody please stand up.).
intransitive verb phrase
1. (general)
a. parecer ser
This painting appears to be a fake. We need to ask an expert.Este cuadro parece ser una falsificación. Tenemos que consultar con un experto.
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