Friday, 27 November 2009

Usage: Look or Outlook?

I often have students making this mistakes when describing someone's face or feelings.

  1. "Your outlook is good!"
  2. "You look like happy today!"

Are you one of them?

It is actually not hard to tell the difference, just don't let your Chinese knowledge mix you up.

In example 1, the correct way to say should be "I like your looks!" Since "look" already means "appearance", which already carries the meaning of external features, thus you don't need to use "out-".

You can also say, "You have good looks!" To praise someone who has good appearance.

In example 2, "like" is wrongly used. The meaning of "You look like..." is "You have a similar appearance as ...", so we say "You look like Brad Pitt", or "You look like a boy", which is usually followed by a noun, ie. "Sb looks like + noun"

The correct way to say should be, "You look happy today!"

You can also say, "He has a happy look on his face."

Do you have anymore doubts now? Do leave me your questions if you do.