Forums · General English Grammar & Vocabulary, Listening & Speaking · General English Grammar Questions
1. What does he look like?
- so I thought. But someone on a forum has told me that (in the USA) people often use
2. How does he look like?
It looks like that person is staying in the USA. Also, I did a Google search (although I know it is not the ultimate grammar expert) and there were quite a lot of examples like that.
Please tell me whether 'How does he look like?' is:
- used (even if considered non-standard),
- considered correct.
Still, I myself would consider it a non-native or substandard formation, a confusion of 'how does he look?' and 'what does he look like?' I certainly don't think it's specifically American, unless characteristic of a particular subculture with which I am unfamiliar.
He looks like an important official. He looks like a soldier. That is, "he looks like what". What does he look like? is the question form.
He looks like his father. He looks like Mel Gibson. That is, "he looks like who". Who does he look like? is the question form.
He looks well. He looks sick. That is, "he looks how". How does he look? is the question form.
The construction "he looks like sick" is not good English, so neither is its question form "How does he look like?".
A person "looks like" something or someone. A person "looks" somehow (in some condition). But a person can't "look like" somehow. "like" is a preposition; it must have a noun or pronoun as its object, not an adjective or adverb.
This is a case where you should definitely ignore the Google results!
Is 'How does he look like?':
1. not used by native speakers at all?
2. sometimes used by some native speakers but treated as bad English?
I realize that answers your question, but I'd like to add a little something here:
I have heard it a great deal from non-native speakers, but that is sometimes due to literal translations from their native languages.
Here's a possible example.
My Spanish isn't great, but I believe that "Como parece?" might be the Spanish for it. The Spanish speaker learns that "como" is "how" and "parece" is "resemble" or "look like". This leads to the incorrect "How does it look like?" If Spanish had "A que parece?", maybe the mistake would be less frequent, because it could be translated as "Like what he looks" which could be easily transformed to "What does he look like?"
Spanish speakers, please adjust this speculation to something more accurate, if possible!
Anonymous:I was wondering about the same question...
Thanks for all your answers!
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