+0
Hi

He is rather slender these days, isn't he?

He looks rather slender these days, doesn't he?

I suppose that "look" is better in this case cause it says "these days." Am I right?
1 2 3 4
Comments  (Page 2) 
Yoong Liat
He isn't rather slender these days, is he?

He doesn't look rather slender these days, does he?

"Rather" (in this sense of "somewhat") is not normally used with negative statements, so the above sentences are unnatural. Instead you would normally say "He isn't very ..." , "He doesn't look very ...".

However, "rather" is OK if the question is phrased as "Isn't he rather slender?" because the proposal is now a positive one -- that he is slender -- rather than a negative one.

Mr Wordy Yep. "Tall", for some unknown reason, seems a slightly less subjective word than "slender" or "thin" -- at least in this context. So, while "he looks tall" is by no means wrong, "he is tall" would be more usual because there's more of an assumption that we know whether or not he really is tall.

CliveYou might commonly say something like this.

Hi Mary, you look tall in those new high heels.

It occurred to me later that the difference between "tall" and, let's say, "thin" in this respect is that a person's height usually does not change significantly from month to month or year to year, whereas their weight might. So "He looks tall." is less usual than "He looks thin."

However, in those certain circumstances where a person's height (or apparent height) does change, "looks tall" is natural. These circumstances might include wearing shoes, hats etc., optical illusions, children growing fast ("My! Doesn't he look tall now!"), old people shrinking ("She looked so short!) etc.

Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Mr Wordy
"Rather" (in this sense of "somewhat") is not normally used with negative statements, so the above sentences are unnatural. Instead you would normally say "He isn't very ..." , "He doesn't look very ...".

However, "rather" is OK if the question is phrased as "Isn't he rather slender?" because the proposal is now a positive one -- that he is slender -- rather than a negative one.

I agree with you that 'rather' should not be used with negative statements.
Mr Wordy
Yoong Liat
He isn't rather slender these days, is he?

He doesn't look rather slender these days, does he?

"Rather" (in this sense of "somewhat") is not normally used with negative statements, so the above sentences are unnatural. Instead you would normally say "He isn't very ..." , "He doesn't look very ...".

However, "rather" is OK if the question is phrased as "Isn't he rather slender?" because the proposal is now a positive one -- that he is slender -- rather than a negative one.
Thanks for pointing my error. I think many members do not know as it is not a common error.
Hi Mr Wordy

He is rather slender these days, isn't he?

He looks rather slender these days, doesn't he?

I've asked a native British English language teacher and he has confirmed that, contrary to what you said, both sentences are correct.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Yoong Liat
Hi Mr Wordy

He is rather slender these days, isn't he?

He looks rather slender these days, doesn't he?

I've asked a native British English language teacher and he has confirmed that, contrary to what you said, both sentences are correct.

I didn't say that these sentences are incorrect. I said that the negative statements -- He isn't rather slender these days, is he? and He doesn't look rather slender these days does he? -- are incorrect (actually, I said "unnatural").

The sentences that you quote are, as your teacher says, OK.
Hi Mr Wordy

The English teacher didn't say the sentences are unnatural. To him, they are fine.
And don't forget the question hated by all husbands: Does this dress make me look fat?
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Hi Yoong Liat

I don't understand. Here are the four sentences again:

1. He is rather slender these days, isn't he?

2. He isn't rather slender these days, is he?

3. He looks rather slender these days, doesn't he?

4. He doesn't look rather slender these days, does he?

I said that sentences 2 and 4 are unnatural. According to your message, your teacher says that sentences 1 and 3 are correct. I agree with your teacher. What's the problem?
Show more