I wonder if this sentence is correct: "You seem very attractive to me". I'm not sure if it shouldn't be: "You seem very attractive for me". When should I use "to me" and when "for me"? Are there any rules? I'd be grateful for answers.
"To me" means "in my opinion"; moreover, you say "attractive to". You can also say "I'm quite attracted to you". The meaning is the same, as far as I can see.

Your question is one of those that many English learners would have. I too am confused with the choice between 'for' and 'to' in the construct <adjective + to/for X (a noun)>. As far as I know, this construct was originally <adjective + X (in the dative case)> in Old English, the dative X connoted 'toward X'. When English was losing case declensions during late Old English or early Middle English, people began to use <to> and <for> as a marker of the dative case. Since then, I feel, no stringent rule has been established about the choice between <to> and <no>. But there are some tendency that people prefer <to> to <for> for the adjectives of French or Latin origin: accessible, adverse, agreeable, beneficial, common, complaisant, constant, difficult, due, easy, equal, essential, faithful, false, familiar, favorable, friendly, hostile, impossible, incredible, injurious, liable, manifest, natural, necessary, obedient, possible, proper, requisite, salutary, similar, subject, suitable, visible, etc.. I think this tendency comes from the influence of French where <adjective + à noun> is a construct common for most adjectives. An opinion I heard from a native speaker was that a rule of thumb for the choice is <to a person> and <for a thing>. But I don't know to what extent this rule can be generalized. I often come across a writing where <to a person> and <for a person> are used in parallel. We can see one of such examples in the speech by Archbishop Harry J. Flynn:

  • As was the case for many of our foremothers and forefathers, emigration does not come easily. It did not come easy for the Irish, the Germans, the Scandinavians. It does not come easy to the Hmong, the Liberians, the Somalis, the Bosnians or the Hispanics.
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Not related to your question, but worth mentioning, I think, is the unusual nature of "seem attractive to me", which is more logically "are attractive to me". The verb "seem" is problematic with certain other phrases, especially involving the first person. "I" am in the position of knowing with certainty if someone is attractive to me or not. Therefore, "seem", or any other expression implying mere appearance rather than reality, is inconsistent with the rest of the sentence. Similar anomalous sentences are "You seem so kind to me" and "You seem very nasty to me" or "I seem to like you" or "I seem to be telling you the truth".

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That's an interesting one. What do you put it down to, Jim? Is it a kind of distancing, do you think?

It could be said quite positively, though:

"Well, you know, women have never really liked me...could be the ears, I suppose, or the halitosis...or maybe the twitch...hard to say, really...difficult to put one of my six fingers on it..."

"Really? You seem very attractive to me...." [moves closer, adjusts his tie, accidentally touches his remaining knee] {CUT}