Grammar-QuizzesClausesSubordinate Clauses › It Seems…

It Seems…

Express opinion about a situation

confused teen
 

It seems that   (appears, happens, occurs, strikes, is likely)

SUBJ + PREDICATE + INFIN

Seem, occur and is likely express the speaker's opinion or evaluation of the situation in the infinitive clause that follows—in my opinion, as I see or hear it, my understanding or feeling of the situation. These verbs (seem, occur) and verb-expression (is likely) differ in the complements that they accept.

SUBJECT + PREDICATE INFIN AS COMPLEMENT

She seems (to me)

*That she is doing well seems.

to be doing well.

 

She appears (to me)

*That she enjoys her classes appears.

to enjoy her classes.

 

She happens

*That she is good at sports happens.

to be good at sports too.

 

SUBJ + PRED NO INFIN  AS COMPLEMENT

*She occurs

*That she is a bit superstitious occurs.

to be a bit superstitious.

 

*She strikes me

~That she doubts herself strikes

to doubt herself.

me.

SUBJ + PRED + COMP INFIN AS ADJUNCT

She is likely

That she will do well in life is likely.

to to do well in life

 

*She is obvious

That she enjoys her activities is obvious.

to enjoy her activities.

 

IT + PREDICATE + THAT

It before seems, occurs, and is likely places emphasis on the speaker's opinion and allows for the repositioning of lengthier content to the end of the clause.  In most contexts, the pronoun and verb (e.g., it appears) can be replaced with an evaluation adverb (e.g., apparently).                             

IT  + PREDICATE DISPLACED SUBJ CLAUSE

It seems (to me)

Seemingly,

that she is doing well.

she is doing well.

It appears (to me)

Apparently,  (see or hear)

that she enjoys her classes.

she enjoys her classes.

It happens

Unexpectedly / By chance,

that she is good at sports too. 

she is good as sports too.

IT  + PRED + IND. OBJ. DISPLACED SUBJ CLAUSE

It occurs to me

Inferentially / (comes to mind)

that she is a bit superstitious.

she is a bit superstitious.

It strikes me

Strikingly / Remarkably,

that she doubts herself.

she doubts herself.

IT  + PRED  + COMP DISPLACED SUBJ CLAUSE

It is likely

Likely / Probably,

that she will do well in life.

she will do well in life.

It is obvious

Obviously / Clearly

that she enjoys her activities.

she enjoys her activities.

 

*not used / ~borderline usage, requires a special context or addtional clarification

adjunct (N) — an element not required by the subject and verb to complete the meaning of the clause; an add-on (extra) element.

complement (N) — an element (word, phrase, or clause) required to complete the meaning of the subject and the verb.

IO indirect object (me, to me)

It seems (intransitive V) — in my view, from what I have heard or seen

It happens (intransitive V) — in my view, contrary to expectation "by coincidence"

It occurs to me (transitive V) — comes to mind, comes to (my) awareness; arises from (my) memory, inferentially

It strikes me (transitive V) — makes an impression on my mind; draws attention; something stands out noticeably as remarkable or untypical

It is likely (a clause) — "it is probable", tends to

transitive verb requires an object to complete its meaning; an intransitive verb does not.

 

Also see Evaluation Adverbs, "It is" Adj + Infinitive

(Huddleston 11 §4.3.1) (Swan 507)

 

 

 

 

It seems [adj] that

Express an emotion about a situation

Woman thinking
 

It seems [adjective] that  (appears, happens, occurs, strikes, is likely)

IT—SEEMS / OCCURS / IS LIKELY

The verbs seem, appear and occur accept a direct object (e.g., me). However, the verb strike accepts a "to" phrase (e.g., to me).                                                                                                                                                              

IT  + VERB + IO THAT + CLAUSE

It seems (to me)

(in my view)

that she is doing well.

 

It appears

(in my view, what I see or hear)

that she has no homework.

 

It happens

(occurred by chance)

that the teacher was ill and the substitute didn't assign any.

IT  + VERB + IO THAT + CLAUSE

It occurred to me

(came into my mind)

that no books were in her backpack.

It struck me

(came to my mind unexpectedly)

that her backpack was so light.

IT  + VERB + COMPLEMENT THAT + CLAUSE

It is likely

(in my view, probable)

that she will have extra work tomorrow.

It is obvious

(in my view, clear to everyone)

that she feels lucky today.

 

SEEM / OCCUR / IS LIKELY

The verbs seem, appear and occur allow for the placement of an emotion word before "to me".  The verb strike requires the placement of an emotion word after the indirect object in an "as" phrase.

IT  + VERB + IO AS PHRASE + THAT CLAUSE

It seems wonderful (to me)

as wonderful

that she is doing well.

It appears suspicious (to me)

as suspicious

that she has no homework.

It happens

 

that the teacher was ill and the substitute didn't assign any.

SUBJ + VERB AS PHRASE + THAT CLAUSE

It occurred odd to me

 

as odd

that no books were in her backpack.

It struck me

as unusual

that her backpack was so light.

SUBJ + VERB + COMPLEMENT THAT CLAUSE

It is likely

It is very likely

that she will have extra work tomorrow.

It is obvious

It is as plain as the nose on my face

that she feels lucky today.

 

 

IO — indirect object (me, you, him, her, them, Jack, Jill, noun)  "recipient" or "beneficiary" of the action.

COMP — elements or structures required to complete the meaning of the subject and predicate or the meaning of the clause.

 

 

 

 

 

Common Mistakes

Errors and Solutions

 

 

Error and Solution

ERROR

*It seems to me as odd that they would ask me to wait here so long.

See Pop-Q "It seems"

*It strikes to me disgraceful.

It occurred that he did not like his job.

It is happened that they just called me as I was calling them.

SOLUTION

It seems odd to me that…

It strikes me as disgraceful that he did that.

It occurred to him that he did not like his job (anymore).

It happened that they were calling me just as I was calling them.

(It happened by chance)

 

 

Static verbs express states that exist, no action is taken. For this reason, they are mostly nonprogressive. These verbs have relatively little meaning other than relating the subject to the complement, which is usually an adjective or participle modifier. (be, acts, appears, seems, becomes, and so on.)

Related pages:

There in Subject PositionMilk is on the table. → There is milk on the table.

It as Subject Placeholder  — That he is very funny is obvious. → It is obvious that he is very funny.

"It is" + Adj + Infin — Finding the answers is hard. → It is hard to find the answers.

"It takes" + Infinitive — To get ready takes ten minutes. → It takes ten minutes to get ready.

"Identifying 'be'"Rain is there. There is rain; Reciprocal Property (A + B = B + A)

 It / This Reference —  Gizmo developed a new appIt is amazing.  Gizmo managed to develop a new appThis is amazing.

 It Clefts  (extraposition) — What he said was amazing. It was amazing what he said.

 

 

 

 

Practice 1

Commenting on an accident

Walking in crosswalk

 

 

 

Bill: What happened to Brian? I heard he was in an accident.

Dan: Yeah, he stepped into a crosswalk on a red light, was hit by a car, and had to be taken to the hospital.

Bill: How did he do that?

Dan: Probably, he was texting at the moment.

Bill: Doesn't he remember?

Dan: No. He suffered a concussion. He doesn't remember what happened right before he was hit.

Bill: Hmm. That's unusual. Remarkably, he was texting; he usually prefers to talk to people.

Dan: True. He's also not easily distracted, but we have no way of knowing what he was actually doing, and why he stepped out without looking.

Dan: At the time, he was walking to meet me at a nearby café. I was waiting for him. But when he was fifteen minutes late, I became aware that something was wrong. Brian is rarely late.

Bill: So how did you find out?

Dan: By chance, a friend came into the café and told me about a nearby accident with a pedestrian and a car. I immediately thought of Brian and ran out to see. Sure enough, Brian was being put into an ambulance. I asked to accompany him to the hospital.

Bill: How awful!  How's he doing today.

Dan: Apparently, that he is doing better today. He'll be able to go home tomorrow. He didn't break any bones.

Bill: Glad to hear it.

concussion (N) — a jarring injury of the brain resulting in disturbance of cerebral function

distracted (Participial Adj) — not paying attention; not concentrating

It strikes me  — make an impression on the mind; something stands out as remarkable or does not fit one's expectation

Sure enough — "just as I had guessed"

 

 

 

Select the verb expression that follows "it".

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "Check" or the "Check 16-20" button at the bottom.

 

1.

2.
Remarkably, he was texting; he usually prefers to talk to people
It  

3.

4.

5.

 

 

 

 

Practice 2

Commenting on upcoming movie releases

Flight 1549

 

 

 

This September starts another new season of movies. From what I have heard, a couple of directors are doing remakes of classics, The Magnificent Seven and Ben HurThis might stand out in your mind that anyone would want to remake such classics.  However, some viewers find the original movies to be "dated", filmed in the old Hollywood studio style. From what I have heard and also think to be true, the historical drama style will be less sentimental and more engaging to viewers.

In addition, two movies are returning as sequels, Blair Witch and Bridget Jone's Baby. In the latter, Bridget finds herself pregnant but does not know which of two men is the father. By chance and unexpectedly, she was dating both at the same time. 

This should remind everyone that this is the same storyline as Two Men and a Baby.  In Blair Witch , the kids head back into the woods to face their worst fears. And as you can guess, they will probably find them!

Finally, there is Sully, a retelling of the heroic landing of disabled Flight1549 on the Hudson River. In my opinion, the pilot should have received praise; however, behind the scenes, Sully was suspected of ditching his plane unnecessarily. The story of Sully reveals the anguish that the pilot suffered in the aftermath of the event.

aftermath (N) — what follows or occurs after a disaster or major catastrophic event

anguish (N) — suffering of anxiety

behind the scenes (expr.) — away from the public eye and media

classic (N) — well known and loved story, book or movie from the past

dated (Adj — out of date, affected by fashion and thinking at the time of creation

ditch (V) — crash land on water

engaging (Participial Adj) — interesting, holding one's attention

heroic (Adj) — having the characteristics of a hero or heroine; very brave

investigative  (Adj) — concerned with investigating, looking into, something

sequel (N) — follow-up to the movie before it

suspect (V) — believe to be true or likely true

storyline (N) — a situation and the way it develops into a story

 

 

 

Select the verb expression that follows "it".

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "Check" or the "Check 16-20" button at the bottom.

 

6.

7.
This might stand out in your mind,
It

8.

9.

10.

11.

12.