Spanish Language Blog

Spanish Lesson Intermediate 32 The Spanish Verb Parecer / Parecerse Posted by on Apr 17, 2012 in Learning, Spanish Grammar, Spanish Vocabulary, Videos

¡Hola a todos!

Hoy vamos a ver los diferentes usos del verbo “Parecer/Parecerse”. Today we will see the different uses of the Spanish verb “Parecer/Parecerse”.

Parecer/Parecerse is a useful, commonly used Spanish verb that, as is very often the case, doesn’t have one simple English translation. It takes time to remember the various uses of Spanish verbs, to understand the subtle differences and when exactly to use one Spanish verb structure over another in any given moment.

In this lesson I will show you exactly how to use Parecer/Parecerse with many example practice sentences to help clarify my explanations.

So let’s get started…

Parecer: To talk about the appearance of something/someone:

• Ana parece cansada: Ana seems tired
• Pareces más joven de lo que eres: You seem younger than you are
• Pareces extranjero ¿de dónde eres?: You seem to be foreign, where are you from?

Parecerse: To talk about similarities:

• Elena y Sonia se parecen mucho: Elena and Sonia look very alike
• Yo me parezco a mi madre: I look like my mother
• Mi hermana y yo nos parecemos mucho: My sister and I look very alike

To ask and give opinions (third person of the verb with an indirect object pronoun):

• ¿Qué te parece la película?: What do you think of the film?
• Me parece que es muy divertida: I think it is very entertaining
• ¿Qué les parece la fiesta?: What do you think of the party? (formal/group)

Me parece + adjective + que + subjuntivo:

• Me parece muy bien que vayas a Barcelona: I think it’s great that you are going to Barcelona
• Me parece fatal que Antonio no haya estudiado nada: I think it’s awful that Antonio hasn´t studied at all
• Me parece fantástico que hayas ganado la lotería: I think it’s fantastic that you have won the lottery
• Me parece ridículo que te enfades: I think it´s ridiculous that you get angry
• Me parece exagerado que Carmen y José se divorcien por una discusión: I think it´s excessive that Carman and José are divorcing because of one argument

Me parece + adjective + infinitive:

• Me parece aburrido ir a la playa: I think going to the beach is boring
• Me parece interesante estudiar Medicina: I think studying medicine is interesting
• Me parece maravilloso vivir en España: I think living in Spain is marvellous
• Me parece interesante ir a ese museo: I think going to that museum is interesting
• Me parece raro nadar en el mar en invierno: I think it’s odd to swim in the sea in winter

Let´s talk in more detail now about how to discuss and compare similarities in Spanish:

• Se parece a… : He/She looks like …
Pedro se parece a Brad Pitt: Pedro looks like Brad Pitt

• Se parece en: He/She is similar in …
Ana se parece a su padre en el carácter: Ana is similar to her father in character

• Es idéntico/a a…/ Es clavado/a a / Es igual a…: He/She is identical to…
Pedro es clavado a su hermano: Pedro is identical to his brother

• Son como dos gotas de agua: They are like two peas in a pod
Carla y su hija son como dos gotas de agua: Carla and her daughter are like two peas in a pod

• No se parece a…: He/She doesn´t look like…
María no se parece a su madre: María doesn´t look like her mother

• No se parece en nada a …: He/She doesn´t look like … at all
María no se parece en nada a su madre: María doesn´t look like her mother at all

That’s all for today’s Spanish lesson.

As you can see there are many different uses of the Spanish verb Parecer/Parecerse. Give yourself time to absorb them all and don’t get too worried about remembering everything all at once.

I have said this various times before, but I would like to repeat that you should be careful never to fall into the trap of trying to translate everything back word for word to your mother tongue. The most fluent and accurate foreign language speakers are those people who are open minded and relaxed enough to leave their own language aside and ride the roller-coaster of a new language wherever it may take them. You can, of course, set your own goals and limits and be very proud once you achieve a good level of speaking, writing, listening and reading.

¡Que tengais un buen dia y hasta la proxima clase!

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About the Author: Laura & Adam

Laura & Adam have been blogging and creating online Spanish courses for Transparent Language since 2010. Laura is from Bilbao in northern Spain and Adam is from Devon in the south of England. They lived together in Spain for over 10 years, where their 2 daughters were born, and now they live in Scotland. Both Laura & Adam qualified as foreign language teachers in 2004 and since have been teaching Spanish in Spain, the UK, and online.


  1. Kevin:

    Hola Laura,

    Uno de los textos de gramática que tengo me dice que a “parecerse a” no le puede seguir un artículo indefinido. Sin embargo, una estudiante española (nacida y criada en España) me dice que la siguiente frase es correcta:

    “Ella se parece a una cosa vieja.”

    A mí me suena mal. Y creo que la frase no es correcta ya que, según dice el libro de gramática, le sigue un artículo indefinido (una) y que debe decirse así:

    “Ella parece una cosa vieja.”

    ¿Qué opinas?