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  1. Nightmare85's Avatar
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      • German
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      • Germany
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    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 1,333
    #1

    You don't look well

    Hello,
    In "The Simpsons" Marge says to her daugther
    "Lisa, you don't look well"
    because her daughter is sick.
    YouTube - The Simpsons 216 Bart's Dog Gets an F
    (Only 16 seconds.)

    However, as far as I know we only use an adverb after look if we want to describe the eye's skills of this person or how s/he acts.
    He has eagle eyes -> He looks well.
    He is scared and doesn't know what's behind the corner -> He looks carefully.

    Is this well some exception?

    Cheers!

  2. Banned
    Interested in Language
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      • Hungary
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    • Posts: 1,121
    #2

    Re: You don't look well


  3. kfredson's Avatar

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 700
    #3

    Re: You don't look well

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    Hello,
    In "The Simpsons" Marge says to her daugther
    "Lisa, you don't look well"
    because her daughter is sick.
    YouTube - The Simpsons 216 Bart's Dog Gets an F
    (Only 16 seconds.)

    However, as far as I know we only use an adverb after look if we want to describe the eye's skills of this person or how s/he acts.
    He has eagle eyes -> He looks well.
    He is scared and doesn't know what's behind the corner -> He looks carefully.

    Is this well some exception?

    Cheers!
    "You don't look well" is quite a common expression. It might seem odd at first, but it is just another way of saying the following:
    "Are you well? You certainly don't look well." In this sense, look is the same as "appear [to be]."

    "He looks well" would also be taken to mean that he appears to be healthy, not that his eyesight is good. The equivalent to "He has eagle eyes" is "He sees well."

    "He looks carefully" does, however, work in the situation you describe. "How does he look? He looks carefully." By using "carefully" you are making it clear that it is "he" who is doing the looking. "He looks smart," on the other hand, makes it clear that look is being used in the sense of "appears [to be]." I had the "to be" in brackets, because it is often used with "appears" (and even, for that matter, "looks") but isn't required.

    I'm sure that all of this can seem confusing. "Look" can have so many meanings, depending on the words that surround it.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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      • British English
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      • UK
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      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 41,838
    #4

    Re: You don't look well

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    Hello,
    In "The Simpsons" Marge says to her daugther
    "Lisa, you don't look well"
    because her daughter is sick.
    YouTube - The Simpsons 216 Bart's Dog Gets an F
    (Only 16 seconds.)

    However, as far as I know we only use an adverb after look if we want to describe the eye's skills of this person or how s/he acts.
    He has eagle eyes -> He looks well.
    He is scared and doesn't know what's behind the corner -> He looks carefully.

    Is this well some exception?

    Cheers!
    "Well" is not an exception. We use "to look" to mean "to appear to be" regularly.

    You look scared.
    I look tired.
    He looks drunk.
    They look very pretty.
    That tree looks dead.
    You look really well.
    He looks sick.

    Etc.....

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