Student or Learner
Is there any difference in the meaning between 2 sentences?
1. It's going to rain.
2. It looks like it's going to rain.
2. can't be disputed as easily. If it looks, to you, as if it is going to rain, then that's how it looks.
In practical terms, if you are the type of person who is used to making statements of the 1. form, and if it often turns out that you are wrong, you will lose credibility. This is less likely to happen if you frame your opinions in the form of 2.