« Previous | Main | Next »

Hello Marina!

Post categories:

Kim Kim | 12:59 UK time, Monday, 2 August 2010

This is in reply to Marina's first post

Hello Pocahontas - oops, I mean Marina!

Welcome to the BBC Learning English student blog. Thank you very much for introducing yourself to us - I am really looking forward to hearing more about your life and your country.

You have a really interesting heritage - Korean, Polish, Ukrainian and Belorussian. How did your grandparents come to meet in the settlement that became 'Zhezkazgan'? Anyway, I see that you are planning to tell us about the town so I won't ask any more questions about it. I am sure we will be hearing more about Almaty too.

It's fascinating to hear that 150 nationalities live in Kazakhstan. Do any of your friends share a Korean background with you? In the UK too it is quite often the case that people have mixed heritages - parents, grandparents and ancestors from many diverse cultures, other European countries, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other Asian countries, and also from the Caribbean and Africa. My parents and grandparents are all from the Midlands, an area in the centre of England - but I am sure that if I delved into my family tree I would find a diverse collection of people. Three of my husband's grandparents were Irish immigrants - they came to England looking for work and settled in Runcorn, an industrial town near Liverpool.

This photo is looking across the River Mersey to Runcorn. I was wondering if this looks anything like Zhezkazgan but the photo you have put in your post looks more beautiful! My husband doesn't live there now. Now he lives with me in Taunton, a town in South West England.

Anyway, let's turn now to the language you used in your post. You have a really nice friendly style, very easy to read I think. I note that you use the expression 'look like' twice:

"I don't look like Korean at all."
"I look like Kazakh or Tatar."

In these examples you would in fact say:

"I don't look Korean at all."
"I look Kazakh or Tatar."

This is because Korean, Kazakh, Tatar are all used as adjectives here. If you are using an adjective, then you don't need the word like, for example:

"He looks angry."
"They look so cute!"
"It looks Spanish."

When you use 'look like' you should follow it with a noun (or a name), for example:

"I look like Pocahontas."
"It looks like a rabbit!"

To recap:

Look like + a noun
Look + an adjective

So Marina, here is your first task - just a short one as it's the first time. Here are six sentences - would you use 'look' or 'look like'?

1. It looks like rain OR It looks rain.
2. He looks like a nice person OR He looks like nice person.
3. That looks like really difficult OR That looks really difficult.
4. Does it look like cold? OR Does it look cold?
5. People say I look like my mother OR People say I look my mother.
6. He looked like Italian OR He looked Italian.

Just tell me which version you think is correct.

By the way, there are some notes related to this aspect of English on the LearnEnglish website that you might like to look at:

Finally, I think you do look a bit like the picture of Pocahontas that you have on your post. But what a great Disney character to look like! It could be worse! Do any readers look like a famous character? Or a famous person? Do tell us!

Marina, I hope to hear from you again soon,
Best wishes,


heritage = cultural background
settlement = a place where people live
fascinating = very interesting
ancestor = a relative who lived a long time ago
delve into = examine something very carefully
immigrant = a person who has come to live in another country
recap = summarise, give a summary


  • Comment number 1.

    Hi Kim! That's unbelievable but when I first looked at the picture of Runcorn I thought it was my Zhezkazgan! There's only one thing that is different: the color of smoke from chimney:) Anyway, thank you for your comments, language's tips and really interesting facts about your family. I'd really like to delve into my family tree one day!
    Now, if you don't mind I'll publish my answers right here:
    1. It looks like rain.
    2. He looks like nice person.
    3. That looks really difficult.
    4. Does it look cold?
    5. People say I look like my mother.
    6. He looked Italian.


  • Comment number 2.

    Hi Kim,

    It's our pride that we, the Bangladeshis are in heritage also in the UK. Presumably, we're all over the globe, I think.

    In Bangladesh, we also have many cities like Dhaka and Chittagong, where a lot of people from different culture and heritage live nowadays. It seems to me that we're stepping towards changing the world into a village. What would happen, if there were no difference between our heritage, color, religion, race, vision and attitude !!!!!!!!

    Anyway, I found the link page of grammar challenge very effective to learn the use of 'Like'. Thanks a lot, Kim. I'm also pleased that I found Nuala and Callum, the familiar faces, there.

    I fully agree with the answers of the homework, completed by Marina. I think she'll get 6 out of 6. All the best.

    Ashish, Bangladesh.

  • Comment number 3.

    Ashish - you are quite right, Marina has got 6 out of 6. Well done Marina.
    I must point out that the only one who has made a mistake is me! The second sentence should read 'He looks like a nice person.' I missed the word 'a' in the sentence. Sorry about that!
    Glad to hear that the link was useful.

    Best wishes,

  • Comment number 4.

    Hello, Kim
    I am confused here that if the sentence below is correct:
    He looked like an Italian.
    It matches "Look like + a noun" in my opinion.

    Hope that i don't make any mistake here. Thank you Kim for your reply, in advance.

  • Comment number 5.

    Hi Shenglin - no you didn't make a mistake, you are quite right. You can say:

    He looked Italian
    He looked like an Italian

    In the first sentence 'Italian' is an adjective (an Italian man...), in the second Italian is a noun (an Italian)

    Hope this is clear,

  • Comment number 6.

    Hi Kim nice to read your reply to Marina's blogging.... i too got the chance to correct for my mistakes with Like..

    Anish Lamsong



Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.