Let’s compare these questions:
- What does she look like?
- How does she look?
There is a small difference in meaning between these two questions. I will try to explain.
1. The question “What does she look like?” asks for a physical description or a comparison to another noun.
- A: What does she look like?
- B: She is tall and has brown hair. (This is a physical description.)
- C: She looks like a model. (This is a comparison to another noun.)
2. The question “How does she look?” asks for a personal judgment (or evaluation), such as ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
- A: How does she look?
- B: She looks great. (This is a judgment of how she looks; it isn’t a description.)
- C: She also looks happy. (Again, this is a judgment, not a description.)
Let’s talk about this animal.
- Q: What does it look like?
- A: It looks like a fox. (noun) It has orangeish hair. (description)
- Q: How does it look?
- A: It looks relaxed. (a judgment)
Common Mistake: How does it look like?
- ✓ What does he look like?
- ✓ How does he look?
How does he look like?
The last sentence above is never correct. You cannot combine “How” with “like”.
I hope you have found this helpful. If you have any questions or find a mistake, please leave a comment below.
– Written by Matthew Barton / Creator of EnglishCurrent.com (copyright)