had been + "seeming" or "looking" or "appearing"?

I have a sentence: “Nicky had been … rather miserable recently.” I dont know which is the correct word to fill in the blank: Appearing - Seeming - Looking.

Help me and explain how to do that, thanks.

Hi HoangTien,

I think the correct word is “looking” because “look” means somebody “have a certain outward or facial expression”. For example, “The child looks unhappy”; “She looked pale after the surgery”. So my answer is “Nicky had been looking rather miserable recently.”
But I am not sure that I am right. Hope someone who is good at grammar will answer you soon.

You can try Google Fight to find the best answer. It is helpful.
googlefight.com/index.php?lang=e … e+recently

Good luck!

Thank Hoado very much.

But what will be wrong if I write like this: “Nicky had been seeming rather miserable recently.” ? I’ve searched in Google and I know “looking” is a correct word. But I want to know more than an answer, I want to know the reason. :smiley:
Thank again and good-night.

Hi,

‘Look’ as a verb can mean ‘have the appearance of’ and can be used in the continuous form as in: Charlie isn’t looking very well today. ‘Seem’ in the sense of ‘appears to be’ is one of those verbs that you can’t really use in the continuous form because the verb itself already suggests a continuous state. You can say: I’ve looked out of the window and the weather seems fine. In other words ‘seems fine’ is a description of a condition/state that continues.

Alan

Hi Alan,

Thank you very much for your explanation. From now I will remember that “Look” as a verb can mean “have the appearance of” and can be used in the continuos form, “Seem” in the sense of “appears to be” is one of those verb that you can’t really use in the continuous form because the verb itself already suggests a continuous state.

Have a nice day!
Hoa

Thank you, Alan.
It’s hard to distinguish between means of some words. I always make mistake when I do that exercise.