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kàn qǐ lai
v. look like, look as if, appear; it seems, it appears, it looks as if
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看起来, 看上去 and 显得:

看起来, 看上去 and 显得:

1. 看起来 and 看上去 both can be used on something that we are able to observe with our eyes. 看上去 is usually used on something that’s more tangible, while 看起来 can be used on tangible or abstract things.
E.g. 中国的很多城市看上去(or 看起来)大同小异。(phr) Many cities in China seem alike except for slight differences.

2. 看起来 can be used to indicate speculation or estimation; 看上去 is rarely used in this way.
E.g. 根据目前这些证据,这个案子看起来没那么简单。 (phr) According to the evidence (we have) so far, this case doesn't seem to be that simple.

3. 显得 doesn’t involved the person that does the action, while 看起来 & 看上去 involves the person sometimes, and the person can appear before 看.
E.g. 我们这类人,您看起来都是下等人。 (phr) You consider people like us as people of the lower class.
In this example, 您 is the subject for 看.

4. Certain prepositions can be paired with 看起来 and form fixed structures: 在/从/就/以…看起来. These fixed structures are used to indicate the perspective, aspect of the comment made. 看上去 and 显得 are not often paired with prepositions.
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