Spanish word of the week: parecer

parecer VERB to think

Parecer is a very common way of expressing what you think. You use it in the structure me parece que …, word for word ‘it seems to me that’:

Me parece que no va a venir. I don’t think he’s going to come.

As you can see in the previous example, the verb after parecer is negative, whereas in English we make ‘think’ negative. If you make parecer itself negative, the verb that follows has to be in the subjunctive:

No me parece que sea muy buena idea. I don’t think it’s a very good idea.

To say ‘I think so’, or ‘I don’t think so’, you use parecer in the structures shown below:

¿Va a venir? – Me parece que sí. Is she going to come? – I think so.
¿Va a llover? – Me parece que no. Is it going to rain? – I don’t think so.

You also often use parecer with a noun subject or with an adjective:

Me parece una idea estupenda. I think it’s a great idea.
Le parece muy interesante. She thinks it’s very interesting.

To ask someone’s opinion of something, parecer is a good verb to use:

¿Qué te pareció el nuevo equipo? What did you think of the new team?
¿Qué te parece su última película? What do you think of her latest film?

And to make a suggestion, you can use the same structure –¿Qué te parece?– followed by si (‘if’):

¿Qué te parece si vamos al cine esta tarde? How about going to the movies this evening?

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