Don’t say “How does it look like?”

Don't Say: "How does it look like?"

I often hear my students ask "How does it look like?" Unfortunately you can't say that in English. Of course I know what they mean, but it doesn't sound natural.

What does it look like? - correct
How does it look? - correct
How does it look like? - incorrect

Both "What does it look like?" and "How does it look?" are correct. However, don't mix the two!​

So what's the difference between the two correct versions and when should you use each one?

  • What does it look like? = Use this version when ​you want a specific description (What color is it? How big is it?) or comparison (It looks like a Honda even though it's a Toyota).
  • How does it look? = You want the person to say their overall feeling of the appearance (It looks good. It looks beautiful. It looks ugly. And so on...)

  • Example #1:
    I got a new haircut. 
    What does it look like?
    It looks like a rat died and was placed on my head.

    Example #2:
    I got a new haircut. 
    How does it look?
    It looks good.

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