Grammar – This looks, sounds, tastes, smells, feels strange

The grammar 아/어보이다 only applies to how something ‘looks’. Have you ever wanted to say “this sounds X” or “this smells Y” but couldn’t figure out how to say it? Taking the adjective ‘strange’ for example, in English we have the same grammar for it looks strange, it sounds strange, it feels strange, it smells strange. But in Korean each one uses a different set of rules. Below are some expressions you can use for each sense.

Looks strange
이상해보여요. This looks strange

Sounds strange
이 소리가 이상해요. This sound is strange
이게 이상하게 들려요. This sounds strange

Feels strange
느낌이 이상해요. Can be used when you feel something literally or figuratively.
감촉이 이상해요. Saying its strange to the touch
This object (maybe the texture) feels strange – 이거 질감이 이상해요

Smells strange, tastes strange
냄새가 이상해요
맛이 이상해요

How to say something looks, sounds, feels, tastes, smells familiar

Looks familiar
낯익은 얼굴. A face that looks familiar. 낯익다 is restricted for talking about a person because 낯 means face.
눈에 익은 풍경. A scenery that looks familiar

Sounds familiar
귀에 익은 소리. A familiar sound
익숙한 소리. A familiar sound
들어본 소리인 것 같다. A sound I think I’ve heard before

Tastes, smells, feels familiar
익숙한 맛/냄새/느낌. This is the most generic and default one you can use.
먹어본 맛인 것같다, 맡아본 냄새인 것 같다, 느껴본 것같다. A taste, smell, feeling you seem to have had before
손에 익은 감촉. A touch that feels familiar

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