кажется is more in the line of it's been spoken (literally), it is generally known while похоже is more it seems, it looks like. I would say that for кажется you don't need to make deduction directly, while for похоже you would need to conclude something from evidence.
I am a native Russian. I would use 'похоже' for "It looks like" and "кажется" for "it seems to be". Sometimesб but not always, "кажется" can be used as an equivalent of "it sounds like". Expressions like "It sounds great!", "Sounds awful!", "Sounds like a good idea" translate into Russian without any verb: Отлично! Ужасно! Хорошая мысль/идея! We only use the verb звучать (to sound) with subjects like music, a particular musical instrument, voices and words. Похоже is the short neuter form of похожий (похож на = is similar to /resembles / looks like/takes after)
After studying a language for a while, I start to get ideas about grammar which I can't actually quote a rule for - for instance, here кажется has a reflexive ending and похоже does not; that indicates to me that, when using кажется, the concept behind the statement is "the external thing or event appears to me, based on my internal reactions and thinking, to be [something]".
With похоже, the absence of the reflexive ending leads to something like "the thing or event external to me has such characteristics that it takes no internal reflection to conclude [something] about it."
кажется - "it seems to me that my dog loves me"
похоже - "it seems that my dog is very upset about the noise."
«Похоже» cannot have a reflective ending because it is not a verb, but a short neuter gender form of an adjective meaning “similar”. In other words, literally, похоже means “it is similar [to the hypothetical situation where]”. Whereas «кажется» is a verb which literally means “shows itself”. The English equivalents “seems” and “appears” don’t have a reflective element because it is absent from the English verb system and are not even followed by “itself” as they don’t have the “show” root in them. “It seems” or “it seems to me” makes no difference. Likewise, in Russian, «Мне кажется, вы здоровы», «Кажется, вы здоровы» and «Вы кажетесь мне здоровыми» all mean the same thing, although the latter option is not used very often (it is closer in meaning to “you look healthy to me”).
These things are really difficult to research. I couldn't find much on пожоже in Katzner's Russian-English dictionary, so I went to Wiktionary, which listed it as both an adverb meaning "it seems, apparently, it looks (as if)" and as a predicate adjective short form for (long-form) похо́жий "similar, alike".
I understood пожоже in the exercise to be the adverbial form, which modifies the omitted verb "are": "You are, it appears/seems, healthy". In English, we could rephrase that as "You are seemingly/apparently healthy".
In all this, I'd forgotten that кажетесь is a verb form and пожоже an adverb, and obviously got mixed up about the object of the reflexive end of кажетесь (the thing showing itself, not the person internalizing what is seen). But I still can't quite discard the notion that the reflexive quality of кажетесь and the (non-reflexive) quality of adverb пожоже is significant in determining which is the better to use in specific situations. There is something about the subjective quality of reflexive verbs which makes the nature of the observation different from a (non-reflexive) adverb.
There is a difference in English between "it seems/appears" and "it seems to me", the former being more an observation of something objective which could be observed by anyone, while the latter is more an expression of an internalized process of assessment - a subjective observation.
While I realize that пожоже cannot by definition be reflexive (it's not a verb), that's not the point I'm making. Rather, it's that кажетесь is reflexive, and that aspect in itself makes a difference in choosing which one to use.
This thinking is based on my experience with reflexive verbs in Romance languages, so it may be completely wrong. Reflexives make a difference in all the other languages I've studied, so I was thinking that they would make a difference in Russian - which I'm certain they do, but don't know enough yet to really grasp what that difference is.
Ultimately, I'm sure it doesn't make that much difference which words one uses - but going through the process of digging deeper into the underlying structures of the usages helps grasp the language at a fundamental level that I think aids greatly in trying to attain fluency.
Perhaps two examples of what I'm thinking about:
Looking at medical tests results, one would say «Похоже, вы здоровы.»
Counting someone's pulse, taking their temperature, feeling their abdomen, looking at their eyes and into their ears and throat, listening to their heart: «кажется, вы здоровы.»
Похоже is usually said when the conclusion is based on some visible evidence. In the case of кажется, though, the conclusion is mostly based on the intuition. The Russian reflective suffix сь/ся has a lot more meanings than its counterparts in Romance languages. And the difference is not only that, in Russian, it is used for all persons - not just for the third person like in, say, Spanish or French. There are verbs that are never used without ся/сь and казаться is one of them. Other such verbs include улыбаться (to smile), смеяться (to laugh), опасаться (to fear), бояться (to be afraid), надеяться (to hope), стараться (to try hard), расставаться (to part) and many more. Apart from reflectivity (e.g. Я бреюсь = I am shaving [my face]) and reciprocity (e.g. Они обнимаются, целуются и расстаются = They hug and kiss each other and then part with each other), the suffix may carry other meanings. Thus in the sentences «Ткань рвётся», «Крапива жжется» and «Собака кусается» (“The fabric is easily torn”, “The stinging nettle is stingy”, “The dog bites”) we are talking about properties of inanimate objects or a habit of an animal. In combination with certain prefixes, the suffix ся/сь can perform a number of other functions.
"You look healthy" is not accepted but it suggested "You seem healthy" as the correct answer. I am confounded. Aren't the two sentences expressing the same sentiment?
It actually accepted my "It looks like you are well" but suggested the alternative "it seems you are healthy"
These are not equal.
"You look healthy" describes only the outer appearance of someone, mostly their face. You might say it to a friend who didn't look very good last time you saw them or who you heard had had some health problems.
"You seem healthy" is something for example a doctor could say without looking at you but only looking at your lab results.
OK does not necessarily mean 'healthy'. For example, "You seem to be okay" may refer to someone trying to solve a math problem, in which case, it means "It looks like you don't need any help"
In Russian, two clauses of a complex sentence must be separated by a comma: Похоже (=It seems), вы здоровы (=you are in good health).
Я написал "It looks as you are healthy", но ответ был исправлен на "It looks as though you are healthy.". Может кто-нибудь объяснить, для чего здесь though?
I see this may be puzzling, but it is correct. "As though" is synonymous with "as if" which is the correct conjunction for this sentence.
You use "as" by itself if you are joining two ideas and expressing their similarity : "He talks as you do" meaning "He talks the way you do" or "He talks like you." It can also denote or two actions happening at the same time: "I took notes as he spoke." It doesn't work in the Duo sentence.
You use "as if" to introduce a speculation about a similarity of some sort: "He spoke as if he had a cold" or "He put on his hat and coat as if he meant to leave."
Verbs like "look" can be used impersonally with "as if" followed by a clause to denote an appearance or illusion. Hence the sentence in question, "It looks AS IF you are healthy." Alternative renderings could be "It seems (or appears) [that] you are healthy." "You seem (appear) to be healthy" or "You seem (appear) healthy" or "You look healthy." The shorter versions imply more certainty on the part of the speaker.
For some reason, "as though" is interchangeable with "as if." I tend to use one or the other in different contexts, but I have not figured out what determines my choice.
"Like" also denotes similarity, but it is a preposition, so it can be followed by a noun or a pronoun. It should not technically be used as a conjunction to introduce a subordinate clause: "He spoke like a person with a cold." So "It looks like* you are healthy" is "bad grammar," as they taught us in school.
Note that "like" and "as" have different meanings when used to link nouns or pronouns. For example: "John worked as a waiter" is different from "John worked like a dog." Substantives linked by "as" are in the same case. You see this mostly when "as" is used with adjectives or adverbs in a comparison: "Richard worked as diligently as we, but did not produce as much." This subtlety is commonly ignored by native speakers, who will say "She is not as rich as me" but also "She is not as rich as I am."
I will hijack this tread for a bit. Can you explain why is "It looks like you are healthy" wrong? I mean, I am not a native speaker, and even though I probably wouldn't use it in this context because it sounds somewhat weird to my ear, but what is wrong there? Are we not supposed to use clauses afterwards? Only noun/adjective phrases?
Я имею ввиду, что между предложениями "Похоже, вы здоровы." и "Похоже, вы как будто здоровы." есть смысловая разница. В первом, человек уверен, что он здоров. Во втором есть сомнение. Он только выглядит здоровым, но при этом может быть ещё не совсем здоров.
По этому меня интересует, не вносит ли "though" сомнение в английском варианте?
Слово "похоже" синонимично словосочетанию "как будто", поэтому в правильном русском языке они никогда вместе не используются. Говоря "Похоже, он здоров", мы говорим не о своем здоровье, а о здоровье другого человека, поэтому никакой уверенности здесь нет - только личное впечатление. "It looks as though" - устойчивое выражение, просто запомните его.
В данном случаи "Похоже" выступает в роли вводного слова.
Под словом "он" я имел ввиду третье лицо, а не говорящего.
Меня конкретно интересует смысл "looks as though", это "здоровый" или только "выглядит как здоровый". Согласитесь, что есть некая разница.
П.С. Про своё здоровье тоже нельзя быть уверенным. Как говорят врачи "Нет полностью здоровых, есть недообследованные".
"He looks as though he is healthy" означает "На вид он вроде бы здоров"/"Он вроде выглядит здоровым". Подразумевается, что он, вполне вероятно, болен, только выглядит хорошо.
Polish cheers: "Na zdrowie!" ["To your health!"] (w sounds like v in English)
I have a question about short form adjectives. In this phrase is the short form used because the appearance of being healthy is occurring right at this moment meaning it is temporary?
What you are saying would be true for most other adjectives. However, in the case of здоровый the short form only means "healthy" (the current condition that will hopefully continue for a long time), whereas the long form, if used predicatively, means 'big and strong'. So, unless you know such nuances, it is advisable to always use short forms of adjectives in predicates, e.g. Я болен, День короток, Размер мал. The word большой has no short form; so велик (велика, велико, велики - the stress always falls on the last syllable) is often used as an alternative, especially when talking about the size of clothes or footwear.
So in general if the situation is temporary or happening at the moment I should use short form. It just so happens that in this particular situation I use the short form because the strict definition is "healthy" and in addition is also used as a predicate correct?
So for example if I wanted to say "The healthy man" I can only use "Здоровый человек" in this situation because it is an adjective and not used as a predicate correct?
And if I wanted to say "The man is healthy" the only appropriate phrasing to use is "человек здоров" correct?
"It appears that you are healthy" should be accepted, right? I've always considered "seems" and "appears" interchangeable, and prefer the latter when the inference comes from appearance rather than from what I've heard or read. It is quite simply more accurate.
Or is there a different Russian phrase for "it appears"? Is that why it is rejected?
The distinction between "seems to be" and "appears to be" is really subtle. In Russian, we use the word кажется for both. Кажется can be used as an introductory word (introductory words are always separated by commas from the rest of the sentence) or as a link verb. "He seems to be healthy/well" = Он, кажется, здоров". "He appears to be healthy/well" = Он кажется здоровым. The latter implies that the person in question has the appearance of a healthy man, but we cannot be sure. Other popular introductory words with similar meanings include видимо and по-видимому (apparently). Очевидно stands for "obviously".
Thank you, Dmitry. That sounds very similar to both English (seems vs. appears) and German (anscheinend vs. es scheint). For purposes of DL exercises, I will limit похоже to "it seems."
In Swedish a sentence like this also could imply you that you have become fat. Any such implications i Russian?
No. This sentence can be said by a doctor after examining a patient who had been sick (='ill' in Brirtish Eng) for a while and recovered from his/her illness or pretends to have been sick.