Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 3: 3/18


Like, Similar to, Resembling

Conversational, Less formal than ようだ


Verb + みたい +
[い]Adjective + みたい +
[な]Adjective + みたい +
Noun + みたい +


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About みたい

In Japanese, there are many ways to express that something happens in a way that is 'like' something else, or 'resembles' something else. One of these ways is through the use of the な-Adjective, みたい. みたい can be used after any word that a な-Adjective would usually follow, to express that something is 'like (A)', or 'similar to (A)'.
  • 明日(あした)(ゆき)()みたいだ
    It seems like it will snow tomorrow.
  • そこプール(あさ)みたいだ
    That pool over there seems shallow.
  • (かれ)地下鉄(ちかてつ)(きら)みたいだ
    It seems like he does not like subways.
  • その携帯(けいたい)パソコンみたいだ
    That cellphone looks like a computer.
In the above examples, we can see that みたい should always be followed by (or です) when it is at the end of a statement, however, this is frequently omitted.
  • 先輩(せんぱい)今日(きょう)()ないみたい
    It seems like senpai is not coming today.
みたい is also often used to describe another noun, but needs to be followed by な in these cases. In this type of sentence, it is just expressing that something is '(B), but resembles (A)'.
  • (かれ)スポーツ選手(せんしゅ)みたいなている
    He has a body like an athlete.
みたい is used most often in conversational situations, and is based on direct, reliable information. It is far less formal than its counterpart, ようだ.
Despite みたい meaning 'to resemble', and being based on (usually) visual stimulus, it should not be confused with ()たい 'to want to see'. This is a common mistake that learners make, as みたい itself does not have a kanji form.
Fun Fact
みたいだ is originally an abbreviation of the more formal phrase を見たような. As a result of this, we can see that ようだ kept its formal meaning, while みたい became the casual equivalent.


  • この(いぬ)(くま)みたいです

    This dog looks like a bear.

  • あの(ひと)有名人(ゆうめいじん)みたいです

    That person resembles/seems like a famous person.

  • 今日(きょう)(ひる)から(あめ)()みたいです

    It looks like it will rain this afternoon.

  • あの(くも)(うま)みたい

    That cloud resembles a horse. (Looks like)

  • あのビル会社(かいしゃ)じゃなくて病院(びょういん)みたい

    It seems like that building is a hospital, and not a company.

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みたい – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (8 in total)

  • nekoyama


    You’re looking for -てみる. The -てみたい form isn’t taught separately on bunpro but it’s very common that it’s used in this way.

  • Fuga


    Hey @Shinzo !

    The てみたい in the sentence うさぎを飼ってみたいです, uses the てみる form, as @nekoyama mentioned, and has been been conjugated using the grammar point たい. We hope this helps you understand better!

  • simias


    I really struggle heavily to understand the distinction between みたい and ようにみえる. Can’t they be used more or less interchangeably? I keep mixing them up in my reviews and it’s frustrating.

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