(something) seems to (do, have, or be something)

You can say that something "seems to be ___" when you notice something but you're not completely sure that you have identified it correctly. For example, if you're video chatting and it takes her a few extra seconds to answer your questions, you can say:

There seems to be a bit of a lag.

You can also use "seems to..." to politely point out a problem.

For example, imagine that you're paying for a shirt that you buy at a department store, and you give the cashier some cash. But after he counts it, he says to you:

You seem to be a bit short.

That means "You don't have enough money." But the cashier just says "You seem to be..." to be polite. "Seems to..." is a way to act like you might be wrong about what you've seen or heard, even if you're actually sure that you're correct.

This phrase appears in these lessons: