What's it like?

What is the weather like today? It's cloudy but it's warm.

With a question:

What + "to be" + subject + like (prep) ?

... you are asking for a description of something or someone. It's like saying: "tell me about ...".


NB "like" isn't a verb, but a preposition.

So, What does he like? isn't the same as What is he like?

A: What does he like (to do in his spare time)? B: He likes travelling.

A: What is he like? B: He's a really nice guy but he gets impatient easily.


When the subject is a person: What is your sister like?, we are usually asking about their personality.

If we specifically want to know about their appearance, we ask: What does your sister look like?

If we want to ask about someone's health, the question is: How is she?

A: How is she? B: She's fine now. She's feeling much better.



We can use this construction to ask for descriptions about the present, past and future:

What's it like?

What was it like?

What is it going to be like?



Use your heads to guess what the question is for the following:
  1. ... ? It was sunny the whole time.
  2. ... ? The rooms were modern and quite comfortable. It even had a pool.
  3. ... ? She's easy-going. She never tells us off if we don't do our homework. 
  4. ... ? They eat a lot of meat but hardly any fish. It isn't as varied as it is in Spain.
  5. ... ? It was really exciting but I don't think they deserved to win.
  6. ... ? I find them very friendly.
  7. ... ? It has its charm but I suppose it'd be stressful to live there.
  8. ... ? around 10 degrees tomorrow, so you should wear a warm jacket.
  9. ... ? I didn't understand the ending. The first one was better.
  10. ... ? I got As in most subjects except for Physics - I got a C in that.

Comments

Marta said…
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Graham said…
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Mario Jiménez said…
Hi Graham, i've done another exercise regarding preposition. This is my answer

1.- What is the wheather like today? It was sunny the whole time.
2.- What was the hotel like? The rooms were modern and quite comfortable. It even had a pool.
3.- What does the teacher look like? She's easy-going. She never tells us off if we don't do our homework.
4.- What is the food like abroad? They eat a lot of meat but hardly any fish. It isn't as varied as it is in Spain.
5.- What was it like? It was really exciting but I don't think they deserved to win.
6.- What is he look like? I find them very friendly.
7.- What is Madrid like to live there? It has its charm but I suppose it'd be stressful to live there.
8.- What it is going to be the wheater like tomorrw? around 10 degrees tomorrow, so you should wear a warm jacket.
9.- What was the film like? I didn't understand the ending. The first one was better.
10.- What were your qualification like? I got As in most subjects except for Physics - I got a C in that.
Graham said…
Mario,

Nice to see you using "regarding" but I think it's too formal in this context. I'd use "about".

1. the weather

3. What is the teacher like? (personality) What does she look like? = appearance

5. What was the match like? It was really exciting but I don't think they deserved to win.

6. What are the Scots like? I find them very friendly.

7. What is Madrid like to live in?

8. What is the weather going to be like tomorrow? / What will the weather be like tomorrow?

10. What were your results / grades like? I got As in most subjects except for Physics - I got a C in that.


What (to be) Subject like? is a construction worth learning.