Both 似乎 and 宛如 are translated in the same way ("as if..."). What are some examples where using one would be more appropriate than the other?

  • see dictionaries, e.g. bkrs 似乎 #642(fr.rk.) 宛如 #15115 正像;好像:欢腾的人群宛如大海的波涛;仿佛 绚烂的晚霞, 宛如一幅锦绣
    – user6065
    Jun 11, 2019 at 0:16

1 Answer 1


似乎(as if; seem like) is more modern and colloquial, 宛如(just like; as if) is very classical and literary

似乎 mainly refer to metaphorical resemblance, 宛如 mainly refers to physical resemblance


似乎要打仗了 (seem like we will go to war)

似乎忘了自己是誰 (seem like/ as if forgotten who he is)

五座山峰一列排開,宛如五指,故名五指山 (the five mountain peaks stand side by side, just like five fingers in human hand, hence the name 'Five Fingers Mountains'

看他面目猙獰,宛如惡鬼猛獸 (look at his ferocious face, just like a demon or a beast)

The modern/colloquial equivalent of '宛如' is '就像'

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