Another way to express one of your supposition about something or someone is the form -(으)ㄴ/는 모양이다. This is a form that expresses one of your suppositions you infer from what you either have heard about it or from what you’ve directly seen. Because of that sentences, that use this form, often have the expression -(으)ㄴ/는 걸 보니까 in the clause before it.
In a way, the form -(으)ㄴ/는 모양이다 already tells you a lot about itself. The word 모양 means ‘shape, appearance’. In this sentence, it is used in this form to express a particular condition or state something or someone is. The supposition expressed with this form is based on either something you have seen yourself or something you have heard about it. You cannot use this form without having any facts to base your supposition on.
The form -(으)ㄴ/는 모양이다 is often accompanied by an earlier clause using the form -(으)ㄴ/는 걸 보니까. This clause offers the basis for making the supposition.
- This form cannot be used to describe anything the one talking has done himself. It needs to be something he has either seen or heard, not something he experienced himself.
- The form -(으)ㄴ/는 모양이다 can only be used when you base yourself on objective facts (= what you know). You cannot use it if you base it on something you merely belief.
가: 저기 민수 씨가 가네요.
나: 장바구니를 드는 걸 보니까 장을 보러 가는 모양이에요.
A: There goes Minsu.
B: I think he is going grocery shopping because he is carrying a shopping basket.
How To Use
When you look at the conjugation chart for the form -(으)ㄴ/는 모양이다, you might feel a slight pang of fear. However, remember that it uses the basics you have already mastered. Essentially, you are using the form (으)ㄴ/는 with 모양이다, nothing more. So you needn’t worry as you already know all the rules and all the pitfalls of this conjugation. Just keep the irregular verbs in mind.
While the form -아/어 보이다 might appear similar, there are many differences. First, -아/어 보이다 based solely on outward appearances. On the other hand, you can use -(으)ㄴ/는 모양이다 both for things you have seen yourself or things you have heard. Lastly, you can use the form -(으)ㄴ/는 모양이다 with verbs, adjectives and nouns, whereas adjectives are the only possible option for -아/어 보이다.