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I learnt the phrase 'strike somebody as something', which means 'to seem to have a particular quality or feature'. I think it is similar to 'impress somebody with something'. Maybe it is most common for you native speakers to use either of them, but as second language learners, we must say 'impress' at once, but rarely use 'strike', it seems a little authentic and can't remember.

And how do you choose words and phrases in written English?

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Both idioms have the similar meaning that certain qualities or features have risen to the level of the speaker's awareness. But the essential difference between them is the speed with which this has happened.

For example:

"You strike me as a baller."

Means that is my first impression and I have very little evidence to go on.

Versus:

"You impress me with your skills."

Means that it has taken me some time to form this opinion and it is now well-settled.

  • That's the non-native speakers' confusion. The dictionary always paraphrases the literal meanings, rarely go deeply when compared similar words and expressions. Do you have good recommendation of conquering this question? – visionarylu Apr 18 '14 at 3:48
  • this is kind of a neat trick : Ngram Click on the links below the graph for lots of examples from google books. – Aaron K Apr 18 '14 at 3:54

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