Which one is correct?

  1. I have forgotten what you look like.
  2. I have forgotten what you looked like.

I guess

  1. I have forgotten what you looked like.

because logically I saw the person in the past, so I saw them the way they looked like in the past.

  • 1
    Context matters. If you saw the person fairly recently at a huge gathering but forget who was who after being introduced to a bunch of people, then "look" would make sense. If, as you say, it was from the past, then "looked" is indeed correct. Jun 8, 2015 at 20:20

1 Answer 1


I think you're expressing two different things. If, since seeing them, you've forgotten how they looked at that moment in time, you say

"I've forgotten what you looked like"

If you're unable to imagine what they currently look like because it's been so long since you've seen them, then

"I've forgotten what you look like"

seems more appropriate.

  • 1
    Normally, you'd say the latter. In order to use the former, the sense would have to be very unusual, such as, "I've forgotten what you looked like at your wedding" (which was 25 years ago). Jun 8, 2015 at 20:45
  • 3
    Also, this seems to presuppose that the statement is made without being able to see the other person. If you were talking to someone face to face, you would say "I had forgotten what you look like," Jun 8, 2015 at 23:46
  • "I had forgotten what you looked like" would definitely imply a particular situation for which they dressed, such as someone dressed up to perform their magic act or to tend bees.
    – Stuart F
    Dec 13, 2021 at 21:15

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