I'm reading a short story called 『つめたいよるに』. This girl was crying on the train to work, so another passenger (the 少年 below) invited her for a coffee.

公衆電話からアルバイト先に電話をして、風邪をひいたので休ませていただきます、と言ったのを聞いていたとみえて、私がテーブルにもどると、「じゃあ、きょうは一日ひまなんだ」 少年はぶっきらぼうに言った。

I've not encountered ~とみえる before, but even after looking up the meaning (another variant of "seems, looks like", I think), I'm still not sure what meaning it brings to this sentence.

Is ~とみえる related to ~に見える?


Yes, this 終止形+とみえる (or と見える) is another variant of ように見える ("it seems", "it looks like"). It's a literary expression, so we don't usually use it in conversations.

~と言ったのを聞いていたとみえる is "It seems he (=少年) heard I had said ~", where "~" here is "風邪を引いたので休ませていただきます". He said "きょうは一日ひまなんだ", because he was listening to the phone call (of "I") and knew "I" was going to take the day off that day.


"So you are free all day today?" When I was back to the table he said bluntly, presumably hearing I talk to the phone that I caught a cold and was going to take the day off .

I think と-みえる/と-みえて is best alternated with ようだ/ようで or らしい/らしく, so in this case:

  • 風邪をひいたので休ませていただきます、と言ったのを聞いていたようで、
  • 風邪をひいたので休ませていただきます、と言ったのを聞いていたらしく、

To the last question: Yes, both とみえる and に見える contains 見える "to seem, look (like), be visible", an intransitive counterpart of the transitive 見る "to see, look at", though as for とみえる/とみえて, I recommend you to memorize it as an idiom.

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