The Difference of Using Видеть and Смотреть

How’s your progress in memorizing vocabularies? How many verbs do you already know? In some languages like Russian, there are verbs that have similar meanings but are actually different. Maybe you feel confused with this kind of verb. But as long as you know the function of each verb, you will understand it better, and can choose the right verb in the sentence.

Видеть and смотреть are verbs that are often used in everyday conversation. These verbs have a similar meaning. Although the same, видеть and смотреть are used in different situations.

Видеть (Videt’)

Видеть used to describe people who did this verb only see things at a glance. It means to see. This verb can refer to technical possibilities and physical possibilities. You can get more understanding by reading the example below.

  • Я вчера целый вечер смотрела фильм, поэтому я не видела, чтобы мои друзья пришли.
    (Ya vchera tselyy vecher smotrela fil’m, poetomu ya ne videla, chtoby moi druz’ya prishli)
    I watched the whole evening last night, so I did not see my friends coming.
  • Она никого не хочет видеть.
    (Ona nikogo ne khochet videt’)
    She does not want to see anyone.
  • Я буду видеть их, когда захочу.
    (Yа budu videt’ ikh, kogda zakhochu)
    I will see them whenever I want.
  • Она видит маленьких детей каждый день.
    (Ona vidit malen’kikh detey kazhdyy den’)
    She sees little children every day.
  • Дедушка не видел, потому что он плохо видит без очков.
    (Dedushka ne videl, potomu chto on plokho vidit bez ochkov)
    Grandfather did not see, because he sees badly without glasses.

Смотреть  (Smotret’)

Different from видеть, смотреть means you see something carefully and you pay attention to it. We can say смотреть means too look at or to watch.  Technical or physical possibilities are not important. Here are examples of situations when we use смотреть.

  • Они смотрят на фотографии своих дочерей.
    (Oni smotryat na fotografii svoikh docherey)
    They look at pictures of their daughters.
  • Все будут смотреть на мне.
    (vse budut smotret’ na mene)
    Everyone look at me.
  • Я иду с ним, чтобы посмотреть новый фильм.
    (Ya idu s nim, chtoby posmotret’ novyy fil’m)
    I go with him to watch a new film.
  • Зачем вы это смотрите?
    (Zachem vy eto smotrite?)
    Why are you looking at it?
  • Ты смотрел, но не видел.
    (Ty smotrel, no ne videl)
    You looked, but did not see.
  • Мне нравится смотреть на себя в зеркало.
    (Mne nravitsya smotret’ na sebya v zerkalo)
    I like to look at myself in the mirror.

To make a sentence don’t forget to know the conjugation of these verbs by gender, cases, and also Russian tenses. Learn how to change видеть and смотреть in genitive, dative, accusative, instrumental, and prepositional cases. This will help you create sentences in precise grammar rules.

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