How do you talk about “seeing” things in Spanish? Let’s learn the verb Ver and all of its essential conjugations, so we can say things like “I see”, “they saw”, and “let’s see”.
Vamos a ver.
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Today we’re going to learn the verb Ver, which means “to see”. As a simple example:
You have to see this!
¡Tienes que ver esto!
The gerund is viendo. Here’s an example:
Yes, we’re seeing that.
Sí, estamos viendo eso.
Now, both in Spanish and in English, it generally sounds a bit awkward to say “we’re seeing” something; we normally just say “we see it”, “they see it”, and so on, using present-tense conjugations. However, the gerund of Ver actually is pretty common, and that’s because it actually tends to be used as an adverb, not right after Estar, but instead at the start of an extra phrase in a sentence.
Here’s an example of how to do that. Let’s begin with a simple sentence:
I’m sure she is not well.
Estoy seguro de que ella no está bien.
But let’s say you want to provide more information about your reasoning. Maybe the reason that you’re sure about this is that you saw her leave early from a gathering. So let’s add a phrase to the end of the sentence:
I’m sure she is not well, seeing that she went home.
Estoy seguro de que ella no está bien, viendo que se fue a casa.
So in this sentence, viendo is being used all by itself, without Estar before it. This is actually something you can do with a gerund of pretty much any verb, but it’s particularly common with viendo.
Let’s practice ver and viendo.
We won’t go to the party, seeing that it is so late.
No iremos a la fiesta, viendo que es tan tarde.
Put that there, I don’t want to see it!
¡Pon eso ahí, no lo quiero ver!
I can’t do it, seeing that I don’t have those things.
No puedo hacerlo, viendo que no tengo esas cosas.
Of course! I want to see that.
¡Por supuesto! Quiero ver eso.
The participle of Ver is visto. This is a bit irregular, because it doesn’t end with D-O like most participles. It’s more like the participle of Poner, which is puesto. Here’s an example:
We haven’t seen him.
No lo hemos visto.
Now let’s start learning the present-tense conjugations. The word for “I see” is veo, and the word for “he/she/usted sees” is ve, spelled simply v-e. Here’s an example:
I don’t see what he sees.
No veo lo que él ve.
Let’s practice visto, veo, and ve.
He doesn’t see what I’ve seen.
No ve lo que he visto.
The police have seen the man.
La policía ha visto al hombre.
I see that this is too big.
Veo que esto es demasiado grande.
No, sir, I don’t see what you (formal) see.
No, señor, no veo lo que usted ve.
Supposedly we are going to see it that day.
Se supone que lo vamos a ver ese día.
The rest of the present-tense forms are based on ve. So we have ves, ven, and vemos. Try predicting the Spanish for a couple of examples:
Yes, we see what you see.
Sí, vemos lo que ves.
You all don’t see that?
¿Ustedes no ven eso?
The most common way to put Ver in the past is with the preterite forms. Let’s start with the words for “I saw”, which is vi, and “he/she/usted saw”, which is vio. These are just like the corresponding forms of Dar, di and dio. **************For example:
She saw something that I didn’t see.
Ella vio algo que yo no vi.
And the rest of the preterite forms rhyme with the preterite forms of Dar, Ir, Hacer, and many of our other verbs. So “you saw” is viste, “they saw” is vieron, and “we saw” is vimos.
Let’s practice all of these preterite forms.
He didn’t see anything.
No vio nada.
I didn’t see the same thing that they saw.
No vi lo mismo que ellos vieron.
I almost saw it before you, but you saw it first.
Casi lo vi antes que tú, pero tú lo viste antes.
He saw that it wasn’t love.
Vio que no era amor.
(formal) Put on the clothes that we saw!
¡Póngase la ropa que vimos!
You don’t have to suppose that just because you saw it.
No tienes que suponer eso solo porque lo viste.
We have only a few more forms of Ver to learn, but before we go on to them, let’s do another quiz to practice all the forms we’ve worked on so far. There’s no point in forging ahead if you are still struggling with the forms we’ve previously covered, so go ahead and try this quiz, and if you have trouble with any of these forms of Ver, I recommend rewinding and refreshing yourself on the forms we learned earlier in the episode. Here’s this quiz:
They see the same thing that you saw.
Ven lo mismo que viste.
He sees it all.
Lo ve todo.
I see only what I want to see.
Solo veo lo que quiero ver.
Now you see what I saw.
Ahora ves lo que yo vi.
We see that he does it with affection.
Vemos que lo hace con cariño.
We haven’t seen her in class.
No la hemos visto en clase.
Darling, what are you seeing?
Cariño, ¿qué estás viendo?
You (formal) saw that I was lucky at that moment.
Usted vio que tuve suerte en ese momento.
We saw someone who was comfortable at the place.
Vimos a alguien que estaba a gusto en el lugar.
They didn’t see anything, not even that part.
No vieron nada, ni siquiera esa parte.
All right, if you did pretty well with that, let’s forge ahead. The subjunctive forms of Ver are all based on vea, which can mean “I see” or “he/she/usted sees”. For example:
I want her to see it tomorrow.
Quiero que ella lo vea mañana.
And then we also have veas, vean, and veamos. Here are a couple of examples:
How lucky that we see you!
¡Qué suerte que te veamos!
I want you to see them when they see you.
Quiero que los veas cuando ellos te vean.
Let’s practice these subjunctive forms.
I want them to see it.
Quiero que lo vean.
Maybe you (formal) will see it.
Quizás usted lo vea.
They are here so that we see them.
Están aquí para que los veamos.
He does it so much that he wants me to see him.
Lo hace tanto que quiere que yo lo vea.
I’m not sure(f) that you see it.
No estoy segura de que lo veas.
They want him to see it tomorrow.
Quieren que él lo vea mañana.
Our last two forms to learn are a couple of very common contractions: verte, which means “to see you”, and verlo, which means “to see it” or “to see him”. For example:
I wanted to see it before seeing you.
Quería verlo antes de verte.
And that’s all the forms of Ver that we have to learn! We aren’t going to bother with the future or with imperatives, because they’re not super common. To put Ver in the future, it’s not as common to use the future tense conjugations; instead, you’ll most likely use Ir to put it in the future. For example:
She’s going to see me.
Ella me va a ver.
And imperatives are not common, because you don’t usually tell someone to “see” something; instead, you’re more likely to tell them to “look at” something. The verb for “looking at” something is a different verb in Spanish; it means roughly the same thing as “seeing”, but it’s a bit more active, and we’ll learn soon.
However, there is one way that you’ll use Ver in a sort of imperative, but it’s a bit more idiomatic and not a real imperative. If you’re in a conversation where you are helping someone try to figure something out, in English you’re very likely to use the phrase “let’s see”. In Spanish, you’ll simply say a ver. This is basically short for vamos a ver, literally “we’re going to see”. But when you use a ver by itself, what is understood is “let’s see”.
Here’s an example:
Let’s see. I’m not sure(f).
A ver. No estoy segura.
Let’s practice a ver, as well as our contractions verlo and verte.
I want to see it today.
Quiero verlo hoy.
Let’s see if we can have peace.
A ver si podemos tener paz.
I put it where we can see it.
Lo puse donde podemos verlo.
Let’s see if they can see it.
A ver si pueden verlo.
I know you aren’t going to be there, but still I want to see you.
Sé que no vas a estar ahí, pero igual quiero verte.
All right, I know that we went through a lot of conjugations of this verb very quickly today. If you need to get more thorough practice with any of its forms, you’re welcome to dive in at LCSPodcast.com/96. But once you have all the forms down pretty well, one of the best ways to solidify a new verb is just to get lots of practice with it. So to wrap up this episode, let’s do a pretty extensive quiz to practice all of our forms of Ver.
I want to see you! I haven’t seen you since years ago.
¡Quiero verte! No te he visto desde hace años.
They see it, but I want them to put it there.
Lo ven, pero quiero que lo pongan ahí.
I’m fond of you and that’s why I want to see you.
Te tengo cariño y por eso quiero verte.
They are seeing now what I had seen.
Están viendo ahora lo que yo había visto.
They saw it and now they want him to see it.
Lo vieron y ahora quieren que él lo vea.
Let’s see what is exactly what you saw.
A ver qué es exactamente lo que viste.
I guess she at least has to see him.
Supongo que siquiera tiene que verlo.
I’m going to see my family because they want me to see them.
Voy a ver a mi familia porque ellos quieren que los vea.
How lucky! I see it now!
¡Qué suerte! ¡Lo veo ahora!
We didn’t see those people either.
Tampoco vimos a esa gente.
We’re seeing what we want you(formal) to see.
Estamos viendo lo que queremos que usted vea.
Let’s see if they put the things in the place.
A ver si pusieron las cosas en el lugar.
I’m not going to see it because they see it.
No lo voy a ver porque ellos lo ven.
You want us to see when you put those things there.
Quieres que veamos cuando pongas esas cosas ahí.
We see it now, but she saw it before.
Ahora lo vemos, pero ella lo vio antes.
My team is going to be there and I’m going to see it.
Mi equipo va a estar ahí y yo lo voy a ver.
Let’s see if he really is afraid.
A ver si realmente tiene miedo.
He sees it, but he doesn’t want you to see it.
Lo ve, pero no quiere que tú lo veas.
I supposed that you had seen it.
Supuse que lo habías visto.
Now I see what you see.
Ahora veo lo que ves.
I didn’t see it, but I wanted to see it.
No lo vi, pero quería verlo.
Did you see that? Supposedly we were going to be there.
¿Viste eso? Se suponía que íbamos a estar ahí.
Do you see it now? He said he saw it.
¿Ahora lo ves? Él dijo que lo vio.
I saw my friends at their house.
Vi a mis amigos en su casa.
They see it that way, but we don’t see it that way.
Ellos lo ven así, pero nosotros no lo vemos así.
He sees that it’s too much for him.
Ve que es demasiado para él.
I want us to see what he sees tomorrow.
Quiero que veamos lo que él ve mañana.
Maybe they’ll see the family today.
Quizás vean a la familia hoy.
For more practice with all of this, go to LCSPodcast.com/96.
In tomorrow’s episode, we’ll learn the verb Venir, which means “to come”, and then we’ll spend the rest of the week working on adjectives and nouns for tangible things, such as “water”, “food”, and “car”.
This show is brought to you by LearnCraftSpanish.com. The Spanish voice in this episode was our coach Ximena Lama-Rondón. Our music was performed by the Seattle Marimba Quartet, and I’m Timothy, encouraging you to do the hard work of learning Spanish. Acquiring a second language is one of the most fulfilling things you can do, so start your fluency journey today at LCSPodcast.com.