看(kàn) you see in Chinese? 5 ways to use the verb ‘to see’ 👀

by | Apr 16, 2021 | Chinese Vocabulary

To see or not to see in Chinese

Do you know how to say to see in Chinese? Many Chinese characters have more than one meaning. As a result, did you know that 看 (kàn) actually has at least 5 meanings! It’s not just for talking about things you’ve seen.

Watch Li Laoshi break them all down in this handy short video 👇

Our handy ‘see in Chinese’ breakdown:

1. to watch; to read: 看:

This might be the first meaning of 看 (kàn) that you’ve learned.
It points at actions we do with our eyes – watch, read, etc.

For example:

🔸 看电影
🔸 kàn diànyǐng
🔸 to watch a movie

🔸 看书
🔸 kàn shū
🔸 to read a book

2. to see, meet (a friend) 看:

When you visit a friend, a relative – say, your grandma – at her house, you can also use 看 (kàn) to say “to see”.

For example:

🔸 去朋友家看朋友
🔸 qù péngyou jiā kàn péngyou
🔸 to visit a friend at his/her house
🔸 [to go-friend-home-to see-friend]

3. to see (a doctor) 看:

When you go to the hospital to see a doctor, you can also use 看(kàn):

🔸 看病
🔸 kàn bìng
🔸 to see a doctor
🔸 [to see-illness]

or

🔸 看医生
🔸 kàn yīshēng
🔸 to see a doctor
🔸 [to see-doctor]

💥 看: to watch out
If you’re walking down the street with a friend, and he/she suddenly shouts, 看车! (Kàn chē!) “Look-Car!”, it means:

🔸 “Be careful, watch out (a car is coming)!”

4. to think; to consider: 看:

看 (kàn) also means “to think” or “to consider”.

For example:

🔸 我看这个计划不错
🔸 Wǒ kàn zhè gè jìhuà bùcuò
🔸 I think this plan is great

🔸 你怎么看?
🔸 Nǐ zěnme kàn?
🔸 What do you think?

To see in Chinese review:

Can you think of any more examples?

Share your thoughts or example sentences in our comment section! 👇

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