I've been told that xem can be used in place of thấy - to see and also nhìn - to look at. Is this true?
That is kinda true. Xem is very commonly used in North Vietnamese instead of thay or nhin but in general (in the case of seeing) thay is referring to suddenly seeing something and indicates a very short timed action while nhin and xem would last longer.
So..... I can't use xem for "You watch (look after) my shoes while I go swimming"?
So, in this sentence, "xem" means "see", but in a previous sentence, I translated "thấy" to "watch" and it was marked wrong (the word they wanted was "see"). So, I'm kind of confused about the "see/watch" words.
Contextually this sentence has none . it seems to only make english sense as "you look for my pair of shoes"
I wrote "You watch my shoes" and it said I was correct. I feel like "watch" and "see" aren't interchangeable in English, am I wrong to feel that this shouldn't be a right answer?
xem = look or watch: Toi xem mot cuon phim = I watch a movie. nhin = look at: Toi nhin co ay = I look at her. thay = see: Toi thay mot con chim + I see a bird. nhin thay = see coi = xem; sometimes = read: Toi coi cuon thuc don = I read the menu. Coi is widely used in Southern Vietnam whereas xem is mostly used in Norther Vietnam. coi chung = watch out! or look out! Coi chung, chiec xe lua dang chay toi! Look out, the train is coming!