Why are words that are listed in the meaning drop down not accepted? I put "We watch birds." Is there a different way of saying it to differentiate from watch and see?
Yes, it is different.
You should use the verb "to see" ("ver": eu vejo, tu vês, ele vê, nós vemos, vós vedes, eles vêem) when you are looking at something like a scene, and you should use the verb "to watch" ("assistir": eu assisto, tu assistes, ele assiste, nós assistimos, vós assistis, eles assistem) when you are watching a TV or a show or a game, etc.
Just to make it more complete: you should use the verb "olhar": eu olho, tu olhas, ele olha, nós olhamos, vós olhais, eles olham, when you are looking at something but not really paying much attention to that.
I would apreciate it very much if you please give me some explanation about "vós" and "você". Thank you.
The English pronoun "you" corresponds to 3 or more different pronouns in other languages. These are single person "you", multiple person "you" and also formal "you" (for singular, plural and so on). For example ver (to see):
- (eu) vejo = I see
- (tu) vês = you see (informal singular "you")
- (você) vê = you see (singular "you", formal in Portugal, informal in Brazil)
- (o senhor/a senhora) vê = you see (formal singular "you", very formal in Portugal)
- (ele/ela) vê = he/she sees
- (nós) vemos = we see
- (vós) vedes = you see (plural "you", rarely used)
- (vocês) veem = you see (informal plural "you")
- (os senhores/as senhoras) veem = you see (formal plural "you")
- (eles/elas) veem
A little note - "vós" is not informal per se, and it's not used all that much in Portugal or in Brazil; our informal plural you is "vocês", just like in Brazil.
Thank you for that. Please check if it's OK now. So actually if someone uses vós, it would/could be more formal than vocês?
And which form would you use if you address a group of people including some deserving formality and some with equal/lower status?
That doesn't explain when ‘vemos’ means ‘we watch’ and why this sentence cannot mean ‘we watch birds’ though. Can you elaborate?
To watch is to pay close attention to something and keep track of its evolution/unfolding. To watch is a time consuming activity.
To see is just to notice with the eyes.
To look at is to point your eyes towards something.
You can watch birds - Assistir aos pássaros (take your time and follow the birds' movements through the sky) - Late edit: observar is better for this bird case. But assistir is better for many cases like "assistir aulas, assistir espetáculos, assistir filmes" and others.
You can see the birds - Ver os pássaros (just notice with your eyes that the birds are there)
You can also look at the birds - Olhar (para) os pássaros (direct your eyes towards the birds)
Hmm... I have my doubts on whether we really say "Nós assistimos aos pássaros". Maybe "watch" should be accepted.
I think it is hard to translate. First rule is: for movies or theater or class you should use "assistir". Second rule: "ver" and "olhar" are almost the same, but you should use "ver" when you are looking AND paying attention in something; and use "olhar" when your eyes are positioned towards something.
I'm pretty sure it is just as simple as this. Seeing a bird is different than taking the time to watch a bird. This sentence is just referring to seeing a bird, it is different than watching. Portuguese speakers in this post have already said that they would not use the term "watching" to describe the activity of Birdwatching :p
I see a bird = eu vejo um pássaro
I watch a bird = eu observo um pássaro
"Ao abrir a janela eu vi um pássaro na árvore"
"Achei aquele pássaro tão bonito que fiquei observando-o (or, informally, observando ele) por vários minutos"
It's hard to understand the context of this. I was thinking "We watch birds." as in bird watching...? (looking at/paying attention to birds as a hobby)
In Portuguese we do not say "We watch birds." We use watch ("assistir") only for movies, theater, and class.
So how in Portuguese would you describe your hobby if you enjoy looking at birds, perhaps with binoculars?
If you would say "Nós vemos pássaros", then "We watch birds" should be considered a correct translation.
These are two very similar verbs, with differnt meaning.
ver (to see):
- eu vejo
- tu vês
- você/ele/ela vê
- nós vemos
- vós vedes
- vocês/eles/elas veem
vir (to come):
- eu venho
- tu véns
- você/ele/ela vem
- nós vimos
- vós vindes
- vocês/eles/elas vêm