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what is the difference between OLhar , ver , enxergar ?

November 13, 2016



"olhar" means "to look". Ex. Eu olho pra ele (I look at him)

"ver" can both mean "to see" or "to watch". Ex. Eu vejo TV (I watch TV) / Eu vejo ele (I see him)

"enxergar" also means "to see", but more in the sense of "being able to see something". Ex. Eu não enxergo ele (I can't see him)


Very good answer, although it is common in the South (I live in Brazil's Southeast, most especifically São Paulo but my family is from Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul), to use olhar when referring to watch a movie/tv (Eu não olho TV / I don't watch TV). It is just common speech from that especific region :)

Now gramatically, assistir would be the best verb to use when referring to the english verb watch. Keep in mind assistir has 3 different usages:

Eu assisto __ meus irmãos - I help my brothers.

Eu assisto ao filme - I watch the movie.

Eu assisto em São Paulo - I live in São Paulo.

If assistir = watch, it requires the preposition a, keep in mind that if the object is a feminine noun, you'll use à and if it's a masculine noun, you'll use ao, just like in my example.

Also, that last usage, when assistir means live, is VERY RARE, I recently learned it through my grammar teacher and I've never seen someone use that in common speech nor books (We just use "moro/vivo em")


Well, I'm from São Paulo myself, and I never heard anything like 'Eu olho TV', that sounds totally weird to me. But given the fact that São Paulo is a country-sized state, maybe they do say that in some regions.

I also thought about mentioning 'assistir' as a better translation for 'to watch', but I ended up just leaving it out since it wasn't really asked. It is very rare to see 'assistir' with any other meaning besides 'to watch', though in rare occasions it can also mean 'to assist', just like it is in english. But about it meaning 'to live', I just think thats ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ from your grammar teacher. These people love 'inventing' terms and expressions that just don't exist in the real world.


"Eu olho TV" é muito comum no Rio Grande do Sul, minha família é de lá e de Santa Catarina... e "Eu assisto em São Paulo", apesar de raríssimo quanto ao uso, é gramaticalmente correto, veja o item 10 do termo no Michaelis: http://bit.ly/2feBRly


Well, "olhar" can take more attention than "ver".

"ver" is using our natural sense of sight

"olhar" is using that sense, and taking a special attention in something,

"enxergar" is perceiving that we're seeing


thanks really , it is so much better now


Olhar = to direct your eyes towards someone or something so that you can see them

  • Olhe para mim quando eu estiver falando com você. = Look at me when I'm talking to you.

Ver = to notice someone or something using your eyes (perceive by sight)

  • Eu a vi sair alguns minutos atrás (I saw her leave a few minutes ago.)

Enxergar = to be able to use your eyes to notice and recognize things (have the power to perceive by sight)

  • Ele já consegue enxergar? = Can he see yet?

  • Está muito escuro aqui dentro, não dá para enxergar nada. = It's too dark in here, I can't see anything.

In Portuguese, the verb "ver" is sometimes used to mean "enxergar", so in the two examples above the replacement will not change the meaning of the sentences.


Great! Based on what you wrote I believe to see double would be best translated as enxergar em dobro?


Yes, that's right! But "ver em dobro" is also a possible translation and means exactly the same thing.

For example: After drinking too much, he started to see everything double. = Depois de beber demais, ele começou a enxergar/ver tudo em dobro.

People sometimes use "ver" to mean "enxergar", but not the other way around. (Especially in casual speech)


I see (pun intended). Enxegar is more precise and would probably be used in a medical report or some such. Thanks again!

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