What is the difference between Aが見える and Bを見る?

Is there anything tricky about this?

Can you illustrate with examples?

  • 4
    You should have been asking this form of basic questions since the beginning instead of all those twitter translation requests ... +1 for turning over new leaf ;)
    – Lukman
    Commented Jul 23, 2011 at 6:30
  • 1
    This may be a silly question, but did you perhaps mean Aが見える? Otherwise this turns into a discussion of が versus を, which, based on the level of your previous questions, I think you can distinguish. Commented Jul 23, 2011 at 13:15
  • Yes, I meant Aが見える? How did you know that? Commented Jul 23, 2011 at 18:41
  • @language hacker: Can you update your question?
    – phirru
    Commented Jul 24, 2011 at 3:16
  • 1
    @language hacker: Can you please be firm on what you want to ask? If you are unclear of the exact phrase you want explained, for example if you heard it from somewhere, you need to indicate so. Here let me show you how I'd phrase a question about phrase that I heard from anime: japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/1500/… .. also, clearly indicate how much you knew from a specific sentence you quoted, so that people do not waste time explaining things you already knew.
    – Lukman
    Commented Jul 24, 2011 at 15:49

2 Answers 2


The simplest explanation for the difference is that in Aが見る A is the subject (the one who looks) while in Bを見る B is the object (the one who is looked at).

Example with 食べた:

The bird ate [something].

[Something] ate the bird.


Updating my answer, since the question has changed in a fundamental way.

As stated in phirru's answer, 見える is an intransitive verb that means "to/can be seen". It refers to state of the noun subject as being visible. It's basically different from 見る, which is a transitive verb that means "to see/look" which refers to the act of seeing/looking. In short, 見える is a state while 見る is an act.

Like other intransitive verbs, 見える takes a が particle but not を. 見る on the other hand can take both particles depending on whether the preceding nouns are the subject or object of the "look" action, as I've shown in my original answer above.

  • Maybe you should update your answer wrt. the question.
    – Axioplase
    Commented Jul 26, 2011 at 4:40
  • @Axioplase. Answer updated. Thanks for the suggestion. (but still, I dislike questions that change too much)
    – Lukman
    Commented Jul 26, 2011 at 4:55
  • Yes, I agree with you. Such changes make answers hard to track. And I think that SE does not make following this easy either.
    – Axioplase
    Commented Jul 26, 2011 at 6:10

Aが見る A looks.

Bを見る Look at B.

In this case I believe が is marking the agent, or who is doing the action. (Looking). Where as を is marking the object of what is being looked at.

AがBを見た A looked at B.


From the comments it appears you meant what is the difference between

Aが見える and Bを見る

見える is an intransitive verb which means something along the lines of "to/can be seen". That is, the visual information enters your eye and you are able to perceive an object.

For example: ˚あの窓から富士山が見えるよ!” - "You can see Mt.Fuji from that window!"

見る is a transitive verb which means "to see/to watch". This is used in ways like:

"映画を見る" - "To watch a movie."

  • What about Aを見える? Commented Jul 24, 2011 at 22:37
  • That would be incorrect. Same as "to watch at a television" or "to look a car". Verbs come with some well defined prepositions. Learn them, that's all.
    – Axioplase
    Commented Jul 26, 2011 at 4:39

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .