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私があなたを見る。

vs.

あなたが見えてます。

Which sentence is closer to "I see you"? In the first, I tried using が to mark 私 as the doer of the verb. Then I used を to mark the direct object of the verb. The second is what Google Translate gave which is totally different than how I would have gone about it.

Also, what would the normal way to say "I see you" be?

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    Do you know that みえる is a potential for for みる?
    – A.Ellett
    Nov 4, 2021 at 16:47
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    Just so we are clear, you are not talking about the slang meaning of "I see you": "good job!" "You are awesome!", are you?
    – Eddie Kal
    Nov 4, 2021 at 16:53
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    @EddieKal Weird. Never heard of that slang as a UK person. Putting aside that interpretation 'I see you' is a weird thing to say on its own anyway. It brings to mind hide and seek or peekaboo. Needs more context. Nov 4, 2021 at 17:02
  • @user3856370 Perhaps on a Zoom meeting it wouldn't be quite so weird, but in a Zoom meeting, I think I'd just say みえる. But I too here on the other side of the pond am not familiar with this slang.
    – A.Ellett
    Nov 4, 2021 at 17:13
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    @user3856370 I can say that in the US, "I see you" is indeed slang to show that you are impressed with someone. I agree that there is ambiguity here, and I think the slang meaning would be totally lost on anyone reading this in Japanese.
    – vsundae
    Nov 4, 2021 at 23:52

1 Answer 1

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Both sentences are similar, but carry slightly different meanings.

I think the most pressing thing to take note of is the difference between 見る and 見える. For a deeper understanding, I suggest checking out this thread and this thread. But, for now, I will focus on the most likely application of the word:

見る: to look. (the action of looking)

見える: to be visible. (the action of having the ability to be looked at)

私があなたを見る

If we break this down literally, it would be something like "I am look(ing) at you."

あなたが見えてます。

And if we broke this one down literally, it would be "You are visible"/"You are seen."

Thusly, if you wanted not to say "I am look(ing) at you" but instead, "I can see you" (lit: You are visible to me) it would be:

私にはあなたが見えてます。

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