Voir vs. Regarder

New round of versus! This round we will be comparing two verbs that essentially both mean to see or to look, but with some obvious differences.

So what exactly is the difference between the two? It’s simple actually, voir is passive (to see), while regarder (to look at) is active.


Voir – to see, view, witness, understand

Voir quelque chose/quelqu’un + infinitive – to see, understand something/someone, to see something/someone +infinitive

  • Tu vois ce mec là-bas ? C’est notre nouveau collègue.
  • Do you see that guy over there? He’s our new colleague.
  • Nous espérons la voir quand elle viendra en France.
  • We hope to see her when she comes to France.
  • Vous devriez aller voir un médecin.
  • You should go see a doctor.
  • Christelle et moi, nous ne voyons pas les choses de la même façon.
  • Christelle and I do not see eye to eye.

Voir à ce que + subj./à + infinitive – to make sure, to see to it that

  • Il faudrait voir à respecter la limite de vitesse.
  • You should obey the speed limit.
  • Voyez à ne pas arriver en retard.
  • See to it that you are not late.

Regarder – to look at, to watch, to gaze, to observe

Regarder quelque chose/quelqu’un – to look at something/someone, look up something

  • Regardez où vous mettez les pieds.
  • Watch where you are walking.
  • Est-ce que tu as regardé le film hier soir ?
  • Did you see the movie last night?
  • Regarde son numéro dans le mobile.
  • Look up his number in your phone.
  • Cela ne nous regarde pas.
  • It is none of our business.

Regarder + infinitive – to watch + infinitive

  • Il a passé une heure à regarder tomber la neige.
  • He spent an hour watching snow fall.

Regarder à quelque chose/à + infinitive – to hesitate to + infinitive

  • Mes parents ne regardent pas à la dépense.
  • My parents spend freely.
  • Ils ne regardent pas à dépenser mille euros en une soirée.
  • They do not hesitate to spend a thousand Euros in an evening.

Regarder quelque chose/quelqu’um comme – to consider something/someone as

  • Ses collègues le regardaient comme un génie.
  • His colleagues considered him a genius.
  • On regarde généralement sa politique comme un échec.
  • His politics are generally considered to have failed.

Two similar verbs that can have very different meanings when the context has changed. I hope this clears up any confusion between these two verbs!

Have a wonderful week, everyone!

Merci à vous !

Courtney

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