The difference between 「見る」(miru) and「観る」(miru) -「見る」と「観る」の違い

There are many Japanese Kanji with the same Japanese reading but with a different connotation. These letters are often one of the difficulties Japanese learners face. Even the native Japanese people sometimes misuse it. One of the kanji that they find difficult is the different kanji that has the same reading “miru”. Such as 見る, 観る, 診る and etc. They find it difficult because there are a lot of them, while their pronunciation is kept the same and have a very similar meaning. However, this post focuses on 見る and 観る. Both words have reading “Miru” and mean capturing things visually.


Definition of 見る and 観る and difference between them


In English, 見る would be “to see” or “to look”. 見る means not only capturing things visually but also have several meanings such as “To Judge” and “To experience”. However, this word is mainly used in a situation where information is gained through their vision regardless of one’s intention. Thus, this word can be used in a situation where one saw something they did not want to see or where one was forced to see something.


On the other hand, in English, 観る would be translated as “to watch” and it is used when one is intentionally following something with their eyes. Unlike 見る, 観る should be used when one wants to see rather than when something just happened to be in sight.


To summarise, the difference between those two words is one’s intention. If one was not intentionally seeing something, word 見る should be used. Whereas, if one was intentionally seeing something, 観る would be more appropriate. Use 見る and 観る according to the situation when something is in your sight.


How to use 「見る」and「観る」


Example sentences of 「見る」


Shibaraku yosu wo miru

しばらくようすをみる

しばらく様子を見る

(See how it goes for a while)


Toku no keshiki wo miru

とおくのけしきをみる

遠くの景色を見る

(Look at the scenery in distant)

Benkyo no tame kakomon wo miru

べんきょうのためかこもんをみる 勉強のため過去問を見る

(Look up the past papers to study)


Jitai wo omoku miru

じたいをおもくみる 事態を重く見る (Take things seriously)


Example sentences of「観る」


Eiga wo miru

えいがをみる

映画を観る (Watch movie)


Hana no yousu wo miru

はなのようすをみる

花の様子を観る

(Observe the condition of the flower)