Korean: 〜아/어 보세요 vs 〜아/어 보여요 vs 〜이/가 보여요


보다 is used quite frequently and has other common uses besides meaning 'to see'. This article will introduce some of the common uses and explain how to distinguish between ~아/어 보세요, ~아/어 보여요, and ~이/가 보여요, and the differences between them.

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

보다 is used quite frequently and has other common uses besides meaning "to see". This article will introduce some of the common uses and explain how to distinguish between ~아/어 보세요, ~아/어 보여요, and ~이/가 보여요, and the differences between them.

~아/어 보세요 vs ~아/어 보여요 vs 〜이/가 보여요

All three look similar at first glance, with the word 보다, but there are significant differences in meaning and usage. Among them,
One has "try..., try to do...". The other has the meaning of "to try".
The other has the meaning of "looks..., look like...".
One has the meaning of "to be seen, to see...".

Save time and write the conclusion first. For more detailed explanations, see the content of each chapter.

verb's stem+아/어 보세요
"try..., try to do..."

adj's stem+아/어 보여요
"looks ..., look like..."

noun+이/가 보여요
"to be seen, to see..."

verb's stem + 아/어 보세요: try..., try to do...

보다 means "to see". In the previous article Korean: Please, Persuade 〜(으)십시오/세요, 주세요, it was discussed that "verb stem + 세요" has the meaning of persuade, so we can guess that 보세요 means "please look".
And the verb before 보세요 means try to do this action.

EX:

이 케이크를 한번 먹어 보세요.

Please try this cake
먹어 보세요 = try to eat

대화를 들어 보세요.

Listen to the conversation.
들어 보세요 = try to listen

이 열쇠를 사용해 보세요.

Try using this key.
사용해 보세요 = try to use

adj's stem+아/어 보여요: looks..., look like...

보여요 is the 요-type usage of 보이다. 보이다 means "to be seen, to be seen, to show".
When used with adjectives, it means "looks..., look like...".

EX:

한국어 선생님은 젊어 보여요.

The Korean teacher looks young.
젊어 보입니다 = look young

길가의 강아지가 불쌍해 보여요.

The puppy on the street looks pitiful.
불쌍해 보여요 = look pitiful

noun +이/가 보여요: to be seen, to see...

The same as in the previous section. 보여요 is the 요 type usage of 보이다. 보이다 means "to be seen, to show".
When preceded by a noun as the subject, it means "... to be seen, to be able to see...".

EX:

이쪽 뷰를 보시면 인천대교가 보여요.

If you look at this view, you can see Incheon Bridge.
인천대교가 보여요 = can see Incheon Bridge

이 창문에서 비행기가 보여요.

I can see the plane from this window.
비행기가 보여요 = can see the plane

How about noun+을/를 보여요?

If the noun is an objective, "을/를 보여요" means "to show...".

EX:

여행의 사진을 보여요?

Can you see a picture of the trip?
사진을 보여요 = show picture

여권을 보여주세요.

Please show your passport.
여권을 보여요 = show the passport

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