Quick answer
"Watch" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "ver", and "look at" is a transitive verb phrase which is often translated as "mirar". Learn more about the difference between "watch" and "look at" below.
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to see)
a. ver
Let's watch a movie tonight.Veamos una película esta noche.
b. mirar
My wife watched me while I played the piano.Mi esposa me miraba mientras tocaba el piano.
c. observar
If you watch this scene carefully, you'll see him disappear.Si observas esta escena con atención, lo verás desaparecerse.
2. (to keep under observation)
a. vigilar
A teacher watches the students while they are taking the test.Un profesor vigila a los alumnos mientras hacen el examen.
3. (to be mindful of)
a. vigilar
You'll need to watch your weight if you go on working at that cake shop.Tendrás que vigilar tu peso si sigues trabajando en esa pastelería.
b. tener cuidado con
You need to watch that dog. It doesn't like children.Hay que tener cuidado con ese perro; no le gustan los niños.
c. tener cuidado de
Watch you don't lose your wedding ring; it looks very loose.Ten cuidado de no perder la alianza; parece que te va grande.
d. cuidado con (used as interjection)
Watch the laptop cable!¡Cuidado con el cable del portátil!
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
4. (to observe)
a. mirar
He just watched while I ate.Solo miraba mientras yo comía.
b. observar
If you watch, you'll see that happen a lot.Si observas, verás que ocurre con mucha frecuencia.
5. (to keep guard)
a. vigilar
I told my man to keep watching and call me with any news.Le dije a mi hombre que siguiera vigilando y que me llamara con cualquier novedad.
A noun is a word referring to a person, animal, place, thing, feeling or idea (e.g. man, dog, house).
6. (wristwatch)
a. el reloj
(m) means that a noun is masculine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
My new watch is waterproof down to 50 meters.Mi reloj nuevo es sumergible hasta 50 metros.
7. (vigilance)
a. la vigilancia
(f) means that a noun is feminine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
The patient is under watch for Ebola.El paciente se encuentra bajo vigilancia por ébola.
8. (time keeping guard)
a. la guardia
(f) means that a noun is feminine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
Most of the watches in the Navy last four hours.La mayoría de las guardias en la Marina duran cuatro horas.
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look at(
A transitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and requires a direct object (e.g. Take out the trash.).
transitive verb phrase
1. (to observe)
a. mirar
Look at the moon. It's so beautiful tonight.Mira la luna. Es tan hermosa esta noche.
2. (to consider)
a. considerar
We plan to look at three options before making a decision.Planeamos considerar tres opciones antes de tomar una decisión.
b. estudiar
You'll need to look at the problem from different points of view in order to come up with the best solution.Tendrás que estudiar el problema desde diferentes puntos de vista con el fin de llegar a la mejor solución.
c. enfocar
Did you do well in the contest? - That depends on how you look at it.¿Tuviste éxito en el concurso? - Eso depende de cómo lo enfocas.
d. mirar
You should look at the problem from her point of view.Deberías mirar el problema desde su perspectiva.
3. (to check)
a. examinar
The nurse went to look at Dr. Sergio's patient.La enfermera fue a revisar el paciente del Dr. Sergio.
b. revisar
My mechanic looked at my car, but couldn't find anything wrong with it.Mi mecánico revisó el coche, pero no pudo encontrar nada malo.
4. (to contemplate)
a. calcular
How much does it cost to study here? - You're looking at close to $10,000 pesos per month on average.¿Cuánto cuesta estudiar aquí? - Calculo que será cerca de $10,000 pesos por mes en promedio.
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