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The verb ver can be used in a few different constructions to convey how something looks or seems:

  1. Te ves bonita.
  2. Se te ve mal.
  3. Te veo bien.

For the reflexive constructions, the WordReference entry for verse doesn't seem to even include these senses (although their forums have many threads on the topic).

What exactly do the three forms above mean, and how are they used in general? And what is the function of the object pronouns for each (i.e. are they reflexive, indirect, etc.)?

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2 Answers

  1. You seem cute. (Depends on context. It could also be used to imply someone thinks they're cute.)

    The object pronoun is reflexive and is used to establish the passive voice. verse and parecer can be used interchangeably most of the time in this context (to seem).

  2. You look bad.

    Here, se is used to establish the passive voice, and the te in te ve is a direct object pronoun. Its antecedent is the implied it (since it's the passive voice).

  3. I don't see anything wrong with you.

    Te is a direct object here.

There is something else to clarify. Only 1 and 2 are actually examples of verse. The third is simply ver + direct object pronoun.

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  1. You find yourself pretty.

    This is for ego talking. If I say "Me veo bien", that means I'm happy with my body, with my level of English...

  2. You look bad.

    This is an opinion on how are you, but is used for a general statement, something that everyone can notice.

  3. I can see you're ok!

    This is the same as 2, but with the subject giving an opinion. An example: "Tu madre dice que estás gorda, pero yo te veo bien."

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