What is the difference between 'mirar' and 'ver'? I know they both mean 'to see' or 'to watch'.
I checked online but can't find anything that helps.
Just imagine that you were looking one of those "spot the 7 differences" pictures. You could say
Miré las dos imágenes por mucho tiempo, pero no vi las diferencias I looked at both images for a long time, but I did not see the differences
Mirar is "to look" and
ver is "to see". Like the difference between "oir" and "escuchar" (or "hearing" and "listening") we could say that the difference is in how much do we really perceive. You could be staring at something, without really seeing or processing some of the details.
Puedes ver la diferencia (can you see the difference)
means "do you understand it? Do you understand what is the difference". While
Puedes mirar hacia aquí? (can you look here)
is just "point you eyes into this direction".
Ver means you are perceiving more than
Mirar. Also, you can command someone to look in a certain direction, but you can't command them to see. You can only inquire if they see (perceive) something.
Everyone's right, but also, in case it's of interest to anyone:
In Tijuana, and perhaps other parts of the NW border of Mexico and perhaps elsewhere, you often hear "Ayer te miré" or "Mañana te miro", both of which mean see, of course, and not look. This is a regionalism and I don't know if it exists elsewhere. It is NOT ported from any English-language expression like a lot of border Spanish is.
The broad differences are outlined above. One concrete example of the difference is that "mirar" is commonly used with "televisión" and "ver" goes with "película" (movie), in Colombia at least.
Couldn´t tell you why, maybe a statement about the level of intellectual engagement films demand of the viewer... whoever coined that never watched any Adam Sandler movies, or challenging TV like "Breaking Bad".
Ver = Apreciar algo a detalle.
Mirar = La simple acción de usar tus ojos.
Todos los días miras cosas, pero pocas veces ves cosas.
De cualquier forma, no te molestes en cual usar, las personas no le dan importancia a cosas así, como sea que lo uses es correcto,ya sea que uses "ver" o "mirar", la única diferencia entre ambos es la percepción y la atención que le prestas a algo.
I would say that in Spanish words nobody says "mirar la televisión". Well, maybe sometimes you can hear it, but it gives the idea that you're watching it but without paying attention:
—¿Qué estás haciendo?
—Nada, mirando la televisión ...
It gives the idea that you're watching it without really paying attention, that it is boring... But in normal use we always say "ver la televisión".