I've noticed that "se ven afectados" and "están afectados" are translated as "are affected." Some examples:

se ven afectados

Muchos ejemplares se ven afectados por las crecientes amenazas provocadas por la acción humana.

Many specimens are affected by the growing threats caused by human action.

Al considerar que quienes se ven afectados por esos escándalos de corrupción son los mexicanos, ...

Considering that those who are affected by these corruption scandals are the Mexicans, ...

¿Cómo se ven afectados por la pandemia las personas en países devastados por el conflicto como Yemen, Sudán del Sur y Siria?

How are people in conflict-torn countries like Yemen, South Sudan and Syria affected by the pandemic?

están afectados

Entre el 10% y el 15% de los escolares de primaria y secundaria españoles están afectados de dislexia.

Between 10% and 15% of Spanish primary and secondary school students are affected by dyslexia.

Se considera que la población dentro de un inmueble está en peligro cuando el 20% de los habitantes están afectados.

The population within a building is considered to be in danger when 20% of the inhabitants are affected.

«Si los cangrejos ya están afectados, ...

"If the crabs are already affected, ...

Is there any reason to choose one over the other?

  • I think there's not a rule on when to choose one or another, and I think it is more related on the way the writer or speaker really understand or get sense to its own words. But that's my opinion and maybe I could be wrong. Nov 2 '20 at 13:10
  • There is no rule per se. It's a feeling about how the utterance would sound. By the way, this applies to many se + verb versus estar + verb.
    – Lambie
    Nov 2 '20 at 13:48

The definition of ver on DLE:

  1. prnl. Hallarse en algún lugar, estado o situación. Verse allí. Verse pobre, abatido, agasajado.

does not help much to distinguish it "verse" from "estar" or "ser". The difference is quite small.

The way I see it, however, is that "verse" with this meaning is somewhat equivalent to the English "find oneself", i.e., it conveys a meaning of something partially unexpected and unavoidable, or at least new. This nuance is clear in your examples of "verse afectado", which are about "growing threats", "corruption scandals", and "the pandemic": all unexpected and unavoidable events.

On the other hand, "estar" is much more general and is valid in all cases. In particular, when talking about a state that has already lasted for a long time, it would be very strange to use "verse afectado", because the state is no longer new or unexpected:

Entre el 10% y el 15% de los escolares de primaria y secundaria españoles se ven están afectados de dislexia.

in the same way as you would not say

  • Between 10% and 15% of Spanish primary and secondary school students find themselves affected by dyslexia.

Similarly, in the case of the crabs, the state is already present (because of the word "ya"), so you can say

  • Si los cangrejos ya están afectados...


  • Si los cangrejos ya se han visto afectados...

in past tense (actually present perfect), but you would not say

  • Si los cangrejos ya se ven afectados...
  • What a great answer and with such great examples, too. Your comments actually help me understand the difference more than I was expecting! As a cheeky sort of practical application, can I then say in Spanish, ¡Me veo afectado por tu comentario!?
    – Lisa Beck
    Nov 4 '20 at 8:54
  • 1
    @LisaBeck you could say that if you are a male. If you are a female, you would say "me veo afectada por tu comentario". Another option is "Tu comentario me ha afectado". Though when saying (in Spanish) that a comment has affected you, it is usually interpreted as meaning that the comment had a somewhat strong emotional effect on you. If you do not want the "emotional" connotation, you can of course say "Tu comentario me ha ayudado".
    – wimi
    Nov 4 '20 at 9:03
  • One of the best, most useful comments I've ever read. Thank you for adding it!
    – Lisa Beck
    Nov 10 '20 at 3:35

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