Eg: "mi piace guardare la gente".
I used vedere in this sentence but it was marked wrong. I'd like to know the difference between the two.
There are some explanations online but it is in Italian and my Italian is not that good.

  • 1
    As a first approximation, you use guardare when in English you'd use “to look at” or “to watch”, and vedere when in English you'd use “to see”.
    – DaG
    Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 7:13
  • Related question (in Italian): italian.stackexchange.com/q/5367/707.
    – Charo
    Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 8:43

2 Answers 2


Aside from idiomatic structures (such as the suggested "Vedere gente"), it's a bit like in English:

  • Guardare = Look (at)
  • Vedere = See

"You saw something happens because you were looking in its direction" = "Hai visto succedere qualcosa perche' stavi guardando in quella direzione"

"I have seen a nice exhibition at the museum, but I think the guard was looking at me suspiciously" = "Ho visto una bella mostra al museo, ma credo che la guardia mi guardasse con sospetto"


Italian has the idiom vedere gente which can be translated into meet with people. The sentence mi piace vedere la gente is, at least, incomplete, if not wrong; on the other hand,

mi piace vedere la gente che fa festa

is good.

Both guardare and vedere have a meaning connected to sight. The sentence mi piace guardare la gente means you like to look at people, independently on what they do. Using vedere requires you realize what those people are doing and decide you like it. This is because vedere implies more involving an action than simply guardare.

See Ci andiamo a vedere un film? for other details.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.