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Grammar detail: 見える vs 見られる

見える vs 見られる - is visible vs can be seen
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える is an ichidan verb meaning 'is visible'. However, it is very similar to, and often confused with, the potential form of
る (to see),
られる, which means 'can be seen'.
見える means that something is visible (anyone could see it if they looked).
すばらしいけしき
えました

The scenery was magnificent.
見られる means 'able to be seen' (you could see it if some suitable condition was met).
ブルーレイプレイヤー持っていないからこの
えいが
映画
見られません
I don't have a blu-ray player, so I can't watch this movie.
Note that the form 見れる is incorrect, although it is often used as a colloquial abbreviation of 見られる. This form is known as a ら
ことば
言葉
, literally 'missing ra word' - because the ら is skipped.
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Words used in this grammar

1
ichidan verb, transitive verb
1. to see; to look; to watch; to view; to observe
2. to look over; to look on; to assess; to examine; to judge  (see also: 診る)
(click the word to view an additional 4 meanings and 3 forms, useful expressions, examples and links)
2
ichidan verb, intransitive verb
1. to be seen; to be in sight
2. to look; to seem; to appear
(click the word to view an additional 1 meaning, useful expressions, examples and links)

Kanji used in this grammar

ケン   み to see   みえる to be seen; to appear   みせる to show   
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バツ   ぬ to extract, pull out   ぬける to come / fall out; be omitted   ぬかす to omit   ぬかる to make a blunder   
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ゲン   ゴン   say; word   こと word, saying   い to say   
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ヨウ   leaf   は leaves   
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ジ   も to hold, to have   
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エイ   はえる to shine   うつ to be reflected   うつ to reflect, project   
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ガ   カク   draw
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