Spanish expressions: “Se ve que…”, “se nota que…”

spanish expressions se nota que 1

When speaking Spanish, saying something in an impersonal way can help you sound more polite. Consequently, learning how to use impersonal expressions has become essential.

The most basic way to build an impersonal phrase is using “se”. “Se ve que” and “se nota que” are two Spanish phrases native speakers often use to express “it’s evident that”.

Although translation tools say “se ve que” and “se nota que” are “it looks like”, they aren’t as they leave no room for doubts.

Using these Spanish phrases has become a bit controversial among Spanish learners. For that reason, we will show you how to use them properly in this short explanation.

Keep reading and let your Spanish reach a whole new level.

How to use the impersonal “se”

We can use the impersonal “se” with almost any verb.

As we said, it helps us build impersonal phrases and sentences so we can give any message we need to be a bit formal and polite.

Native speakers often use the impersonal during their daily conversations. And, even more, if they are part of the chief staff of a company. After all, using an impersonal vocabulary makes you sound like you’re making suggestions or giving advice.

In an impersonal sentence, there’s no subject but the whole group or everybody depending on the context. However, we still need to conjugate the verb following “se”.

No matter what verb we use after “se”, we will always conjugate it in the third person singular or plural.

To refresh your mind, we will show you how to conjugate “hablar” using the third person in the present tense:

Verb conjugation
Hablar To talk
Él/Ella/Usted habla He/She/You (formal) talks/talk
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes hablan They/You (plural) talk

To build impersonal sentences, we can use not only the present tense but the past and future tense. So, choosing the time tense will depend on what you want to express.

The impersonal form of “hablar” would be “se habla” or “se hablan”.

Here are some other examples so you can get a better idea of how to use the impersonal “se”:

Se ve que estudias mucho. Por lo tanto, debes obtener buenas notas.

It looks like you study a lot. Therefore, you must get good grades.

En esta casa se habla español.

Spanish is spoken in this house.

Se nota que estás cansado. Deberías tomar una siesta.

It is obvious that you are tired. You should take a nap.

How to use “se nota que”

As we previously mentioned, we use “se nota que” as an equivalent to “it’s clear/evident that”. Still, some dictionaries and translation tools may suggest it’s equivalent to “it shows that”.

Sometimes, we can even use “se nota que” to express “to realize”. Using “se nota que” will suggest that you need no proof about what you’re saying because they are all in front of you. Of course, that may also be in a figurative way.

Building sentences with “se nota que” is simple. Usually, we use the formula shown below:

“Se nota que” + subject + verb (indicative) + complement.

The subject is generally implicit in the context or omitted because of the verb conjugation. If you conjugate the verb in the infinitive form, it would play the role of a noun. And, you would talk about the action itself.

Let’s see some examples:

Se nota que has estado haciendo ejercicios. Estás más fuerte.

It’s evident that you have been exercising. You are stronger

Se nota que estás practicando español. Ahora, hablas más fluido.

It’s obvious that you are practicing Spanish. Now, you speak more fluently.

Se nota que hablar está prohibido en la biblioteca. Mira, a Carlos le llamaron la atención.

It is noted that talking is prohibited in the library. Look, they scolded Carlos.

No obtuviste el resultado que esperabas pero se nota que te has esforzado mucho.

You did not get the result you expected but it’s evident that you have worked hard.

Please note that we can use conjunctions like “pero” together with “se nota que”. “Pero” will help you introduce other ideas that often are contrary to the first thing said.

The negative form of “se nota que” would be “no se nota que”. Nonetheless, using that structure isn’t common at all. Native speakers usually build negative sentences with “se nota que” using the formula below:

“Se nota que” + “no” + subject + verb (indicative) + complement.

Here are some examples:

Se nota que no estás durmiendo lo suficiente. Te ves cansado.

It’s obvious that you are not getting enough sleep. You look tired.

Sí, es simpática pero se nota que no quiere mucho a Simón.

Yes, she’s nice but you can tell she doesn’t love Simon very much.

How to use “se ve que”

We use “se ve que” in a similar way to “se nota que”. We even exchange them in similar sentences just to avoid making the sentence a tongue twister.

Let’s take, for example, the following sentence:

Se nota que ves películas frecuentemente.

It is obvious that you watch movies frequently.

Saying “se ve que ves peliculas frecuentemente” is correct. But, using the verb “ver” twice in the same sentence would make it a convolute expression. Therefore, in this particular case, we would use “se nota que” instead of “se ve que”.

Similarly, if you use the verb “notar” right after the structure “se nota/se ve que”, you should use “ve” instead of “nota”. It would help you avoid making convolute sentences.

We can build negative sentences with “se ve que”. To do it, we would use the same formula we have shown with “se nota que”. You only have to change “se nota que” for “se ve que”.

We can also make questions using both expressions. It’s like building a regular sentence but, of course, we have to add question marks. Asking something using these expressions will still make you sound polite because they would be impersonal questions.

Let’s see some examples:

¿Se ve que estudio mucho?

Do I look like I study hard?

¿Se ve que es natural?

Does it look natural?

As you may see, making questions using “se ve que” isn’t challenging. However, using the negative form to “no se ve que” to ask something is way more common.

It’s because the negative form would help you emphasize if what follows the structure “se ve que” is evident or not.

Let’s see some other examples:

¿No se ve que me he esforzado mucho?

Can’t you notice I’ve been trying too hard?

¿No se ve que te quiero demasiado?

Can’t you see that I love you too much?

Spanish important expressions

In summary, “se ve que” and “se nota que” are two impersonal Spanish expressions that will help you talk about what’s evident or can be seen with the eyes.

As they are impersonal, they will help you sound polite.

When building questions, it’s way less common to use the positive form instead of the negative form. Above all, the negative form will help you make an emphasis on what follows “se nota que” or “se ve que”.

Related Posts

AP Spanish Language Practice

Looking to improve your Spanish skills to take your AP exam? Getting the highest score is just a click away! Find the best AP Spanish

English vs Spanish Language

Are you an English speaker and looking to learn Spanish? As siblings descended from Romance languages, they naturally share similarities. Check them out in our

French and Spanish Language Comparison

Do you wanna know how the two most passionate languages are similar? Let’s talk about the differences and similarities between these romance languages! Welcome to

When did Kobe Learn Spanish

Loving father, ideal husband, amazing man, successful Lakers player, businessman, and he also speaks Spanish! Do you know who he is? How could he do

ALTA Spanish Language Test Questions

Are you taking your ALTA language exam? Don’t let it catch you off guard. Check out the ALTA Spanish Language Test Questions for your high

I Hate the Spanish Language

Do you think Spanish is a beautiful and linguistically rich language? What about the negative opinions that hinder your choice to learn it as a

Get a Certificate in French Language

If you ask yourself why should you take the certification course in French, we’ll help you decide in which cases is useful and in which

What does “Doux” mean in French?

Discover the meaning of “doux” in French and its various uses. Learn how to use this common word in everyday conversation and improve your French

Need in French: Avoir Besoin

It’s in the human need to have needs, right? Learning how to express your needs in French is by all means an important step in

German riddles

Looking for some fun ways to practice your German language skills? Check out our collection of German riddles and tongue twisters! Test your wit and

Cheers in French: 8 happy ways to say it

Celebrate in French style! This blog showcases 8 happy ways to say “cheers” in French, perfect for impressing your French-speaking friends. Santé! How to say

Different Ways to Use Fois in French

Fois is a very common French word, used in different contexts. English speakers oftentimes confuse it with the word “temps”. In this lesson, you’ll learn

Funniest French jokes

In this article, we will share some of the funniest French jokes  that will have you laughing out loud. Let’s get started! Funniest French jokes

Funniest Spanish jokes

¡Hola! You’re in for a treat if you love to laugh and speak Spanish. We’ve compiled a list of the funniest Spanish jokes that will

Jokes about French

In this article, we’ll explore the humorous side of French culture through a collection of jokes about French. Let’s get started! Jokes about French Welcome

News in French: free resources

In this article, we will explore a variety of websites, podcasts, TV channels, and other resources that you can use to stay informed about news

Short German jokes

Laugh your way through language learning with our collection of short German jokes. Discover the funniest puns, one-liners, and more in our guide! German humor

The basic Spanish hand gestures

In this blog post, we will explore the most important Spanish hand gestures, and their meanings, providing a guide to effectively communicate with Spanish speakers

Beautiful French words with meaning

Discover the beauty of the French language by learning its meanings. Learn the beautiful French words and its meaning. Beautiful French words A lot of

How do you say “good” in French?

Learn how to say “good” in French with our easy guide. Perfect for beginners and travelers looking to improve their language skills. “Good” in French

How to say “Cat” in French

How to say cat in French? What’s the word for a kitten in French? Learn more about the basic terminologies of our favorite fur pet

Learn French with PDF resources

Do you know that you can learn French with PDF resources? In this article, we will explore the advantages of using PDF resources to learn

Funny French jokes

Welcome to our article on Funny French jokes! Are you ready to simultaneously laugh and learn a little bit about French culture? French humor can

Funny German jokes

Welcome to our article on Funny German jokes! Get ready to chuckle at some of the funniest German jokes. German jokes Germany has a rich

Quotes in France by famous people

In this article, we will explore some of the most memorable and inspiring quotes in France from French people that have been passed down through

Quotes in Spain by famous people

In today’s post, you’ll learn some famous quotes in Spain by famous people. Quotes in Spain Spain has a rich cultural history and has produced

Best German proverbs

This article will explore some of the most popular German proverbs and delve into their meanings and origins. Check this out! German proverbs German proverbs

French Riddles

Learning some French riddles and playing with a French-speaking friend are great ways to practice if you know a little French. French riddles A good

How to translate Good Evening in French

Welcome to our article on translating “Good Evening” into French! Suppose you’re planning a trip to a French-speaking country or want to impress your friends

Some facts about the French mafia

Let’s discover some facts about the French mafia. facts about the French mafia The French Mafia is one of the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations.

Some facts about the Spanish mafia

Let’s discover some facts about the Spanish mafia. Facts about the Spanish mafia The Spanish mafia is one of the most active and widespread criminal

Some facts about the German mafia

Let’s discover some facts about the German mafia.  Facts about the German mafia The German Mafia (; Maffia; from Italian mafiusi, “clan”) is a criminal