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A jukuu.com example sentence for 我吃不了 is:

我看我吃不了这么大一条鱼。
I don't think I can manage a huge fish like that.
(wǒ kàn wǒ chībuliǎo zhèmedà yītiáoyú)

It makes sense to me to say 我吃不了这么大一条鱼 (which I translate to "I can't finish this big of a fish") without the initial 我 (wǒkàn). Judging from the translation, 我看 means "I think" in this context, but then I would expect 我 (wǒxiǎng) or 我觉得, as 我看 ordinarily means "I see..." (e.g. 我看一下).

[NB. The English is non-literal, with "manage" instead of "eat".]

Question: What does 我看 do in the sentence 我看我吃不了这么大一条鱼?

  • It is "I think" – fefe Sep 20 '17 at 2:00
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我看: think; gather; Speculate or estimate from what you see;

I see the similar usage in English, where "let me see" could mean "let me think". However, 看, as the sense of 'think' in Chinese, is more widely used. The sentence you quoted is a good example.

You can use 我想 or 我感觉 in the sentence, 我想我吃不了这么大一条鱼。or 我感觉我吃不了这么大一条鱼。.

All these sentences are similar in meaning. If you really want to differentiate the nuance among them, you could consider 我看 as 'estimate based on what one sees', 我想 as 'I think...' and 我感觉 as 'I feel...'. Another point is 我看 might be less formal and more colloquial than 我想. That's why it's used more often in daily usage.

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From Collins, you can find this:

  1. (= 认为) think (pt, pp thought)
    ⇒ 看成 (kànchéng) consider
    ⇒ 你看这事儿怎么办? (Nǐ kàn zhèshìr zěnme bàn?) What do you think we should do about this?

The structure of the second example is the same as your sentence.

It is a common usage of "看". But perhaps only used after "我", "你", "你们", "您". But not after "他", a name, a noun, etc.

Edit:
The comment reminds that when used in "怎么看", it can be used with "他" or others, like in "这事他怎么看" (How does he think of this)

  • And there is an internet meme "元芳,你怎么看?" , originally a line from the popular TV drama 神探狄仁杰。 – Huang Sep 20 '17 at 12:55
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There are 2 meanings of Chinese word "看". 1: equals to "look" or "see". For example,我看见你,means I see you;看着我,means Look at me.

2: equals to "I think" or "In my opinion" For example,我看你是太大意了,means I think you are too careless; 关于这件事,你怎么看?means What's your opinion regarding this matter?

Back to your sample,我吃不了这么大一条鱼(I can't manage a huge fish like that.)It's telling a fact that I really can't finish such a huge fish.

But 我看我吃不了这么大一条鱼(I don't think I can manage a huge fish like that)It's telling an estimation or guess based on your experience that I can't finish such a huge fish.

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我看我吃不了这么一大条鱼。I don't think I can eat such a large fish. So 我看 means I think.
我看:我认为[wǒ rèn wéi] 认为:Make certain judgments about people or things;
我想[wǒ xiǎng] 想:Suppose;guess;
我觉得[wǒjué de] 觉得:Feel, Aware of that.

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