Why do one need to write a word in statement 我很高兴见到你? Can we omit it?
It's like being complete without that word for me. Why do we need to use it?
I found this phrase in this book.

  • In English, see/meet can represent both “见” and “见到", but I would remind you of another example, “听” is "listen to" while “听到” is "hear". That's similar difference. Oct 28, 2013 at 5:02
  • 2
    because you have actually seen the person... consider the following sentence: 见你真不容易, 这下终于见到你了
    – user58955
    Oct 28, 2013 at 8:01

4 Answers 4


Verbs like 见、买、吃、看、听 are all just express an action, when you want to express the result of the verb, you have to add “到”. You will understand it better from the following examples:

  1. A blind man can do the action “ 看”, but he will never 看到 anything.
  2. People can go to the train station 买 train tickets during Chinese new year, but it’s very hard to 买到 a ticket. In this sentence “我很高兴见到你” , there is a result of the action 见, the result is 你, so you can’t omit 到.

It's because of the distinction between 见 and 见到. 见 only means "to look" whereas 见到 means "to see".

我很高兴见到你 roughly translates to "I'm happy to see you". If you omit the 到 you'll get "I'm happy to look at you", which is obviously not what you mean.

This is confusing because the English word see is sometimes used as look and sometimes used as look and see. For example, "I'm going to see her" in Chinese would be 我要去见她. In Chinese however there's a strong distinction between the action "to look" and the result "to see". This confusion is also the origin of the phrase look-see, which came from Chinese/English pidgin.

  • 1
    I'm afraid this answer is wrong.见 also has a meaning of meeting with someone, sometimes it is not simply 'to look', but 'to meet','to have a face to face communication'. 见到,means the action is already done. 我很高兴见你 is absolutely not "I'm happy to look at you." It has the same meaning as 我很高兴见到你. It's just in the first one you are positive, it's like this meeting is under your control, but in the second one, you are more passive, it's like this meeting is handled by the one you want to meet. Oct 29, 2013 at 3:01

我很高兴见到你。or 见到你很高兴。 This sentence is the kind of too English. In normal life, Chinese people rarely say it like this although it is good to say. We say, 久违了,久仰了 or simply 你好, in the first meeting to someone.

Back to 见到 or 见, because you have to show respect to the one you are meeting, so you have to make the sentence more complete, 见到 is more complete than simply 见,and more respectful. So unless the one you are meeting are begging for meeting you, please use 见到 not 见.

  • I must point out that 久违 is not used in the first meeting -- it is used for meeting a friend (or someone you had got acquainted with before) again after a long time
    – user58955
    Oct 28, 2013 at 6:51

As a Chinese, I'd like to say that you don't need to pay too much attention to grammars, for Chinese isn't a language like eurpean ones depending on syntaxes, variable genders, plurals……ect. Chinese is a language with a lot of meanings in different kinds of situations:

In your sentence, “见到” doesn't mean I've seen you (past tense or present participle tense), This is ONLY a spoken greeting statement to say "Nice to meet you". This is a fixed phrase without a concept of time,space……ect. So just like "nice to meet you", "nice to see you", we don't care about "I won't be happy unless I see you"……right?! :D

Except the fixed greeting statements, sometimes it's time for us to pay attention to "到"'s usage:

"到" is used after a verb (usually an intransitive verb) meaning "verb's state is finished just now after a period of time, sometimes it means with tough things or not so easy". e.g:

1)我坐到你跟前(Maybe I'm walking in front of you and sit down).

【Compare: 我坐你跟前:I'm sitting in front of you.】

2)很不容易见到你(Maybe I don't know about you at all, and I've been introduced to you by someone else and then we have a chance to meet each other)

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