How to say "see my friends"
I got a question the other day about how to say "see my friends" in Japanese. Do we use the verb みます mimasu ("watch/see/look") here? The answer is no. We can use the verb みます mimasu to say "see a movie" えいがをみます eiga o mimasu, "watch TV" テレビをみます terebi o mimasu, "look at a photograph" しゃしんをみます shashin o mimasu, but we cannot use it to say "see my friends". Instead, we use the verb あいます aimasu, which means "meet".
One very important thing when you use the verb あいます aimasu --it does not take a direct object; i.e. you can't use the particle を o with it. Instead, use the particle に ni or と to. So "I see my friends" in Japanese is, ともだちにあいます tomodachi ni aimasu or ともだちとあいます tomodachi to aimasu.
By the way, can you guess what ともだちをみます tomodachi o mimasu (i.e. the literal translation of the English "see my friend(s)") could mean? It means, "I look at my friend(s)", just like how you look at pictures and photographs. So depending on a context, that might be exactly what you would want to say --for example, in a situation where you want to check your friend's reaction or facial expression after you say/do something to him/her.
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