看 (kàn) can mean ‘look at’
Ràng wǒ kànkan
Let me have a look
Rén lǎo le, yǎnjīng kàn bu qīngchu le
When people get old, they can longer see clearly
看 (kàn) also means ‘watch’ (sports games/TV/plays)
Wǒ xǐhuan kàn zúqiú bǐsài
I like watching soccer/football games.
Nǐ kànguo xīngqiú dàzhàn ma?
Have you seen Star Wars?
看 (kàn) also means ‘read’ (books)
Nǐ xǐhuan kàn shénme shū?
What books do you like to read?
Nǐ kànguo Hánhán de shū ma?
Have you read any books by Han Han?
看 (kàn) can also means ‘visit’ (often friends/relatives)
Wǒ yào qù zhōngguó kàn yīgè hǎo péngyou.
I’m going to China to see/visit a good friend.
Wǒ nǎinai bìngle, wǒ jīntiān qù kàn tā.
My grandmother is ill. I’m going to see/visit her today.
见 (jiàn) normally means ‘see’
Wǒ bùxiǎng jiàn nǐ.
I don’t want to see you.
Nǐ shì zài nǎlǐ jiànguo zhè fú huà?
Where have you seen this painting before?
见 (jiàn) can sometimes mean ‘see’ or ‘call on’
Wǒmen hǎoxiàng zài nǎlǐ jiànguo.
I think we’ve seen each other/met before.
Lǎobǎn yào jiàn nǐ.
The boss wants to see you.
看见 (kànjiàn) is also a verb meaning ‘see’
Yī kànjiàn tā, wǒ jiù shēngqì.
I get angry as soon as I see him.
Wǒ néng kànjiàn tā.
I can see him.
见 (jiàn) ‘see’ is also the result of 看 (kàn) ‘look’
Wǒ kàn bu jiàn (dào)
I can’t see (it).
Literally: I look not see.
Wǒ zhèngzài kàn, dànshì wǒ kàn bu jiàn. (dào)
I’m looking, but I can’t see (it).
When you mean ‘see’ in the sense of ‘understand’, use 明白 (míngbai)
wǒ míngbai nǐ de yìsi
I see what you mean.
In summary, 看 (kàn) and 见 (jiàn) are both verbs
看 means ‘look at, watch, read or visit’
见 normally means ‘see’
见 can also be the result of 看
看 is the ‘looking at’, and 见 is the ‘seeing.’
看见 can also be a verb in its own right meaning ‘see’
This can be a bit confusing, but hopefully it makes more sense to you now! 🙂