See look and watch.
They are not synonyms, but I’ve often observed people confusing them.
See is the ordinary verb to say that something ‘comes to our eyes’, whether or not we are paying attention.
Suddenly I saw that man from the movie. (Not ‘
Suddenly I look at the man from the movie.’)
Did you see the article about the show in in yesterday’s paper?
2. look (at)
We use look to talk about concentrating, paying attention, trying to see what is there. You can see something without wanting to, but you can only look at something deliberately.
When look has an object it is followed by at. When there is no object there is no preposition.
Look at me! (Not
Look! (Not ‘
Note: ‘At’ is often dropped before a wh-clause.
Look (at) what you’ve done!
Look who’s here!
Look where you’re going!
Watch is like look at, but suggests that something is happening or going to happen. We watch things that change, move or develop.
Watch that woman. I want to know everything she does.
I usually watch a cricket match on Sunday afternoon.
4. see: complete experiences
While we use watch to talk about experiences that are going on, in progress, we often prefer to use see to talk about the whole performance, play, film, match etc.
He got into a fight yesterday while he was watching a cricket match. (Not …
while he was seeing a cricket match.)
Have you ever seen Francis Coppola’s ‘The Godfather’? (Not ‘
Have you ever watched Francis Copolla’s ‘The Godfather’?‘)
5. watch TV
Watch is normally used with TV; watch and see are both used to talk about TV programmes and films.
You spend too much time watching TV.
We watched/ saw a great film on TV last night.
Any questions? Don’t hesitate to ask!
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