Monday, February 25, 2008

See, Watch, or Look?

Watch: to look at something for a period of time, especially something that is moving. We watch something when we are interested in what happens.
  • Could you watch my purse while I go to the restroom?
  • I love sitting at the window and watching the people walk by.
  • We watched the basketball game on TV.
See: 1 to be aware of what is around you by using your eyes,
2 to watch a film or TV program
  • Did you see Desperate Housewives last night? It was a rerun.
  • When you see Jenny, please tell her not to be late for the party.
  • Do you see that white church? That's San Agustín.
Look: to direct your eyes in order to see
  • Look! There's Marlene with her boyfriend.
  • Look over there - do you see that red bus?
Look at: to view something, to be interested in the appearance of something
  • Look at Martha, isn't she pretty today?
  • Can I look at your answers? Mine are all wrong.
See is usually used for something stationary or static (not moving)
E.g. You see blood, see the stars, see a picture/photograph, see a painting

Watch is usually for something that moves, or that requires attention
E.g. watch a movie, watch children playing, sports

Look (at) is to pay attention to a detail, or appearance
E.g. You can look at people, objects

Look at the children! (Check out their appearance or what they are doing. Do not pay a lot of attention to them, though.)
Watch the children, please. (Pay attention to them so that they don't get hurt or in trouble)
I can't see the children. (They are not within my view.)

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