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Do you know the difference between see, look and watch?

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English is a language which has many variations and sometimes these variations may be confusing. For instance observe the following sentences:

  •  Can you see me?
  • Okay now watch this.
  • Look at that painting.
  • The sentences have three verbs- look, watch and see, which are often confusing and used interchangeably. However, there is a difference between these three verbs that you must be aware of. Let’s have a look at the rules and correct usage of see, look and watch.

    See

    To ‘see’ means something that comes into our sight or view by chance that we weren’t looking for. It is an ordinary verb and it doesn’t necessarily mean that we are paying attention.

    Example:

    - I saw an accident this morning. It was terrible.
    - Natasha, can you see the waterfall over there?
    - This is very cute. I have never seen this bird before.

    Look

    To look at something is for a reason, with an intention. When we look at something we try to see what it is, which means we are paying attention. We can see something even if we don’t want to, but we can only look at something intentionally.

    Example:

    - Pooja, look at him, he is so dashing.
    - Joe, what happened to you? You look different today.
    - Look at my childhood photos.

    Watch

    To look at something carefully, usually at something that is moving. Watch is more or less the same as look.

    Example:

    - We watched “Life of Pi” yesterday.
    - She likes watching Cartoon Network daily.
    - I watch sun rise every morning.

    Look-Watch-See

    The above explanation will help you understand the difference between see, look and watch. Take a test and know how well you have understood the concept.

    1. Keep a _____ on the baby while he is asleep.
    2. Shweta doesn’t ______ forty years.
    3. I am going to _____ the doctor today.
    4. Mona can’t ____ her friends in trouble.
    5. Don’t ____ at me so angrily.
    6. Are you ______ the T-20 series?
    7. Sheela asked Meenal, “Does this  T-shirt _____ good on me?”

    Answers: 1.Watch 2.Look 3.See 4.See 5.Look 6.Watching 7.Look

    Once your concepts are clear, you can speak in English fluently by using appropriate words. Hope the above explanation and examples will clear your doubt on the usage of see, look and watch. Although, this is a very basic concept of  English, we often tend to ignore such minor aspects. Through improve English blogs; you can get acquainted with the best of knowledge in the simplest way.

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- By Shailja Varma

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