See, Look, Watch

See, look, and watch are difficult verbs for non-native speakers to understand. Their meanings are similar, as they describe the act of information entering the brain via the eyes, but they have subtle differences.

SEE – We use this verb for everything in our line of vision. Right now you can see your hands, you can see the computer, and you can probably see some walls. It normally describes things we weren’t focused on.

LOOK – This is for situations when we are focused on something, but we’re not expecting it to change. You look at a painting, or you look at a book cover.

WATCH – When you focus on something intently, with the expectation that it might change, we refer to that as watching. People watch the TV and movies, because they expect the pictures to change. You watch sports games, and when someone’s doing something, you watch what they do.

Have a look at our first ever YouTube video. Hopefully the pictures will help you understand.

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