This week's question comes from Huiping in New Zealand. She asked us about three similar words: see, look and watch.
Let's look at each of these words in turn:
This is the simplest of the three. When you are aware of something by using your eyes, you see it, whether this is intentional or not.
When I went into my kitchen, I could see our cat, Mr Fluffy.
The difference between see and look is that when you look at something, you do it deliberately. You deliberately turn your attention to it.
Mr Fluffy couldn't see me, he was looking at his food bowl, which was empty. Then I coughed, and he turned round and looked at me.
Watching is similar to looking in that it is also something you also do deliberately. But the difference is that you look it for a longer period of time, especially something that is changing or moving.
He was hungry. I knew because he just kept watching me – whatever I did. I walked to the other side of the kitchen to get him some food. All the time he was watching me.
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Thank you Huiping for your question. If you have a question please get in touch. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you.
aware of something
turn your attention to