Q & A of the Week 你问我答
See, Look and Watch 英语里表达‘看 ’的单词

Question from Hui: 'When I talk with local people they use lots of words like watch, see and look. What is the difference between these words?

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:

1) See
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.

2) Look
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.

3) Watch
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.

A couple wearing glasses shaped like the number 2009
What would you like to see in the year ahead?

Thank you Huiping for your question. If you have a question please get in touch. You can email us at questions.chinaelt@bbc.co.uk. We look forward to hearing from you.

Glossary 词汇

aware of something



turn your attention to

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