LOOK(at) SEE WATCH

'SEE, 'LOOK(at)' and 'Watch' are verbs that we use to talk about our
sense of sight - using our eyes. They are three closely related verbs that are easily confused. But they have important differences in meaning.

1. SEE - we use 'see' to mean simply that an image comes into our range of vision. It may not be intentional; not deliberate. It just happened to be there in our sight.

EXAMPLE: 1) I saw a snake on the road as I was biking this morning.
2) Did you see the butterfly? It almost bumped on my cheek.
3) I can see a rainbow in the sky.

2. LOOK - this verb refers to seeing something specific; with intention.
When we use 'look', it means we make an effort to try to see
something or someone and we can only look at it deliberately.

EXAMPLE: 1) Look at this photo! Isn't it beautiful?
2) Look! There's smoke on the mountain! That could be a forest fire.
3) What are you looking at? Is it a bug or a caterpillar?

'Look' is usually used with the preposition 'at' when there is an object. When
there's no object, there is no preposition.

EXAMPLE: 1.a) Look at that girl. Isn't she cute?
b) Look at the clock and tell me what time it is.

2.a) Look over there! We're almost home!
b) Look! It's changing colors!
NOTE:
~~'at' is often dropped before wh-clauses:

EXAMPLE: a) Look(at) what you've done! You spilled the paint!
b) Look where you're going. You'll step on my foot.
c) Look who's here! It's Mommy!

3. WATCH - to 'watch' something means to look at it moving or
changing. This is a verb like 'look' but requires more effort from us. There's also more attention and concentration and for a longer time than just looking. So when we 'watch' something or someone, we keep it under careful observation.

EXAMPLE: 1)I watched the speeding car go through the traffic lights.
2)I watched the apples falling one by one this afternoon.
3) Daddy watches the tennis match on TV on week-ends.

4. COMPLETE EXPERIENCES: see

Ln general, we use 'see' to talk about public performances, play, cinema, film, etc.

EXAMPLE: 1) We're going to see George Clooney's latest movie at the
cinema tonight.
2) Did you ever see Lea Salonga live on stage in N.Y.?

5. WATCH TV --'Watch' is normally used with TV; 'watch' and 'see' are both used to talk about TV programmes and films:
EXAMPLE:1) Don't spend too much time watching TV.
2) The kids watched/saw that on Discovery Channel last week.

6. see if/whether

'See' can be followed by 'if'/'whether' in the sense of 'find out'.
'Look' and 'watch' are not normally used in this way.

EXAMPLE; 1) See if that costume still fits you.
2) Let's see whether the protesters would disperse after the order is announced tonight.
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