Question: What is the proper use of look, watch and see?
Answer: Hello, Hoang!
You are asking about the differences between three words which describe what we do with our eyes. I can help.
The Merriam Webster Learners' Dictionary says the differences are related to your action and attention.
· "See" means to notice or become aware of someone or something by using your eyes.
· "Look" means to direct your eyes in a particular direction.
· "Watch" means to look at someone or something for an amount of time and pay attention to what is happening.
Two of these verbs can also act as nouns, but today I will talk about the three words as verbs.
So, let me tell you a little more about each verb.
I will start with the verb "watch." At a coffee shop, a friend may say,
I'm going outside for a minute. Would you please watch my bag?
The friend wants you to pay attention to the bag for a period of time.
Films, performances, games and people all are things you can watch.
In this case, the verb has an object - the bag. You can also use this verb without an object, as in this conversation:
在这种情况下，这个动词后面跟有宾语 — 包。它也可以不接宾语，例如在下面的对话中：
Do you want to play basketball with us?
No, I'll just watch.
The verb "look" is different from "watch." When you look at someone or something, you simply direct your eyes at that person or thing. It can be for a short time, and it might not involve much thought.
One other difference between the words "watch" and "look" is that "look" is often followed by an adverb or preposition.
When you dance, don't look down.
She looked at the bill before she paid it.
You do not need to use a preposition or an adverb with the verb "see." Sentences with "see" may have an object, or they may not.
With an object - I see a cat in the window.
接宾语 — 我在窗口看到一只猫。
Without an object - It will rain today - just wait and see.
不接宾语 — 今天会下雨 — 等着瞧吧。
Are you paying attention?
· If you are talking about something that your eyes simply observe, you can use "see."
· If you are directing your eyes at something, use "look."
· And if you are paying attention to something, like a game or television program, for a period of time use "watch."
I hope this helps you use "look," "watch" and "see!"
And that's Ask a Teacher!
I'm Jill Robbins.