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Unit 1: English In A Minute
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  1. 1 English In A Minute

Session 84

Welcome to English In A Minute. Give us a minute and we'll give you a hot tip about English. Grammar, vocabulary... there's so much to learn! And all taught by your favourite BBC Learning English staff!

Activity 1

See vs watch vs look

Do you have a minute to spare to learn some English? Look! Watch Sam explain see vs watch vs look and see the differences! Give us 60 seconds and we'll give you the English

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Sam
Hello! I'm Sam from BBC Learning English and in this episode, we're going to look at the differences between see, watch and look.

All three are verbs and all three involve using your eyes.

See can have many non-literal meanings, but its basic meaning is 'to have the ability to use your eyes'. I can't see anything! Or it can mean 'to notice something with your eyes'. Did you see the full moon last night? It was huge!

To look means 'to turn your eyes towards something so that you can see it'. They said that if I look carefully at the painting, I can see a flower.

And watch is to 'look at something for a period of time' - really looking carefully. Right now, you are watching this video and paying very close attention, I'm sure.

See vs watch vs look

See
See
can have many non-literal meanings, but its basic meaning is 'to have the ability to use your eyes' or 'to notice something with your eyes'. It is irregular so: see, saw, seen

  • I can't see anythig with the lights off.
  • Did you see the full moon last night? It was huge!

Look
Look means 'to turn your eyes towards something so that you can see it'. Its verb forms are look, looked, looked.

  • They said that if I look carefully at the painting, I can see a flower.

Watch
Watch
means 'look at something for a period of time' - really looking carefully. Its verb forms are watch, watched, watched.

  • You are watching this video and paying very close attention, I'm sure.

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