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Session 4

Vocabulary: 9 uses of 'see'

Enjoy our version of the classic novel Moby Dick - and learn 9 different ways to use the word 'see'.

Sessions in this unit

Session 4 score

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  • 0 / 4
    Activity 1
  • 0 / 5
    Activity 2

Activity 2

Will Captain Ahab find Moby Dick?

What happens to Moby Dick?

How do you think the story ends??

A) Moby Dick kills most of the men on the ship and escapes
B) The men catch and kill Moby Dick and throw him to the bottom of the ocean
C) The men get fed up with the search and so kill the captain of the ship
D) Something else

To do

Watch the video and find out which option is correct. And listen out for four more uses of see.

Watch the video and complete the activity

Show transcript Hide transcript

Hello again, I'm Mariam. Let's continue our exciting seafaring adventure about a ship's captain and his determined pursuit for vengeance on a whale that ate his leg.

Some of the crew fear bad things are going to happen but they can't make Captain Ahab see sense and consider killing him to end his mad quest. But finally, Ahab spots Moby Dick and sees red. A chase begins. Ishmael and the rest of the crew spend three days trying to catch the whale.

They can see that it is going to be a difficult job but nevertheless, they go out in small boats to try and harpoon the creature, but each one is wrecked and the men are thrown into the water.

The remaining crew desperately want to return home, but they can't see eye to eye with the captain – and then, it's too late. On the third day, the whale attacks the Pequod – he hits the ship full on, smashing it to pieces and it sinks, taking everyone on board with it down into the deep waters of the ocean. There is just one survivor - Ishmael. Amazingly, he survives by clinging to the wooden coffin that was made for Queequeg – an object made for death, saving his life.  He sits alone on the floating coffin waiting to see if he'll be rescued.

What a mad adventure – but not a very happy one, except for Moby Dick who managed to escape being caught. Well I hope you enjoyed that story and I hope you'll join me again for another one very soon. Bye for now.

To do

So, the correct answer was A) Moby Dick kills most of the men on the ship - everyone except Ishmael - and escapes. So, a happy ending for the whale!

Now lets practise the different uses of see. Have a go at this quiz.

What's the use of 'see'?

5 Questions

Choose the best expression with see to fill each gap.

Congratulations you completed the Quiz
Excellent! Great job! Bad luck! You scored:
x / y

Over to you

We asked you to tell us a story using as many of the phrases with see as possible:

  • see 
  • you see 
  • see how 
  • wait and see 
  • see sense 
  • see red 
  • see eye to eye 

Your stories

Deepthi, India

In class, I am used to stare at the board but not listening to the lecture. I couldn't see how other students are awake throughout the class. Recently, I wrote an exam and the professor called me the next day and asked me he didn't see what I was doing during the class. From his face, I can say he saw red and I can clearly see that I couldn't make him understand why I performed so badly with any false reason. Somehow, I managed to take evasive action and eluded the professor after that.
Just before the exam, I discussed with my friend but we didn't see eye to eye on any given exercise problem. You see, my friend is good at this subject but she couldn't make me see sense and clear my doubts. 
I can see that I would get less marks. I am waiting to see my grade over this weekend. This is not the first time, I saw low grades on my answer scripts.

BBC Learning English says:
Good work Deepthi. You have managed to correctly use a wide range of see vocabulary. We are sorry to hear about your grades! Clearly, your English scores will be higher. One thing to be careful of is the choice of tense. Usually stories are told in the past, so make sure that you have no present verbs - unless its for a narrative effect. Good job.

End of Session 4

That's all for this time. We hope you enjoyed the story of Moby Dick. In Session 5, Tim's in the Pronunciation Workshop, looking at how fluent speakers of English pronounce the word been in natural speech - don't miss it!

Session Vocabulary

  • see (B2)
    find out; assess the possibility of

    see (A1)
    notice with their own eyes

    you see (C1)
    let me explain

    see how (C2)
    believe (something is possible)

    wait and see (C1)
    wait until later to find out what will happen

    see sense (C2)
    realise he is wrong

    sees red (C2)
    gets angry

    see (B1)

    see eye to eye (C2)
    agree with each other


    A1 = Beginner
    A2 = Elementary
    B1 = Lower Intermediate
    B2 = Higher Intermediate
    C1 = Towards Advanced
    C2 = Advanced