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'.

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    Activity 1
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    Activity 2

Activity 1

Moby Dick part one - 5 uses of 'see'

A man goes on an epic adventure
The English word see has many meanings and uses. In this session, we bring you BBC Learning English's own version of the classic novel Moby Dick - and we've found many different ways to use the word see in it. 

To do

As you watch part one of the story, listen out for the different uses of the word see - and decide whether this summary of the story is correct or wrong:

  • The story is about a ship's captain called Moby Dick who goes on a voyage to kill a whale

Watch the video and complete the activity

Show transcript Hide transcript

Hello I'm Mariam. Today's story is about the experiences of a man who goes on epic adventure. He sails on a ship whose captain is determined to get revenge on a whale called Moby Dick.

The man is called Ishmael. He's heading to Nantucket to see if he can find work on a whaling ship. On the way he meets Queequeg, a rough and dangerous looking man who works as a harpooner. They become friends and together they find work on a whaling ship called the Pequod.

It sets sail, but it's not until a few days into the journey that they first see the ship's captain, Ahab. He is a bitter and twisted old man with a long white scar down his face. He also has a false leg made from a whale's jaw. You see his real leg had been bitten off by a whale on a previous voyage. He tells the crew  "this whale was the famous Moby Dick" and he makes them all promise to help him hunt the whale down and kill him

It's a long and hard voyage – they sail across the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean – they encounter a huge typhoon and their navigational instruments break. Ishmael could not see how they would ever find Moby Dick in such a massive ocean. Then Queequeg the harpooner gets a bad fever and a coffin is made for him in anticipation of his death. But, he recovers and the ship sails on into the Pacific Ocean. Although they catch and kill other whales on the way, there is no sign of Moby. Where can he be?  

You'll have to wait and see. Join me in part two to see if Captain Ahab finally gets his revenge on Moby Dick. See you then.

To do

How was that? The summary wasn't quite right - the ship 's captain is called Ahab - and they go on a voyage to hunt and kill a whale, who is called moby Dick. 

Have a go at our quiz to check you know the first set of see vocabulary.

Moby Dick - the story so far...

4 Questions

Let's check your understanding of the story - and the words and phrases with see. Decide whether each statement about the story is true or false. Look at the vocabulary box if you need help.

Congratulations you completed the Quiz
Excellent! Great job! Bad luck! You scored:
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Go to the next page to find if they manage to catch and kill Moby Dick - and to learn some more uses of see! See you there.

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


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