English Grammar Basic Similar words

The difference between “see”, “look” and “observe”

The difference between“Ver“,“Look at“y“Look“

“Ver“,“look at“y“look“they are easy to confuse, especially for English learners.

“See“ means to perceive through the eyes. For example:

  • I see you.
  • According the veterinarians, dogs see the world in black and white with some yellow and blue.

“Look“ means apply the ability to view. For example:

  • Look at the stars.
  • I will look for you in the shop.

“Watch“ means to pay attention to something you are looking at (usually something that is moving). For example:

  • Watch the white horse as it enters the water.
  • I watched the sunrise.

More about“See,““Look,“and“Watch“

Verbs“to see“,“to look“y“to watch“they are closely related, but there are subtle differences.


The verb“ver“It means perceiving with the eyes. In other words, it means being aware of your surroundings using your eyes. For example:

  • I see a ship on the horizon. ✔️
  • Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing. (Painter Camille Pissarro) ✔️
  • I saw you waving at me. ✔️
    (“Saw“is the past tense of“to see.“)

It should be noted that“ver“it can also mean understand (for example, I see what you mean).


El verbo“look at“it means deliberately applying the ability to see. In other words, it means making a conscious effort to see something.“To look“is usually followed by“at“o“for“. For example:

  • Look at the beading on her wedding dress. ✔️
  • If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. (Author Wayne Dyer) ✔️
  • I am looking for my car keys. ✔️
    (“Looking“is the present participle of“to look.“)


The verb“to watch“it means to deliberately observe something. Is similar to“look at“, but it takes more effort. It means to watch something carefully (usually something that moves). For example:

  • I watch the news every morning before work. ✔️
  • Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going. (Humorist Sam Levenson) ✔️
  • The policemen watched their suspect for half an hour. ✔️
    (“Watched“is the simple past tense of to watch.“)

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