Vocabulary: Verbs (Look / Watch / See)



We start to see unintentionally when we open our eyes, It may not be deliberate, we just see without any effort.

For example:

  • Can you see my house over the cliff?
  • Bats can see very well in the dark.
  • See you tomorrow.
  • You may not see much in dim light.


Different from the action “see” we make a special effort when we try to see something. It’s an active verb.

For example:

  • Don’t look at the sun with naked eye.
  • Look at me while I am speaking.
  • He looked at his watch and told me the time.
  • Don’t look at me like that, I didn’t do anything wrong.


The verb “watch” is used when we look at something that moves or changes for a period of time. It’s a continuous action of looking and observing.

For example:

  • All day long I just watched TV yesterday.
  • I like watching the spectacular sun set every day.
  • Please be quiet, I am trying to watch the world cup series.
  • Do you like watching talk shows?


Watch a Movie vs See a Movie

We watched a movie yesterday.

This would imply we watched a movie at home (TV/DVD…)

We saw a movie yesterday.

This would imply that we did so by going to a movie theatre. We can also explicitly say that we went to the movie theatre and watched “Ice Age”.


Some exercises to test your understanding: