See vs Watch vs Look

These three verbs are also easily confused as they are all related to our eyesight. However, there are distinct differences between them.

I see you.
I am looking at you.
I am watching you.

Other Vocabulary:
Lie vs Lay
All vs Whole
See vs Watch vs Look
Dead vs Death vs Died
Accept vs Except vs Expect
Altogether vs All Together
Fit or Suit
Affect or Effect
Advice vs Advise
Similar English Words


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 theater. We can also explicitly say that we went to the movie theater and watched Ice Age.

Quick Exercise

Select from see / watch / look.

1. I couldn't anything in the dark.

2. I don't soap operas.

3. I am every single move you make.

4. me very carefully.

5. You need to in order to see.

6. Did you how he kicked the ball?

7. him kick the ball now.

8. Did you at him in the eyes?

9. Can you the traffic sign from here?

10. How far can you without glasses?

11. I don't want to play. I will just you.

12. There is nothing to on TV.

13. under the carpet and you will see how dirty it is.

14. He just stood there and me burn.

15. I don't want to any dust on the kitchen counter.

Correctness =
Correct answers:
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