See vs. Watch vs. Look

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Confused when to use these words?
Well, let’s simplify your confusion:

SEE: We see something static, unmoving. We also see the things around us, perhaps without paying much attention to them.
LOOK: We look at something in order to pay more attention to its appearance. We use look when we want to direct someone’s attention to something.
WATCH: We watch something when we want to know what happens (so therefore we generally watch something that is moving or that requires our attention).

So, effectively speaking, we see a bird in the sky, we look at girls passing us by and we watch films and TV (the degree of attention keeps going up).

Exercise: Choose the right word.
Now that you have a basic idea of the distinction between the three words, let’s solve an exercise to:

1. Do you ___ that hanging on the wall? It was made by my great-grandmother.
2. Maheshwari can’t ___ blood or she faints.
3. When you are done ___ the movie, would you please help me wash the dishes?
4. Can you ___ my children tonight while I am at the meeting?
5. I need someone to ___ my computer. It isn’t working.
6. ___ ! That little boy is going to fall out of the tree.
7. I don’t ___ the difference between these two pictures. Are you sure
they aren’t the same?
8. ___ that man on the corner. He’s acting suspicious.
9. Have you ___ The Lord of the Rings? It’s a classic.
10. I want to learn how to make fanesca. Can I ___ you make it?
11. Don’t ___ me! My hair’s a mess!
12. I have this feeling someone is ___ me. It is really creepy.


  1. ‎see
  2. see
  3. watching
  4. watch
  5. look at
  6. Look
  7. see
  8. Watch
  9. seen
  10. watch
  11. look at
  12. watching


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