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Difference between Look and See

Difference between Look and See

Have you ever been driving and seen a sign for an upcoming exit, but when you got there, the exit was further down than you thought it would be? You may have even said to yourself, “I didn’t see that coming.” This is an example of why the words look and see are different. When you look at something, you’re focusing on what’s in front of you. When you see something, you’re taking everything into account – including what’s in the distance. In this blog post, we’ll explore the difference between look and see and give some examples of when each word is appropriate.

What is Look?

The look has many different shades of meaning and usage. The look can mean observing or inspecting something carefully, often with the intention of making a judgment about it. The look can also just mean to casual glance in someone or something’s direction.

The look can be used as a polite way of getting someone’s attention before you speak to them. The look can also signify an act of showing kindness or affection towards someone, as in “I’m going to give my Grandma a look.”

The look can also describe someone’s physical appearance – you might say “he’s got a real angry look on his face.” The look is also often used as an imperative, telling someone to direct their gaze in a particular direction, as in “look at that huge billboard!” With so many different uses, it’s no wonder look is one of the most common words in the English language.

What is See?

See can mean a few different things in English. The most common meaning is to perceive with the eyes or to encounter something by chance. For example, if you walk into a room and see a cat, you have to perceive it with your eyes. See can also mean to consult or look at, as in “I need to see the doctor about this rash.”

  • In this case, you are consulting someone for their opinion. See can also mean to show or escort someone somewhere. For instance, if your friend is visiting from out of town and you want to show them around, you might say “let me take you out and show you around town.”
  • Finally, see can also be used as a more formal way of saying “understand.” For example, if someone explains something complicated and you want to say that you understand, you can say “I see.”
  • In this case, see is synonymous with understanding. As you can see, see has many different meanings in English. Be sure to choose the right one depending on the context!

Difference between Look and See

Look and see can both be used when referring to something that is visually perceived.

  • Look is used when referring to something that is within one’s field of vision, whereas see is used when referring to something that is out of one’s field of vision.
  • Look also implies that one is using their eyes to search for something, whereas see implies that one is noticing something without specifically looking for it.
  • For example, if you are looking for your keys, you would say “I’ll just have a look around,” whereas if you suddenly notice your keys on the table, you would say “I see my keys.”
  • The look can also be used figuratively, as in “I’ll look into it,” which means to investigate or consider something, whereas see cannot be used figuratively in this way.

Finally, the look is always followed by an object (e.g., Look at me!), whereas see can be used without an object (e.g., I see what you mean).


The next time you are out and about, take a look at the world around you. Really see it. Notice the details and how they interact with each other. Once you’ve done that, go ahead and enjoy your day. We hope this article has helped you understand the difference between looking and seeing.

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