Monday, June 18, 2012

Senses: Sight, Part 1

Be sure to put on your glasses (or get your eyes checked) before you read this post. (Image)

As I mentioned last Friday, for the next series of posts I'd like to talk about the 5 senses. To start off, we'll look at the eyes this week. The name of the sense that your eyes perceive is usually called sight or vision. We'll look at more related words on Wednesday for Word Wednesday but for today I wanted to re-post one of the first Common Errors I put up, from back in 2010. It explains when to use the words "look," "see," and "watch." I did make a few small changes based on a recommendation by a coworker earlier today. Have a look:

Common Error: Confusing "see," "look (at)," and "watch"

DON’T say this:

See! There's a giant snake over there!
Let's go to the mall and look a movie.
I like to see the show "Smallville"
WHY?This is a difficult problem because the differences between these words are subtle:

-“See” means to perceive something by using your eyes (vision). You normally don’t plan to see, you just do it naturally or spontaneously:
"It's very dark in this room--I can't see a thing!"

One exception is if you're making plans to do something that involves your eyes (like going to a movie or visiting a family member):
"I'm going to go see/visit my grandma this weekend, and we may even go see/watch a movie."

-When you look at something, you generally move your eyes to see it. This is an action that you plan to do, and you look at something for a reason. Both “look” and “see” could be used as interjections, but “look” is much more common:
"Look at this backpack; do you think it would hold all my books and my laptop?"

-The word “watch” is similar to “look (at),” but it generally indicates a longer period of time. If you watch, you are carefully or continuously observing something. This is the most common verb to use with TV or movies. Things that you watch are generally moving or involve movement:
"I spent the whole afternoon babysitting, watching my neighbor's kids. But it was easy since we just watched a movie on TV."
INSTEAD, SAY THIS:-“Look! There's a giant snake over there!”
-“Let's go to the mall and see/watch a movie.”
-"I like to watch the TV show 'Smallville.'"
-“I was watching the soccer game, but when the lights went out in the stadium, it was too dark to see anything.”
-“I want to exchange my Dollars for Euros, so I’ve been watching the currency exchange rate closely.

"Then again, John MAY just be really dull." (Image)

So, I hope that is clear. What are your favorite activities that you like to do using each of these verbs? Please feel free to leave a comment below if you'd like. 
Thanks for reading and looking at my website. Be sure to watch the Internet on Wednesday for another post with more vocabulary involving sight. Have a nice week, and I'll see you again on Wednesday!

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-Ryan