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Thread: See vs can see

  1. AlexAD's Avatar
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    #1

    See vs can see

    Hi

    Looking into a binocular, I say, 'I can see a girl stripping in the building opposite'.
    Would you feel any difference if I skipped 'can'?

    I would be grateful if you would correct any mistakes you might find in this post.

    Thanks Alex.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: See vs can see

    Both are possible; 'can see' is what we'd normally expect. A gentleman would use neither - he'd point the telescope in another direction.

  3. probus's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: See vs can see

    Looking into a binocular is incorrect in my opinion. If you insist on looking into you would have to say a pair of binoculars and have a somewhat unidiomatic phrase. Or better, you could just forget about looking into and simply say With binoculars or Using binoculars.

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: See vs can see

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    Looking into a binocular is incorrect in my opinion. If you insist on looking into you would have to say a pair of binoculars and have a somewhat unidiomatic phrase. Or better, you could just forget about looking into and simply say With binoculars or Using binoculars.


    I missed that.

  5. AlexAD's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: See vs can see

    Thanks 5jj.

    It was a joke! Of course I didn't see anything!

    1. Is 'in the building opposite' ok?
    2. 1 being the same as 'in the opposite building'?

  6. 5jj's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: See vs can see

    Use 'the building opposite'. It is clear from this that you mean the building across from where you are now. If you use 'the opposite building', people will wonder 'opposite what?'.

  7. AlexAD's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: See vs can see

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    If you use 'the opposite building', people will wonder 'opposite what?'.
    That's interesting! And that's why
    OALD gives us an example, Answers are given on the opposite page.
    Here I cannot see any ambiguity about 'opposite what' as from the sentence it implies opposite the current page.
    However if you say that the adjective should not be used in the previous example.. that's interesting :)

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