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    #1

    Is the sentence "I'm seeing a movie without watching"correct?

    Hi teachers!

    I'm wonering if the sentence below is grammaticall correct or not.

    I'm seeing a movie without watching. (-I think this sentence is a good example of distinguishing nuisance between "see" and "watch")

    As far as I'm concerned, verb 'see' is normally used in present tense like 'hear" and "smell". But does it mean that the verb "see" can not be used in present continuous?


    Thank you in advance. Have a great day.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Is the sentence "I'm seeing a movie without watching"correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eureka View Post
    Hi teachers!

    I'm wonering if the sentence below is grammaticall correct or not.

    I'm seeing a movie without watching. (-I think this sentence is a good example of distinguishing nuisance between "see" and "watch")

    As far as I'm concerned, verb 'see' is normally used in present tense like 'hear" and "smell". But does it mean that the verb "see" can not be used in present continuous?


    Thank you in advance. Have a great day.
    I'm not quite sure I understand what your actual question is, but "I'm seeing a movie without watching" is not a grammatically correct sentence, regardless.

    In the UK, we almost always use the verb "to watch" for a movie (or a film), whereas I believe that in the USA people generally "see a movie".

    However, if someone asks you "What are you doing this evening?", you can reply "I'm seeing a movie". In that context, you would be using the present continuous to indicate the future.

    Having said that, if someone called you while you were at the cinema and asked "What are you doing?", you would also be able to answer "I'm watching a movie/film". You would be using the present continuous here. I agree that I don't think "I'm seeing a movie" would normally be used in the present continuous in that situation.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 01-Apr-2010 at 13:54. Reason: Amendment

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Is the sentence "I'm seeing a movie without watching"correct?

    If you are trying to find the nuance between "watch" and "see" I would suggest (perhaps!) that if your eyes are directed at something, you're watching it, but to really see something requires you to take notice.

    For example, if I am watching my daughter's softball game, I still may not SEE a particular play because it didn't have my attention. To see something, your mind has to notice it too.

    I would equate watch/look with listen, but if you see and hear, then your mind is engaged.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #4

    Re: Is the sentence "I'm seeing a movie without watching"correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    If you are trying to find the nuance between "watch" and "see" I would suggest (perhaps!) that if your eyes are directed at something, you're watching it, but to really see something requires you to take notice.

    For example, if I am watching my daughter's softball game, I still may not SEE a particular play because it didn't have my attention. To see something, your mind has to notice it too.

    I would equate watch/look with listen, but if you see and hear, then your mind is engaged.
    Hmm, I don't agree. I think the opposition between watch and see is more about the first being an activity and the second - a state. This the difference between them that I feel. I think the mind's attention is less important here. When a person is totally stoned they see things around but they don't care about them. I agree however that seeing something is in most contexts connected with engagement of mind.

    PS: This occured to me, it could make my thoughts clearer.

    I think we can't do seeing. We can do watching on the other hand.
    Last edited by mmasny; 01-Apr-2010 at 16:10. Reason: added PS

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    #5

    Re: Is the sentence "I'm seeing a movie without watching"correct?

    Thank you for your explanation.

    During watching a movie in a theater, I can answer the phone saying "hey, I'm watching a movie. I call you back." In that context, I understand the use of "watch".because I learned that "watch" has a lot of more attention compared to "see".

    However, here is an ambiguous situation to make me confused in choosing "see" and "watch".

    Supposing that I play a movie at home but don't pay attention to it. (I mean, your eyes directed to the T.V but think about ohter things.)

    how do you say it in English to describe the situation in more detail. Do you say "I'm watching a movie."even if you don't pay attention to it?

    I'm not a native speaker. That's why I came up with the expression "I'm seeing a movie without watching".

    If I bother you, I'm so sorry.

    I really appreciate for your help.

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    #6

    Re: Is the sentence "I'm seeing a movie without watching"correct?

    I think this means what you want:
    I'm watching a movie without seeing it.

    I'm wondering if this would sound OK:
    I'm looking at the TV with an unseeing gaze.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Is the sentence "I'm seeing a movie without watching"correct?

    In that context, I'd go for "I've got a film on but I'm not really watching it".

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Is the sentence "I'm seeing a movie without watching"correct?

    As you can tell, there is a lot of overlap.

    I'd be unlikely to say "I'm seeing a movie but not really watching it." However, "I've got a film on but I'm not really watching it" does very normal.

    You could also say "Yeah, we watched a movie last night, but I didn't see much of it" (maybe you got a phone call, or were on your computer, or just not really paying attention).

    The "unseeing gaze" is interesting - you can say that, for sure. You can't say "an unwatching gaze" -- yet you CAN say "a watchful gaze"!

    Okay, I give up :)

    Oh, by the way, see this: None so blind as those who will not see - Idiom Definition - UsingEnglish.com

    This does, to me, anyway, confirm the requirement to choose to see or pay attention... but then I'm but someone else will come up with a good counter-example.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #9

    Re: Is the sentence "I'm seeing a movie without watching"correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by mmasny View Post
    I think this means what you want:
    I'm watching a movie without seeing it.

    I'm wondering if this would sound OK:
    I'm looking at the TV with an unseeing gaze.
    Yes, I think your sentences clearly convey what is intended. "yes," someone might say, "You are watching the play but are you really seeing it?"

    On the other hand, as has been pointed out, in AmE we typically say we are going to see something when it just means we will be attending.

    "What are you doing tonight?"
    "I am going to see a movie."
    "What will you do when you are there?
    "Well, I'm going to watch the movie, of course."
    "But, if you are with those friends of yours, will you really see it?"

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