lookToo(To?) look at something is to consciously pay attention to it. You can look in a certain direction without seeing everything that is there. You can see something without consciously looking at it.
verb: perceive with attention; direct one's gaze towards (Example: "She looked over the expanse of land")see
look - OneLook Dictionary Search
verb: perceive by sight or have the power to perceive by sight (Example: "You have to be a good observer to see all the details")
see - OneLook Dictionary Search
Look at me!
Can you see me?
I tell my students, you can look at a painting (observe it), you can see its colors and its meaning (perceive them), but you can't watch a painting. To do that the picture would have to be moving--your eyes would have to be moving, like when you're watching a tennis match, a TV show or keeping a watchful eye on children at play.Very true. But it doesn't give a learner much information on which one to use.
And where does "watching" fit into that equation?!
I think "look" is often used when the act is intentional.
"I'm looking for a new car" (intentional).
And "see" when it is unintentional.
"I saw a car crash this morning!" (unintentional).
However there must be many exceptions.
I'm interested to hear what others think.
you look at something when you are paying attention to it
don't look at me like that!
you watch something that is happening, or is going to happen
I can't talk now - I'm watching the game!
you see something when it comes to your eyes, regardless of your attention
did you see that flash of lightning last night?
but also - for a complete experience we can use see
Come around tonight - I want to show you my holiday snaps.
I've already seen them.
For a breathtaking beautiful view of the Taj Mahal, one has to see it by moonlight.
Probably not. Possibly:Would "I have already watched it" not work?
It does!:up:"Did you see that!" (Me watching the syncronized diving at the Olympics.)
Probably not. Possibly:
A: Do you want to see that movie on television tonight?On the other hand:
B: No, I've already seen it.
I'm watching the Olympics on TV (synchronized diving).Also:
We watch children.The word watch is a more active verb than either look or see.
I hope that helps.