Difference between See and Watch | See vs Watch

“Do you see the land?” or “Do you watch the land?” Which do you think is the correct sentence? Sounds confusing, isn’t it! Most students often mess these words up and end up using them in the wrong context. The reason being most of them think that these words have the same meaning and can be used interchangeably. The article will help you understand whether the words ‘see’ and ‘watch’ are the same or not. Once students go through the article, they will develop a crystal clear idea about how or when to use these words.

In the English Language, it is extremely important that students understand the meaning of words they are using. Unlike other subjects, English has some words that are often used interchangeably and have the same meaning. But that’s not so with the other words that appear to have similar meanings but are quite different from each other. The following points discussed below will help you have a better understanding of the words ‘see’ and ‘watch’.

Table Summarising the Difference between See and Watch




The word see is used when something is perceived by our eyes or we catch a glimpse of something.

The word watch is used when something is observed intently/carefully.


It is used as a Verb.

It is used as a Verb.


Did you see the baby?

Can you watch my belongings while I’m out?

The table above shows that though the words ‘see’ and ‘watch’ refer to the eye’s action, they are neither synonymous nor can be used interchangeably. Students who previously got confused between these terms can now see the difference between them. The following points discussed below will help students have a clearer understanding of the words ‘see’ and ‘watch’ so that they can be used correctly.

The Difference between See and Watch – Meaning

Not just students, even adults often get confused between ‘see’ and ‘watch’ and use them interchangeably. Even though we use our eyes to do both these things, they are not the same thing! When you use the word ‘see’, it refers to an action by your eyes where you just notice or catch glimpses of something. While ‘seeing’ something, you might not pay attention to or watch it intently. But when you ‘watch’ something, you carefully observe that thing, i.e. pay attention to it. So if you are ‘watching’ something, you can later recall what you’ve ‘watched’. Once the students catch this minute point of difference between ‘see’ and ‘watch’, they will never use them incorrectly again. The following examples will help students understand the difference between the terms.

Example of See and Watch

The following examples will ensure students understand the terms ‘see’ and ‘watch’.

See – If you go down the lane, you will see a small shop selling fresh fruits and vegetables. (verb)

Watch – Since it snowed heavily yesterday, Ross had to watch his steps. (verb)

Once students understand how the words ‘see’ and ‘watch’ are different from one another, they can use these words correctly.

See and Watch – Conclusion

The words ‘see’ and ‘watch’, though, are actions done through eyes; they don’t mean the same thing, thus can’t be used synonymously or interchangeably. When students are using these words, they have to understand the way they want to do the action, i.e. whether they want to just ‘see’ or ‘watch’ intently. The BYJU’S website also offers various articles on many such ‘differences between two words’ that students often get confused with and end up using incorrectly.

Leave a Comment

Your Mobile number and Email id will not be published. Required fields are marked *