Well, would you look at that! There are really many ways to say that you are looking at or that you see something. So, let’s sneak a peek!
To look at something: okay, we all know this one. It’s pretty standard and it means regarder qqch.
To glance at something: this is a very quick look, like, a second or two tops. I glance at my watch from time to time to make sure we’re not running late.
To peek: this is when you look at something, but you’re not really supposed to. For example: I’m just going to take a quick peek behind the stage to make sure everything is ok. It’s not that you’re not allowed to look, it’s just that perhaps someone has asked you not to, or there isn’t time, or it’s supposed to be a surprise, etc. When you play hide and seek, you shouldn’t peek!
To watch something: here, of course, it’s prolonged looking. If you’re watching something, you’re not just looking at it, you’re paying attention to it: following the story, making sure no one takes it, checking that everything is in order, etc. Can you watch my bag while I’m in the restroom? Or: I watch a movie every Friday night with my family.
To stare at something or someone: this is usually an uncomfortable kind of watching. If you stare at someone, you look at them for a long time, longer than you should. Children often do this, and parents need to teach them that it’s not nice to stare. Stop staring at that man over there. Sometimes we stare without even realising it, and it’s generally frowned-upon.
To observe: when you observe something, you watch it carefully. For example, one might observe a science experiment.
To glimpse: often, we say that you catch a glimpse of something. This is because a glimpse is a fleeting image. You might catch a glimpse of your best friend when she was an extra in that movie. Or you can get a glimpse of someone’s face but not for long enough to be able to describe is accurately.
There are others, of course, but I think these are the ones we really use most often.
Have you heard of other synonyms for look? Why not share them with us in the comments or on our Facebook page?
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