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Difference between See, Look at, Watch and Hear and Listen to

In this lesson of Learning English as a Second Language, we shall lean:

  • What is the difference among  See , Look at , Watch?
  • What is the difference between Hear and Listen to?

Please click the following links to watch Video Explanation of the topic

Video Tutorial in English

Video Tutorial in Urdu

See :

See is a non action verb. Seeing is a natural phenomenon. Whenever you open your eyes you see. It can not happen to avoid seeing with your eyes open. So remember that whenever  you open your eyes you see.

Look at:

Look at is an action verb. It is very easy to understand the difference between see and look at. When you open your eyes you see many things but the thing you focus  with a purpose becomes look at. For example  you are in a park there you can see a lot of things but you look at a fountain in the park.


It is also an action verb. If you understand Look at it is very easy for you to understand Watch . You look at something for a short period but Watch is used for a long duration.

e.g. I am watching a movie on television. (long duration)

      You are watching a football match. (long duration)

       Right now , I am looking at picture no.1 (short duration) and now I am looking at picture no.2. (short duration)


Whenever you wake up and by the time you sleep , you hear a lot of things , it is also a non action verb. Hearing is not preplanned. When you wake up, you start hearing sounds , it is not possible to resist them. Hearing is not intentionally done. For example, You are standing  on a street with your friend talking about English. So you are listening to what your friend is saying but you can also hear other things like cars passing by , horns, people shouting , children playing.


Listen to:

It is an action verb. Listen to is intentionally done. You listen to things for a purpose.

e.g. Don't disturb me , I am listening to the news. (Purposefully)

       Every night , I listen to radio. (Purposefully)


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