I often advise students to think about learning English in 3 parts, Knowledge is remembering
vocabulary and grammar patterns. Skill is making sentences (speaking) and decoding sentences
(listening) quickly. Feeling is a sense of mood, timing, judgment and even body language.
Today I will explain English judgment with a basic example. The Japanese word ‘見る’can
mean ‘look’, ‘see’ and ‘watch’ in English. In any conversation, a Japanese speaker will
need to instantly select among ‘look’, ‘see’ and ‘watch’. Selecting the best or most natural
word requires judgment. This is the ability to imagine and feel the situation in an
English way.

LOOK = A short focused action. It often has a clear purpose.
Please come here and look at my new camera.
Look at that bird!
I will look at your report later.

SEE = An active action. It describes visibility and often comes together with ‘can’.
It can also mean ‘meet’ or ‘consult’.
While in America, we saw an NBA basketball game.
I can see Mt. Fuji from my bedroom window.
If my headache gets worse, I’ll see a doctor.

WATCH = A passive action. It is often long or linked to entertainment. It can
also mean a period of ‘taking care’ or ‘looking after’.
Let’s watch a DVD.
We sat on the balcony, had a drink and watched the sun go down.
I’m going to the post office. Please watch the children for a few minutes.

See you later!


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