Difference between see and watch
There is a huge difference between see, watch, look and view.
‘Look’, ‘see’ and ‘watch’ can easily confuse students of English as they all relate to actions done with eyes.
Although all the four words – ‘see’, ‘look’, ‘watch’, and view mean to perceive using our sense of vision – our eyes. Having said that, they are not synonyms.
Consider these two sentences:
“I see a gorgeous woman dancing in the rain.”
“I was looking for a gorgeous woman to dance in rain with.”
The difference between the two is the same between ‘active’ and ‘passive’.
While the latter sentence implies directing the eyes to find the woman, the former simply implies an image that has been received by our eyes.
In other words, there is a conscious use of the sensory organ involved in the case of ‘look’; which is not present in the case of ‘see’.
What follows is that in the case of ‘look’, the stress is on the object (a gorgeous woman); while in the case of ‘see’, the emphasis is on the subject (I).
‘Watch’ too is a conscious physical activity involving the eyes. However, unlike ‘look’, which involves ‘direction’, watch involves ‘movement’.
So, when a warden is assigned to keep watch on an students, it implies he/she is to follow every move and activity of students, stay alert, so on and so forth.
‘View’ is different from all three. In the sense that unlike ‘see’, ‘look’, or ‘watch’, it implies a mental activity; and not a physical one.
For example, when we say, John has a different view about the evolution of cineman, we mean how that individual perceives evolution in his mind’s eye.