English Language Blog

Other Ways to See Posted by on Jun 30, 2021 in Culture, English Language, English Vocabulary

Hi, there, dear readers! How’s it going? The other day I was with a student in his company’s conference room. When the lesson was over, I noticed he was too busy to walk me to the door. So I decided to say, “Don’t worry about it, I’ll see myself out”. His puzzled look made me realize that he probably didn’t know this other usage for the verb ‘see’. So I guess I had a topic for the following class!

With this episode in mind, I decided to reflect on all the possible uses and contexts for the word ‘see’, which can take on more complex meanings than simply looking at something. I’ve compiled the ones I thought are most important for today’s post, so let’s see what I’ve got?

Other ways to use ‘see’ (Photo by Subin from Pexels)

First of all, as we mentioned, see literally means to use your eyes:

  • I can’t see anything, it’s too dark in here.
  • Have you seen that movie ‘Parasite’ yet? It’s supposed to be great.

And now to my personal example, to see oneself/yourself out is to leave a room or a building by yourself, without being escorted by anyone:

  • Please, don’t leave your seats, I can see myself out.
  • The manager had to take an urgent call, so Vicky had to see herself out after the job interview.

See can also be used to express that you understand something:

  • You have to restart your computer before running the software – Oh, I see.
  • The company had to cut down on costs due to the recent crisis, so many employees were laid off – Right, I see. That’s unfortunate.

    Seeing someone off (Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels)

See someone off – when you take someone to their place of departure to say goodbye:

  • Jay’s family went to the airport to see him off before he went on his exchange program in Spain.
  • My husband always sees me off at the train station when I go visit my relatives in the countryside.

See to it (that) – when you make sure that something happens by making some effort:

  • I’m deeply sorry. I’ll see to it that this never happens again.
  • Can you see to it that all reports are submitted by the end of this month?
  • This is a private event. Please see to it that everyone is wearing their name tags according to the guest list.

And to spice things up a bit, to see someone/ see each other means that you are involved in a romantic relationship:

Are you seeing anyone? (Photo by Pixabay on Pexels)

  • So, what’s new with you? Are you seeing anyone lately?
  • Are Jane and Luke together? How long have they been seeing each other?
  • I’ve been seeing this guy I met on the plane.
  • I hate to admit it, but I think my wife might be seeing someone.

Can you think of any other ways to use the verb ‘to see’? I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below. See you next time!

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