Meaning of SEE in English

transcription, транскрипция: [ si: ]

( sees, seeing, saw, seen)

Frequency: The word is one of the 700 most common words in English.


When you see something, you notice it using your eyes.

You can’t see colours at night...

I saw a man making his way towards me...

She can see, hear, touch, smell, and taste...

As he neared the farm, he saw that a police car was parked outside it...

Did you see what happened?

VERB : no cont , V n , V n -ing , V , V that , V wh


If you see someone, you visit them or meet them.

Mick wants to see you in his office right away...

You need to see a doctor.

VERB : V n , V n


If you see an entertainment such as a play, film, concert, or sports game, you watch it.

He had been to see a Semi-Final of the FA Cup...

It was one of the most amazing films I’ve ever seen.

= watch

VERB : no cont , V n , V n


If you see that something is true or exists, you realize by observing it that it is true or exists.

I could see she was lonely.

...a lot of people saw what was happening but did nothing about it...

You see young people going to school inadequately dressed for the weather...

My taste has changed a bit over the years as you can see...

The army must be seen to be taking firm action.

VERB : no cont , V that , V wh , V n -ing , V , be V-ed to-inf


If you see what someone means or see why something happened, you understand what they mean or understand why it happened.

Oh, I see what you’re saying...

I really don’t see any reason for changing it...

Now I see that I was wrong.

= understand

VERB : no cont , no passive , V wh , V n , V that


If you see someone or something as a certain thing, you have the opinion that they are that thing.

She saw him as a visionary, but her father saw him as a man who couldn’t make a living...

Others saw it as a betrayal...

I don’t see it as my duty to take sides...

As I see it, Llewelyn has three choices open to him...

Women are sometimes seen to be less effective as managers.

VERB : V n as n / -ing , V it as n , V it as n to-inf , V it , be V-ed to-inf


If you see a particular quality in someone, you believe they have that quality. If you ask what someone sees in a particular person or thing, you want to know what they find attractive about that person or thing.

Frankly, I don’t know what Paul sees in her...

Young and old saw in him an implacable opponent of apartheid.

VERB : no cont , no passive , V n in n , V in n n


If you see something happening in the future, you imagine it, or predict that it will happen.

A good idea, but can you see Taylor trying it?...

We can see a day where all people live side by side.

= imagine

VERB : no cont , V n -ing , V n


If a period of time or a person sees a particular change or event, it takes place during that period of time or while that person is alive.

Yesterday saw the resignation of the acting Interior Minister...

He had worked with the General for three years and was sorry to see him go...

Mr Frank has seen the economy of his town slashed by the uprising.

VERB : no passive , V n , V n inf , V n -ed


You can use see in expressions to do with finding out information. For example, if you say ‘ I’ll see what’s happening ’, you mean that you intend to find out what is happening.

Let me just see what the next song is...

Shake him gently to see if he responds.

VERB : V wh , V wh


You can use see to promise to try and help someone. For example, if you say ‘ I’ll see if I can do it ’, you mean that you will try to do the thing concerned.

I’ll see if I can call her for you...

We’ll see what we can do, miss.

VERB : V if, V wh


If you see that something is done or if you see to it that it is done, you make sure that it is done.

See that you take care of him...

Catherine saw to it that the information went directly to Walter.

VERB : V that , V to it that


If you see someone to a particular place, you accompany them to make sure that they get there safely, or to show politeness.

He didn’t offer to see her to her car...

‘Goodnight.’—‘I’ll see you out.’

VERB : V n prep / adv , V n prep / adv


If you see a lot of someone, you often meet each other or visit each other.

We used to see quite a lot of his wife, Carolyn...

VERB : V amount of n


If you are seeing someone, you spend time with them socially, and are having a romantic or sexual relationship.

My husband was still seeing her and he was having an affair with her.

VERB : V n


Some writers use see in expressions such as we saw and as we have seen to refer to something that has already been explained or described.

We saw in Chapter 16 how annual cash budgets are produced...

Using the figures given above, it can be seen that machine A pays back the initial investment in two years...

VERB : V wh , V that


See is used in books to indicate to readers that they should look at another part of the book, or at another book, because more information is given there.

See Chapter 7 below for further comments on the textile industry.

VERB : only imper , V n


You can use seeing that or seeing as to introduce a reason for what you are saying. ( mainly BRIT INFORMAL, SPOKEN )

Seeing as Mr Moreton is a doctor, I would assume he has a modicum of intelligence.

= since



You can say ‘ I see ’ to indicate that you understand what someone is telling you. ( SPOKEN )

‘He came home in my car.’—‘I see.’

CONVENTION [ formulae ]


People say ‘ I’ll see ’ or ‘ We’ll see ’ to indicate that they do not intend to make a decision immediately, and will decide later.

We’ll see. It’s a possibility.



People say ‘ let me see ’ or ‘ let’s see ’ when they are trying to remember something, or are trying to find something.

Let’s see, they’re six–no, make that five hours ahead of us...

Now let me see, who’s the man we want?



If you try to make someone see sense or see reason , you try to make them realize that they are wrong or are being stupid.

He was hopeful that by sitting together they could both see sense and live as good neighbours...

PHRASE : V inflects


You can say ‘ you see ’ when you are explaining something to someone, to encourage them to listen and understand. ( SPOKEN )

Well, you see, you shouldn’t really feel that way about it...



‘ See you ’, ‘ be seeing you ’, and ‘ see you later ’ are ways of saying goodbye to someone when you expect to meet them again soon. ( INFORMAL, SPOKEN )

‘Talk to you later.’—‘All right. See you love.’

= bye

CONVENTION [ formulae ]


You can say ‘ You’ll see ’ to someone if they do not agree with you about what you think will happen in the future, and you believe that you will be proved right.

The thrill wears off after a few years of marriage. You’ll see.



to have seen better days: see day

to be seen dead: see dead

as far as the eye can see: see eye

to see eye to eye: see eye

as far as I can see: see far

to see fit: see fit

to see red: see red

it remains to be seen: see remain

wait and see: see wait

Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Английский словарь Коллинз COBUILD для изучающих язык на продвинутом уровне.