Meaning of SEE in English

(~s, ~ing, saw, ~n)

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


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

You can’t ~ colours at night...

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

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

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

Did you ~ what happened?

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


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

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

You need to ~ a doctor.

VERB: V n, V n


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

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

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

= watch

VERB: no cont, V n, V n


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

I could ~ she was lonely.

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

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

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

The army must be ~n to be taking firm action.

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


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

Oh, I ~ what you’re saying...

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

Now I ~ that I was wrong.

= understand

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


If you ~ 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 ~ it as my duty to take sides...

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

Women are sometimes ~n 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 ~ a particular quality in someone, you believe they have that quality. If you ask what someone ~s 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 ~s 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 ~ something happening in the future, you imagine it, or predict that it will happen.

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

We can ~ 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 ~s 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 ~ him go...

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

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


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

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

Shake him gently to ~ if he responds.

VERB: V wh, V wh


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

I’ll ~ if I can call her for you...

We’ll ~ what we can do, miss.

VERB: V if, V wh


If you ~ that something is done or if you ~ 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 ~ 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 ~ her to her car...

‘Goodnight.’—‘I’ll ~ you out.’

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


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

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

VERB: V amount of n


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

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



Some writers use ~ in expressions such as we saw and as we have ~n 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 ~n 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 ~ing that or ~ing 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 ~’ to indicate that you understand what someone is telling you. (SPOKEN)

‘He came home in my car.’—‘I ~.’



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

We’ll ~. It’s a possibility.



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

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

Now let me ~, who’s the man we want?



If you try to make someone ~ sense or ~ 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 ~ sense and live as good neighbours...

PHRASE: V inflects


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

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



‘See you’, ‘be ~ing you’, and ‘~ 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



You can say ‘You’ll ~’ 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 ~.



to have ~n better days: ~ day

to be ~n dead: ~ dead

as far as the eye can ~: ~ eye

to ~ eye to eye: ~ eye

as far as I can ~: ~ far

to ~ fit: ~ fit

to ~ red: ~ red

it remains to be ~n: ~ remain

wait and ~: ~ wait

Collins COBUILD.      Толковый словарь английского языка для изучающих язык Коллинз COBUILD (международная база данных языков Бирмингемского университета) .