Using the Verb Look

Last week I wrote about the verb see and ways we use it in American English in some phrases. Today we will talk about the verb LOOK.


Comparing see and look as main verbs, the main difference is that see is a non-action verb meaning we do not use see in the progressive or continuous verb tenses while look is an action verb and can be used in progressive or continuous tenses. Also see is an automatic response- we see because our eyes are open. Look is intentional what we choose to see.



We see the stars at night on a clear night.

I am looking at some cars trying to decide what to buy.

We also use LOOK in some phrasal verbs.

Look into means to investigate. A manager at a store might say I will look into this myself to reassure a customer they will take care of something.

Look out means to be careful. Look out for Matt’s cooking you might get sick.

Look over means to examine carefully. Look over the test before you hand it in.

Look up means to to get information. She looked it up in the dictionary.

Look for means to search for something. I am looking for my keys, do you know where they are?


So what are you looking for help with English? Let me know. You can let me know by leaving a comment.


3 thoughts on “Using the Verb Look

  1. Hello Matt, congratulations!! Your English lessons are very interesting!!!
    I have 2 doubts, not about the verb to look, but in the phrases used by you as examples:

    1. We see the stars at night on a clear night. Why the preposition is ON and not IN?
    Why not: We see the stars at night IN a clear night.

    2. I am looking at the some cars trying to decide what to buy. Why the article THE?
    Why not: I am looking at some cars trying to decide what to buy.

    Thanks in advance!!!


    1. Glad you asked Nestor. #2 was a typo I just noticed. I wrote it at 4:30am because I couldn’t sleep- sorry. #1 on a clear night is more normative use, in a clear night would be okay but not normally how Americans would say it.


    2. one more follow up thought- If we use the preposition IN for a time such as morning, afternoon, evening we would use article the with it examples- in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, in the night


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