My fan is convenient to carry around. See it can be closed when not in use. OR look it can be closed when not in use.

Which is correct?

  • 3
    ...this question changed completely while I was answering it... – Southpaw Hare Jan 29 '14 at 16:32

The term see is usually used to mean a more passive action as something that can be accomplished automatically or even subconsciously:

I can see a mountain in the distance.

...while look is used for a more intentional and active effort:

I am looking for my car keys.

When used as an exclamation, these subtleties are less pronounced but still present:

See? There's a hare over there.

Suggests that the person has already passively seen the target in question and is therefore posed as a question, while:

Look! There's a hare over there.

...is requesting an active action, and therefore is formulated as a command.

  • sorry Southpaw! I just saw your comment above! I hate when that happens! lol! – Kristina Lopez Jan 29 '14 at 17:52
  • @KristinaLopez No problem. I think my answer is at least halfway reasonable still, also. – Southpaw Hare Jan 29 '14 at 17:53
  • See is also more poetic than Look. An archaism like "Lo!" or "Behold!" is better modernised as "See!". Eric Crozier used this in the libretto for Britten's Saint Nicolas: "See! See! Three boys spring back to life..." which certainly doesn't have exactly the same meaning as "Look! Look! Three boys spring back to life." – Andrew Leach Jan 30 '14 at 8:27

Either can be used, but in this way:

"See? It can be closed when not in use."


"Look! It can be closed when not in use."

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