Which is correct to say

 1. "Look , The situation was like that..." or "See, The situation was
    like that ....". 

 2. "Look , I am not involved in it..." or "See, I am not involved in
        it ....".

Or are both correct in every context?

  • The comma after "Look," or "See," is obligatory for this use. In speech, they are pronounced with low falling intonation, and are not a part of the sentence. They're discourse markers, as @EdwinAshworth points out, and they have specific discourse uses. "See," indicates that an explanation or other argument will follow, and requests attention to detail on the part of the addressed. "Look," specifically refers to expected disagreement on the part of the addressee, but requests attention anyway. Apr 5, 2014 at 16:12

2 Answers 2


These are most probably being used here as examples of pragmatic markers, specifically, focusing pragmatic markers. You can find them included as 'discourse markers' (a term that overlaps confusingly) on this page:

expressions that should be analysed as discourse markers in some of their uses: see, look,

They don't have the meaning 'Have a look at this:' in this usage - they're more like 'Hey!'

Even though they stand grammatically separate from the matrix sentence (as parentheticals), they don't trigger a capital letter in the matrix sentence if they are followed (as here) by a comma.

'Look' is more common as a focusing marker, at least in the UK.


I think they are both correct. You cannot say in every context, but in this case they roughly mean the same thing.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.